Conventionally, mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) inactivated by mitomycin C or irradiation were applied to support the self-renew and proliferation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). To avoid the disadvangtages of mitomycin C and irradiation, here MEFs were treated by ethanol (ET). Our data showed that 10% ET-inactivated MEFs (eiMEFs) could well maintain the self-renew and proliferation of hESCs. hESCs grown on eiMEFs expressed stem cell markers of NANOG, octamer-binding protein 4 (OCT4), stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA4) and tumour related antigen-1-81 (TRA-1-81), meanwhile maintained normal karyotype after long time culture. Also, hESCs cocultured with eiMEFs were able to form embryoid body (EB) in vitro and develop teratoma in vivo. Moreover, eiMEFs could keep their nutrient functions after long time cryopreservation. Our results indicate that the application of eiMEF in hESCs culture is safe, economical and convenient, thus is a better choice.