Ethanol is highly polar. Each molecule has a hydroxyl group at one end, with oxygen bound to hydrogen, which is highly electronegative and enables the molecule to form strong hydrogen bonds with other polar molecules. The other end of the ethanol molecule, however, is non-polar.
Ethanol's property of being polar at one end and non-polar at the other makes it an excellent solvent for a wide variety of substances. It is the second most commonly used solvent after water in commercial settings. It is also an antiseptic and is able to kill many types of microorganisms on contact. It is a common metabolic product of yeasts and other single-celled organisms.