Does Rubbing Alcohol Stop Sweating? (Explained)

Ever feel like you’re sweating buckets? It happens to all of us!

While sweating is totally normal, sometimes we wish we could turn down the volume a bit. You might have even heard about using rubbing alcohol to stop sweating.

But does it actually work? 

Yes! Rubbing alcohol DOES stop sweating.

In this post, I’ll explain how rubbing alcohol stops sweating, and the side effects of using it. Plus, I’ll also show you how to apply it.

Also Read: The Truth About Aluminum Antiperspirants

Can Rubbing Alcohol Stop Sweating?

Rubbing alcohol won’t completely stop sweating, but it can temporarily reduce sweating by drying out your skin.

Rubbing alcohol is an astringent, which means it causes tissues to shrink or contract.

When it’s applied to your skin, the rubbing alcohol will temporarily close your pores, which are the tiny openings in your skin that sweat exits from.

This can help reduce the amount of sweat that reaches the surface of your skin.


Plus, rubbing alcohol can also kill odor-causing bacteria.

That said, the effects of rubbing alcohol on sweating are short-lived too and are not a permanent solution. Once the alcohol evaporates, you will start sweating as usual.

How To Use Rubbing Alcohol To Stop Sweating

Before you start using rubbing alcohol, I recommend doing a patch test first.

Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a non-sensitive area like your inner arm and wait for 24 hours to see if there’s any irritation.

If you experience redness, itching, or burning – you shouldn’t use it.

But if everything is alright, here’s how to apply it:

#1 Clean And Dry The Area

Start by cleaning the area where you sweat a lot, like your underarms, palms, feet, or any other areas where sweating is a problem.

Use a mild soap and warm water to wash away any dirt, oils, or residue from your skin.

Rinse well and pat dry with a clean, soft towel.

If you don’t clean first, the moisture can weaken the rubbing alcohol’s effectiveness.

#2 Apply Rubbing Alcohol

Once the area is clean and dry, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) onto a clean cotton ball or pad.

Apply Rubbing Alcohol

Gently dab or wipe the cotton ball over the problem area, making sure to cover it evenly.

Be careful not to use too much rubbing alcohol, as it could irritate your skin.

Oh and this can sting a little!

Also Read: Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant

#3 Allow it to Dry

After applying the rubbing alcohol, let it air dry completely on your skin. This allows the alcohol to evaporate, which creates a cooling effect that reduces sweating.

Don’t rinse or cover the area right away, as this could undo the effects.

#4 Repeat as Needed

Keep in mind that the effects of rubbing alcohol are temporary and usually last for a few hours or until the alcohol has fully evaporated.

When you start sweating again, you may need to reapply the rubbing alcohol periodically.

But don’t over do it as it can irritate your skin.

Side Effects Of Using Rubbing Alcohol On Skin

The biggest downside of using rubbing alcohol is that it will dry out and irritate your skin – especially if you use it a lot or for a long time.

It might mess up your skin’s natural barrier, causing redness, itching, and discomfort.

Some people might even be allergic or sensitive to isopropyl alcohol, which is the main ingredient in rubbing alcohol.

This could lead to allergic reactions like rashes and hives.

Also Read: How Can I Stop Itching When Sweating

Bottom Line

Rubbing alcohol can stop sweating. But it’s temporary and it does not address the underlying cause. And it can also cause skin irritation if you use it alot.


Can I Use Rubbing Alcohol As Deodorant?

No, rubbing alcohol should not be used as a substitute for deodorant.

Rubbing alcohol is not ideal for regular use because it is harsh and can dry out your skin, leading to irritation, redness, and even burning.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Darken Underarms?

Yes, rubbing alcohol can actually darken your underarms. 

The alcohol dries out your skin, and disrupts its natural barrier which causes irritation.

This irritation can trigger your body to produce more melanin, the pigment that darkens skin.

Plus, the drying effect can make your underarms more prone to dead skin cell buildup. Shaving can worsen this, and contribute to the darker appearance.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Remove Sweat Stains?

Yes, rubbing alcohol can help remove sweat stains, but it’s not the best first choice. Just like on skin, rubbing alcohol can dry out fabrics, and make them stiff and damage them over time.

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