Denatured alcohol is a variation of ethanol that contains toxic additives like methanol, acetone, isopropyl alcohol, benzene, etc. that make the solution poisonous. Sometimes referred to as the methylated spirit or wood spirit, this alcohol is extremely toxic when ingested—the additives are there to discourage recreational consumption.
Why is Denatured Alcohol Made Poisonous?
The reason that this alcohol is purposefully made to be toxic is to avoid human consumption of such a high proof. Denatured alcohol can contain up to 99% alcohol—a concentration that can have serious adverse effects, such as alcohol poisoning, brain damage, blindness, and even death. Adding other components that make the solution nauseating can ensure that no one drinks it.
Can It Be Used as A Disinfectant?
Denatured alcohol is primarily known for being an outstanding cleaning agent. Its antibacterial properties render it useful to a variety of industries. In household capacities, it can be used to clean and disinfect:
It is also an excellent choice for cleaning surfaces like metal, mirrors, and windows because it evaporates very quickly. This means that it won’t leave any streaks or stains.
In addition to simply cleaning hard surfaces, the wood spirit is an effective degreaser and stain remover, and may also remove small scratches.
The medical field takes full advantage of this antiseptic agent. Many hospitals and other medical facilities are cleaned using alcohol in its denatured form. Not only does it remove existing bacteria and viruses, but it can also prevent new ones from growing. Medical instruments, operating tables, examination tables, trays, and other items are often cleaned with this alcohol.
Methylated spirit is a common addition to hand sanitizers, where it works to easily remove harmful bacteria from the skin.
What Else is it Used For?
Aside from being a great disinfectant, denatured alcohol is a natural preservative that is often used in the cosmetic industry. It works to conserve the product while simultaneously preventing dangerous microorganisms from growing and not only ruining the product but also putting the user at risk.
Its preservative properties make it suitable for use in biological applications, too. Organisms can be kept in denatured ethanol for long periods of time.
This agent can be used as a highly effective solvent. It is easily accessible and can dissolve a multitude of substances. It is also safe to use on various surfaces, like furniture, leather, and clothing.
There are several other uses for alcohol in its denatured form. While the list is innumerable, here are a few additional utilizations:
- fungi removal
- paint stripping
Need to Buy Denatured Alcohol?
Buying chemicals in bulk is made extremely easy with our team here at Bulk Chemicals 2 Go. Along with this type of alcohol, we sell a variety of degreasers, cleaning agents, and solvents. Click the link to shop online now or call us at (800) 563-1305 to get answers to any questions you may have!