Q:

Does rubbing alcohol melt ice?

A:

Rubbing alcohol does melt ice. A mixture of one part rubbing alcohol and eight parts warm water is especially effective.

Rubbing alcohol and warm water work well together because the warm water helps melt the ice with its high relative temperature. The melting temperature of ice is zero degrees Celsius. The rubbing alcohol ensures the melted ice does not refreeze. This is because the main ingredient in rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, has a melting temperature of minus 89 C. The mixture of melted ice and rubbing alcohol has a freezing temperature of below zero degrees Celsius. The exact amount below zero C is determined by the ratio of rubbing alcohol to water. In very cold climates more rubbing alcohol per part warm water is needed.


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