Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
When people stockpile items and equipment for SHTF, they usually focus on food, water, ammunition, medical supplies, and so forth. That’s fine, but since all their attention is on the main things, they tend to overlook the little things… things that will be very useful. For example, alcohol.
Most preppers don’t bother stocking alcohol, but this is a huge mistake. Believe it or not, alcohol could mean the difference between life and death for you and your family in a disaster. If you haven’t begun to stockpile alcohol as part of your prepping plan, then check out these 27 things you can do with alcohol.
Want to save this post for later? Click Here to Pin It On Pinterest!
1. Disinfect Wounds
The ethanol in alcohol can serve as a natural disinfectant in the event of an emergency because it kills off the bacteria around the wounds. However, it can also destroy cell tissue in the same areas, so apply with discretion. For this, you’ll want to use grain alcohol.
2. Disinfect Equipment
This one applies mostly to medical equipment like scalpels and thermometers. But don’t just spray or wipe them down; completely submerge them in alcohol. You could also use it to disinfect your hands if you don’t have gloves.
3. Disinfect Surfaces
If you need a clean surface to work with (for medical equipment, handling food, etc.), just spray a surface with alcohol and wipe it down to disinfect it. Use enough to make the surface pretty wet, and let it air dry before using it.
4. Remove Odors
Vodka is definitely the best option for this since it contains no odor and is clear. It can be sprayed in small rooms or on clothing to kill bacteria and get rid of foul odors.
Bacteria grows best where there’s moisture, such as under your arms or between your toes. But alcohol displaces moisture, so a bit of alcohol in those places can stop bacteria from growing and thus stop those areas from smelling as bad.
6. Start a Fire
Some tinder or a piece of cloth soaked in a solution that contains alcohol (such as hand sanitizer) will serve as an excellent fire starter even when the weather is cold and wet.
7. Cook an Egg
This is kind of a weird one but I think it’s worth mentioning. Pour alcohol in a glass, crack open an egg and drop the insides into the alcohol, then wait at least an hour for the egg to cook. Eventually, the egg white will be solid and the yoke will be firm.
8. Clean a Gun
Your firearms will need to be properly cared for in a long term SHTF situation, but when traditional gun cleaning oils become scarce, alcohol can be your go-to alternative.
9. Soothe Mouth Pain
Swooshing around some vodka in your mouth will provide immediate and short-term relief for any pain you have from your teeth or gums.
10. Clean Your Teeth
Oral hygiene will be very important after the SHTF, especially since very few dentists will be available. Swoosh alcohol in your mouth for at least 30 seconds to kill the bacteria around your gums and teeth.
11. Remove Glue
This one applies mostly to hand sanitizer, but other solutions and products that contain alcohol in them also work. If you ever need to remove some glue, such as the glue that remains after removing sticky labels, applying a small amount of alcohol will make it easier to come off.
12. Fuel a Lamp
A small lamp can provide heat and a place to cook without having to manage a bigger fire. But a small makeshift lamp or candle will require fuel just like any other fire, and adding small amounts of alcohol at a time is a great way to keep that lamp going.
13. Fuel a Stove
For this, you can’t just use regular liquor. You could try some 100-proof vodka, but you’re better off using ethanol or denatured alcohol. This is really only for people who love messing with their camp stoves. You can learn more about that here.
14. Relieve Poison Ivy
A skin rash from poison ivy is no fun, plain and simple. And it’s more serious when you don’t have access to traditional medical supplies. Applying alcohol to the rash won’t make it go away, but it does relieve much of the pain.
15. Relieve Bug Bites
The same goes for bug bites. Mosquitoes will be everywhere once mosquito control services stop. And other types of bugs will breed fast due to unsanitary conditions that come about when garbage trucks stop rolling. Apply some alcohol to the bug bite for quick relief.
16. Repel Bugs
Better yet, stop bugs from biting you in the first place. Alcohol mixed with olive oil can be rubbed on the skin to serve as a natural repellent to mosquitoes and other insects.
17. Kill Weeds
This one obviously won’t matter to some people, but if you’re concerned with the way your property looks during a disaster, alcohol will kill any unwanted weeds.
18. Kill Mold
Mold needs moisture to live, but alcohol displaces water and causes it to quickly evaporate. When the mold dries up, it will die. This might not sound very important, but mold can be very bad for your health. In some cases, it can be deadly.
19. Suppress a Cough
A simple cough may start out innocently enough, but if it progresses far enough, it will become not only annoying but also bad to your health. A hot toddy makes a great cough syrup.
