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Will rubbing alcohol kill ants?​


In our article, we will discuss “Will rubbing alcohol kill ants?” We will also give advice on home remedies to kill ants and repel ants. We will take a look at why ants are in the home and how to get rid of ants for good.

Let’s get started!

What is rubbing alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol comprises Isopropyl alcohol, around 70 %, and water. Isopropyl alcohol is pure alcohol, and nothing else is added. The two liquids are similar in that they have antibacterial and disinfecting properties. However, on its own, Isopropyl alcohol is far too hazardous to use at home as a disinfectant or to use on the skin.

It is usually used in industry for the manufacture of products. Rubbing alcohol can be used at home.

What else does rubbing alcohol contain?

The other main ingredients of rubbing alcohol are water and Ethanol, also known as Ethyl alcohol, found in alcoholic drinks. There could be other ingredients depending on what the rubbing alcohol is used for.

Some companies will add essential oils like Wintergreen for muscle aches. Wintergreen contains Methyl Salicylate that dilutes blood vessels in the skin, which helps to reduce aches and pains.

What is Isopropyl alcohol used in?

It is used to make:

  • Perfumes. rubbing-alcohol

  • Cosmetics.

  • Antifreeze.

  • Dyes.

  • Window cleaners.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is used at home to lower the risk of infection to cuts. It may be included in your first aid kit at home. It can also be used for aches and pains if it contains Wintergreen. Rubbing alcohol is also used in the home to disinfect.

Does Rubbing alcohol kill ants?

Yes, rubbing alcohol will kill ants. It contains Ethanol that dissolves the exoskeleton when it comes into contact with the Rubbing alcohol. It will dehydrate and give the ants a burning sensation, causing death.

Pure Ethanol found in Vodka is toxic to ants and is strong enough to burn through an ant’s exoskeleton. Beer contains around four percent alcohol which can kill ants, but they would need to be drenched in it. Using these drinks to get rid of ants is not economically viable and a waste of a good drink.

The rubbing alcohol needs to be applied so that it comes into contact with the ant to work.

The smell of Rubbing alcohol will also repel ants.

Will Rubbing alcohol kill an ant nest?

When you spray alcohol on an ant nest, it will kill the ants, and those that survive will leave due to the strong odor from the Rubbing alcohol. Take care when you use Rubbing alcohol because it is highly flammable and should not be used in large quantities or near a naked flame. A small amount sprayed onto the nest is enough to repel and kill the ants.

How can I get rid of ants in the Kitchen?

If you have noticed ants on your kitchen counters, you will need to get rid of them fast before they really take over.

This can be achieved when you sprinkle some Ethyl, Isopropyl, or Rubbing alcohol on the ants, use a towel to wipe the area afterward, to remove dead ants as they give off Pheromones when they die as a warning and more ants will come. The odor will linger to keep other ants away. Ethyl alcohol does not have color and therefore is ideal on counter surfaces.

Before you use rubbing alcohol on surfaces, clean the surface beforehand with warm soapy water. Rubbing alcohol can easily be absorbed by dust particles. If that happens, it will be less effective. Outside, you can soak some cotton wool balls with Rubbing alcohol and place them along ant trails to repel the ants.

The smell of Ethyl will fade around twenty-four hours after using it, so the ants may return depending on how much was sprayed. We recommend applying Ethyl once a day for about seven days to eliminate the ants permanently.

How can I prevent ants in the kitchen?

An ant colony will send worker ants to forage for a food source. Once they find food, other ants will follow. Most ants will look for sweet foods, like soda, jelly, jam, cakes, and candy. Some other food sources that attract ants are greasy, fatty foods, and even pet food.

Here are some top tips to follow:

  • Do not leave food on countertops to avoid attracting more ants in the kitchen. It does not matter if you leave out tiny crumbs of food ants will come and feed on them. Even a spilled drink will bring the ants inside.

  • Wash the counters down after food preparation and clean the floor regularly.

