Denatured Alcohol vs. Rubbing Alcohol

Alcohol is one of many organic compounds companies use to clean parts or machinery involved with the creation of a finished product. It is applied in a variety of industries and is also included as a component of fuels, antiseptics, preservatives, and solvents. Products offered with alcohol as a base contain varying percentages of ethanol, which is the compounds most classic form. For example, an alcoholic beverage contains approximately five to forty percent ethanol based on the total volume whereas an antiseptic often contains between sixty and ninety percent of ethanol, propanol, or isopropanol. The agent is applied as a solvent in several industries because it has a rather low toxicity when compared to alternative cleaning choices.

What is Denatured Alcohol?

Denatured alcohol, sometimes referred to as methylated spirits, includes specific additives that make it non-drinkable. This form of ethanol has a bad taste, smells foul, and is poisonous if ingested. The additives exist to deter individuals from attempting to recreationally consume it. Denatured alcohol is typically applied as a solvent or used to fuel camping stoves; however, the product is suitable for numerous application needs. Many forms contain approximately ten percent of methanol as the additive with isopropyl alcohol, denatonium, methyl isobutyl ketone, and acetone alternatively serving as common additives. The purpose behind these additives is mainly to deter consumption. Denatured alcohol is used to fuel small camping stoves, in wood sanding, as a cleaning aid, as a solvent, and in the production of some fuels.

How is Rubbing Alcohol Different?

This form is considered to be a surgical spirit rather than a methylated spirit since it is used in medical environments as a topical application. It is a type of denatured alcohol prepared from a special solution consisting of roughly seventy percent pure ethanol or isopropyl alcohol in its concentrated form. Rubbing alcohol is a generic term used to describe either isopropyl or ethyl based products with similar qualities and is essentially a special type of denatured solution. The two forms are designed to serve different purposes and antiseptic versions can be used as a gentle solvent substitute for home or business applications.

Applications of Denatured Products

Alternative denatured forms are used as a quick evaporating solvent by hobbyists, cleaning crews, painters, and manufacturing environments. Denatured alcohol is applied as a dependable cleaner to accomplish spot or grime removal. Quick drying properties make it a good choice where the substance must not remain on the surface for an extended period of time. Its inclusion in fuels for camping stoves makes an ideal clean burning solution that can easily be put out with water. To summarize, rubbing alcohol works as a minor cleaning solvent and is meant to be applied as an antiseptic. Denatured alcohol is used as a solvent, as a fuel additive, and for sanding or finishing purposes. It should never be applied as an antiseptic or consumed, due to the included additives. Both forms are highly flammable making it important to take extra precautions when handling in an enclosed environment or using in large quantities.

Denatured alcohol is highly effective as a solvent and cleaning agent. For more information about our denatured alcohol products, please call 800 886-8240 or email info@ecolink.com.

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