This sounds counter intuitive doesn’t it? Stockpiling alcohol however doesn’t mean being drunk and disorderly and unable to cope with the situation…
In fact, there are a number of very good reasons why you should stockpile alcohol – particularly wine and spirits rather than beer, which does not have such a long shelf life.
Drinking Alcohol and Rubbing Alcohol – Do I Need to Stockpile Both?
There are two different alcohols – ethyl alcohol (chemical formula C2H5OH) as used in the intoxicating beverages you can drink, and isopropyl alcohol, commonly called ‘rubbing alcohol’ (chemical formula C3H8O) sold as an antiseptic and which can be used around the home.
As you can see, they both have carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules, but in different combinations. Stockpile rubbing alcohol as well as your drinking spirits as you seriously do not want to be donating a good bourbon to household cleaning!
Warning: Do not ever consume isopropyl alcohol, it is a poison, and keep it well out of the reach of children, as you should all alcohol. But you can use ethyl alcohol – your precious rum or whiskey for various solutions around the home too, if you can spare it.
1. Alcohol is a sought-after currency
It may be heavier than gold coins, or medicine (which are both great trade items) but alcohol is always in demand. Even if you don’t drink it at all, it is a commodity to stockpile to swap for items you may need.
Red wine and spirits are particularly popular. If you are able to distill your own spirits (not something you can do in the USA) you are in a winning situation, because if you have stockpiled enough sugar and yeast you can just keep on making!
2. It helps people deal with difficult situations
When people are forced to live on basic foods for months on end, a small stockpile of treats like coffee, sweets and alcohol to pick up the mood after a hard day, or to celebrate an occasion, all come in handy.
We’ve all seen the movies where a tough character is given a liberal swig to drink, lies down, the wound area is then doused in alcohol prior to the surgeon giving the patient a stick or rolled up piece of cloth to bite down on while the surgeon goes in to remove a bullet or repair a wound.
Also, ethyl alcohol that is 60% proof can be used for surgical purposes.
4. First aid
For cleaning a small wound, a 40% alcohol concentration will do. Make no mistake it stings, but it does kill the majority of the infection-causing viruses and other pathogens.
5. Disinfecting surgical instruments
Surgical instruments are usually boiled to disinfect, but if this is not an option in an emergency then submerging the instruments in alcohol will sterilize them.
Wiping or spraying them is not good enough – they must be submerged to ensure all pathogens are neutralized.
6. Red wine for heart health
There have been a number of studies showing that red wine, in moderation is good for heart health.
It seems that the anti-oxidants in red wine help with the HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol – that’s the “good” cholesterol compared to the LDL cholesterol. This is no excuse to indulge in red wine – particularly if you are prone to arthritis or gout.
Taken in moderation with a Mediterranean diet containing olive oil and lycopene from tomatoes, red wine can help protect from free radical damage due to the action of the anti-oxidants in this type of diet.
7. Hot toddy for colds/flu
A shot of alcohol, hot water, lemon juice and a spoon of honey mixed in a glass are the ingredients of a hot toddy, designed to make you feel relaxed while the ingredients go to work on the germs.
8. Fungal infections
A mix of alcohol and warm water in a 50:50 solution can help for fungal infections of feet, ears, and arms, and alcohol dabbed between toes can stop the wetness that fungal infections thrive on.
9. Poison ivy
Alcohol swabbed on the rash can provide some relief when poison ivy is driving a person crazy.
10. Insect bites
Swab bite sites on the body with a cotton pad soaked in alcohol to provide some relief from the bites of mosquitoes and midges.
Vodka swished around the mouth is said to provide some relief from toothache. Also, chewing a whole clove can help.
It is not advised to deaden the pain by drinking the whole bottle of vodka, though!
12. Vodka as deodorizer
Because vodka does not have a bad smell, it can be used in a spritzer along with a drop or two of essential oil to freshen rooms.
13. Cleaning mirrors
Rubbing alcohol can be used to remove oiliness from mirrors at home – hairspray, splotches of face cream and marks from kids who love misting up mirrors by kissing them, or even those who put lipstick kisses on their mirrors.
14. Cell phone, Laptop and TV screen cleaner
Because rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly it can be safely used for cleaning electronics rather than something water based.