  • Store food items in sealable containers.

  • Wipe the jars of sauces and jams after use.

  • Wash your pets food bowl after use and dry it.

  • Do not leave dirty dishes or water in the sink. It will attract ants. Dry up any moisture in the sink as ants will look for water and something to eat.

  • Keep trash outside and clean garbage cans regularly. Make sure the lids are tight fitting.

Is Rubbing alcohol commonly used to get rid of ants?

Yes, Rubbing alcohol is a popular form of pest control for ants. Other pests it is used on include, Mealybugs, Aphids, Whiteflies, and many other insects.

Are there any downsides to using Rubbing alcohol?

There are some disadvantages to using this form of alcohol. If you use it in a bedroom, for instance, it gives off a powerful smell.

It can be toxic to humans in large quantities. It is best to spray the alcohol during the day and open the room’s windows.

Rubbing alcohol can irritate the nose, cause nausea and, in severe cases, cause vomiting and choking.

Can you use Rubbing alcohol on plants to kill ants?

Yes, you can use the alcohol on plants, but do not use concentrated alcohol over twenty-five %, and you should not soak the stems, leaves, and soil.

Too much alcohol in the soil will lead to water loss and alter the soil’s natural PH levels. If you do use too much, the Ethanol will dry out the plants, and the leaves will wither and die.

Does rubbing alcohol kill ant eggs?

Yes, Rubbing alcohol will kill ants’ eggs. The alcohol will dissolve the eggshell, but the entire egg must be covered in the Rubbing alcohol to kill ants’ eggs. The task is difficult as the eggs are kept deep inside the ant’s nest.

To get rid of ants and ant eggs in a nest, pour hot water and Rubbing alcohol inside the nest; it will kill them on contact.

What kills ants immediately?

Boiling water kills ants on contact. Use the water straight from a freshly boiled kettle; you could also add some Cayenne pepper as an extra measure.

What are other ant repellent options there to use in the house?

Disrupting the ant trail is an excellent way to repel ants; a strong odor will confuse the Pheromone scent trail the ants leave when foraging for food. Below are some ideas to eliminate an ant nest and ants.


Ants do not like the smell of mint; plant some mint around your home to repel ants. Peppermint essential oil is an excellent ant repellent to get rid of ants in the house. Using it will repel ants and make your house smell nice. Soak a cotton ball in the peppermint oil and wipe areas where you have seen the ants.

Coffee grounds

ground-coffee-with-spoonIt is thought that ants do not like to walk over coffee, sprinkle some along surfaces to form a barrier that the ants will not cross.


Borax is a salt used in laundry and cleaning products and as a pest control method to kill insects. To get rid of ants, mix a teaspoon of maple syrup with a sprinkle of Borax onto jar lids. Spread the lids near trails. The ants take the bait to the ant colony and give it to the other ants to eat, including the egg-laying queen. They feed on the sugary mixture and die.

Tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar

Tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar have a strong scent and affect ant trails.

Do tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar work to eliminate ants?

Yes, like peppermint oil, they are effective at getting rid of ants. Mix ten drops of tea tree with two cups of water in a spray bottle and spray the mixture around the house. You will soon notice the ants leaving the area you spray. You can also soak cotton wool balls in the tea tree and put them around the home.

Apple cider vinegar will repel ants, but you can just as easily use cheaper white vinegar. Spray them with the vinegar, and they will die.

A Spray bottle of soapy water works wonders on ants

Fill a spray bottle up with one part dish soap and two parts water and spray directly onto the ants and nest. You can wash the ants away with hot water when the ants have died.

And finally,

In our article “Will Rubbing alcohol kill ants?” We presented methods for fighting ants with Rubbing alcohol yourself; we hope you have found the article helpful; if you feel the problem is getting out of hand and you have tried our ant infestation removal methods, then it is time to call a professional to remove the ant problem.

Good luck!

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively. 

Read more here.

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