20. Treat a Cold
The steam from a warm alcoholic drink such as a hot toddy can also dilate the blood vessels in your nose and clear out the mucus. Plus, it will soothe a sore throat and help you get to sleep.
This is arguably the most important use on this list. Alcohol will be in high demand after the SHTF, so having a large stockpile will give you an advantage in a potential trade. You might be surprised what some people will be willing to give you in exchange for a few bottles of beer, wine, or liquor.
22. Remove Frost
You can remove frost from a car’s windshield in the winter simply by spraying or wiping alcohol on it and then wiping it away.
23. Eliminate Fungus
Warm water and alcohol mixed equally together makes for an effective fungus eliminator, especially on the feet and in the ears.
24. Clean Stains
Have any stains that need to be removed from practically anything? Spray them with alcohol and scrub away. This will remove most if not all of it.
25. Clean Jewelry
If you want to keep your jewelry or precious metals clean, soak them in rubbing alcohol and wipe them dry with a clean cloth.
26. Reduce Anxiety
Some people will have a hard time relaxing after the SHTF. Even if they’re safe and well-fed, just thinking about what’s happening out there can make people very stressed out. Sipping some scotch or whiskey with a little bit of water can help them relax.
27. Boost Morale
Last but not least, drinking a little bit of alcohol for recreational purposes in a disaster scenario can provide some badly needed morale for when the going gets tough. Just don’t overdo it. It’s one thing to wake up with a mild headache, but you don’t want to wake up completely hungover during a disaster.
You probably won’t need alcohol for all the suggestions on this list, but you’ll be surprised how many of them you do need it for. Alcohol, in its various forms, is an important commodity to stock up on. If the SHTF in your area, you’ll be glad you have it.
Like this post? Don’t Forget to Pin it on Pinterest!
I have heard that vodka is good for long term storage. But I would like to find out if glass bottles are preferable to plastic bottles.
The author fails to differentiate between isopropyl alcohol, ethanol and methanol. Ethanol is the agent is liquor. It is edible or drinkable. BUT in order to act as a bactericide or viricide, it must be at least 60% alcohol. Most alcoholic beverages are 50% ethanol (100 proof) In order to be a bactericide, the liquor must be at least 130 proof. Because alcohol is hydrophilic it readily absorbs moisture from the air. In order to insure that your disinfectant is at least 60% alcohol make sure your beverage is 135 proof.
Isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol at 70% will act as a disinfectant. Use caution when applying to skin as it will also dry the oils from your skin and can further damage injured skin. Ninety percent IPA (the common shorthand for isopropyl alcohol) is used in the printing industry and is used as a degreaser. It will clean dried grease and oils from your firearms but will leave the metal cleaned of all oil protection. If you clean your firearm with IPA be sure to oil the surfaces after doing so otherwise in the morning you are liable to see a fine coating of rust on your firearm. If you use 90% IPA without protecting your skin you will notice that your skin has turned a dead white. That means the natural oils in your skin have been dissolved from the affected skin. Don’t worry, if you don’t continue degreasing your skin with the high test IPA the oils will return. If you continue degreasing your skin, it will die and you will develop a nice case of contact dermatitis. It’s not fatal but cracked, dry, scaly skin can lead to infection, especially a MRSA infection which is nothing to mess with in our normal world, let alone an EOTW situation.
Do not drink IPA. Despite an urban legend to the contrary, straining IPA through bread will not make it a bit less poisonous. It will cause blindness and brain damage and continued use will make both of those conditions permanent and lead to a miserable death.
Methanol is used as a paint remover. You can see from that use that you must be extremely careful around methanol. It will rot rubber and severely damage your skin. It will corrode your lungs if you breathe its fumes too long. It will burn fiercely but when burning will give off noxious fumes. In an end of the world situation I am not sure what use can be made of methanol other than a little bit will start wet wood burning but only outdoors and don’t hang around the fire. Make sure you are upwind of it.
A great use of drinking alcohol is to ‘get lucky’ LOL
When SHTF, drunk females are no longer ‘protected’ so to speak.
Bob Smith says
First rubbing alcohol can do all but one of these thing better than a drinking alcohol.
That one is #27, okay #21 would move faster as a drinking alcohol.
All the preppers I know put drinking alcohol right behind, gold,silver, edged weapons,bush tools,fire starter & food for Bartering. So at least half of your stored alcohol should be medical alcohol.
Plus you should have a safe way to produce more alcohol.