Using alcohol avoids the risk of water damage to these items, allowing them to dry streak free, however don’t rely on them to disinfect the devices, as the alcohol content is less than 70%, not to mention they evaporate quickly.
15. Stain removal
Spraying rubbing alcohol on a stain, and then washing well should get out most stains.
16. Hand sanitizer
Make your own hand sanitizer with rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel, and some essential oil.
You will need a pump action container – use an empty liquid soap one, clean and dry then fill 3/4 with rubbing alcohol, 1/4 aloe vera gel and add about 20 drops of tea tree oil.
This will be a bit runnier than the store-bought hand sanitizers, but it will work. Various health organizations recommend at least 70% alcohol content in the hand sanitizer. This one is around 73% so you can add more aloe vera gel if you wish.
Hand sanitizer is best for use on fairly clean hands to kill germs, viruses, but soap and warm are more effective for cleaning hands.
17. Erase permanent markers
When kids decide to extend their artwork to your kitchen counter tops, some rubbing alcohol will erase those marks – provided it’s on a laminated top.
Do not use rubbing alcohol to try get marks off leather or wood.
18. Defrost your windscreen
A spray bottle with rubbing alcohol can save you plenty of time and effort instead of trying to pry ice off a windshield.
A spritz with the spray bottle means the windscreen will be defrosted in no time – to do this mix 1/3 water with 2/3 rubbing alcohol, shake to mix and spray.
The reason it works so well is the freezing point of isopropyl alcohol is way lower than that of water at minus 128 degrees Fahrenheit.
19. De-tick your dogs and yourself
When spending time outdoors the pesky little blood suckers manage to crawl into places you wouldn’t ordinarily see them.
When going over your own body and those of your kids, and dogs, dab a little of the alcohol, either ethyl or isopropyl on the tick, wait a little, and then pull it straight out – if you twist and pull you risk leaving the head behind which will cause a small sore.
The alcohol encourages the tick to stop burrowing down, giving you a chance to get it out in one piece.
20. Insect repellent
If spending plenty of time outdoors, mixing some alcohol with olive oil, and rubbing it over your skin will provide you with some protection against stinging bites, and help prevent ticks latching on and burrowing into your skin.
21. Get rid of fruit flies
Mix ½ rubbing alcohol with ½ water in a container with a fine mist spray, and use it to deter fruit flies from hanging around your kitchen.
22. Clean chrome, glass, and stainless steel
A fine mist of rubbing alcohol will get rid of greasy marks on chrome, stainless steel and glass doors and windows.
The best part it that is evaporates quickly, so you don’t get those streaky marks to keep going over until the glass/chrome/stainless steel is clear.
23. Clean jewelry
Soak jewelry in a small container filled with rubbing alcohol, take out and wipe off residue, then polish with a soft cloth
24. Fire starter
In a pinch ,you can use a little alcohol soaked into some lint to start a fire.
25. Kill deadly molds
Certain molds can be deadly. Don’t give them a chance. Spray with rubbing alcohol – it dries them up and kills them.
26. Removing sticky residue
In SHTF situations you have to reuse and recycle. Don’t let those sticky jar labels beat you.
Get of as much as you can with dishwashing liquid and water, then bring on the alcohol. It will break down the stickiness so the jars can be cleaned and repurposed.
27. Gun cleaning
When gun cleaning oils and products start to run out you know you can rely on rubbing alcohol to get the job done and keep weapons in peak firing condition – your life may just depend on it.
28. Red wine for stews
Adding red wine to hearty meaty stews ups the level of richness, adding depth and flavor to the meal. Use when you feel the family needs a special lift.
29. Infused alcohol
So you can’t go out and buy your favorite cherry liqueur? No problem, use whatever fruit is available locally, and create peach infused brandy, cherry vodka, and a whole host of other tasty drinks with just your basic spirits and some well-chosen seasonal or foraged fruit.
30. Create grown up desserts
People can’t resist a little alcohol added to desserts to give them that extra decadence. Even if times are hard a tablespoon of brandy flambeed over a stack of pancakes will create oohs and aahs of delight as the blue flame plays over the dessert for a few seconds.
A little rum added to whipped cream, a 1/3 cup of brandy added to the sauce for a date pudding – all these lift the spirits and don’t use a lot of the precious liquid.