Commonly known as methylated spirit, denatured alcohol is simply a compound of ethanol with additives that make it unfit for human consumption. Not only is denatured alcohol poisonous, but it also consists of a very strong and nauseating smell. The fact that denatured alcohol cannot be consumed, however, does not mean that it lacks any purpose in human life. On the contrary, denatured alcohol has found a wide range of applications by both individuals and companies, as will be discussed in this article.
Uses of Denatured Alcohol
The following are 25 uses of denatured alcohol;
1.) Cleaning Glass
Denatured alcohol, when diluted, can be used for cleaning glass windows. The methylated spirit is put in a spray bottle, then sprayed on windows. Using a paper towel, or a squeegee, a person can then wipe off any additional cleaners, leaving the glass windows sparkling clean.
2.) General Cleaning and Sanitization
In addition to cleaning windows, denatured alcohol can be used for the sanitization of surfaces. This involves sanitization of toilets, all sinks, kitchens as well as other commonly used surfaces. Denatured alcohol is diluted in warm water, then used to wipe these surfaces, using a clean rag.
3.) Removing Ink Stains
Denatured alcohol has also found practical applications in offices. When ink stains are made, they can be removed by treating the stains with denatured alcohol. These can be stains made on clothes or upholstery.
4.) Removing Mold and Mildew
Rooms and apartments that have high humidity levels are usually prone to the development of mold and mildew. With denatured alcohol, however, the problem of mold development can be controlled and even prevented. Spraying the areas where mold and mildew have developed, with denatured alcohol, then allowing it to soak for a short while, can help to remove the mold and mildew.
5.) Cleaning Metal Parts
Most cleaning agents used to clean metal parts because tarnishing of these surfaces. On the other hand, denatured alcohol effectively cleans metal surfaces, without tarnishing the surfaces. This is because denatured alcohol is a highly volatile liquid, hence evaporates quickly before it can tarnish the metals.
6.) Removing Tape and Other Sticky Substances
The tape is usually used for hanging signs or important information intended to be passed to other people. However, when removed, it leaves behind a sticky gum-like substance. These gum residues can be cleaned by wiping them with denatured alcohol, then allowing the reagent to saturate the spot.
7.) Cleaning Untreated Wood
Before it can be treated with stains or paints, wood has to be cleaned first. The best reagent for cleaning this untreated wood is denatured alcohol. A clean cloth is used to wipe the wood with undiluted methylated spirit, after which the wood can now be stained or painted.
8.) Solvent for Shellac
The efficiency of shellac is maximized when thinned using denatured alcohol. Shellac which has been mixed with methylated spirit easily cleans dust and makes resurfacing of porous wood easier. Furthermore, it gives wood its mirror-like finish.
9.) Camping Stove Fuel
Denatured alcohol, or methylated spirit, is a commonly used fuel for stoves. This is the fuel that most campers and caravanners use. Denatured alcohol makes a very good fuel since its flames can be easily extinguished, and does nor require special containers to transport.
10.) Removing Tough Spots and Grease
Tough spots, grease, and hard surface spots can easily be removed using denatured alcohol. The reagent is applied on a clean cloth, then rubbed on the spot or greasy areas. After a few minutes, these surfaces are wiped using a dry cloth, revealing clean surfaces free of spots and grease.
11.) Dissolving Glue
When furniture made of wood is being repaired, some traces of glue can be left on the surface. Applying denatured alcohol on these spots of glue helps to eliminate them. The application can be done by rubbing the glue with a cloth damped with denatured alcohol.
12.) Removing Red Wine Stains
Stains of red wine can be made on clothes, upholstery, or even carpets. These stained areas are first soaked with denatured alcohol. Then, they are flushed using white vinegar. Doing so helps to eliminate wine stains.
13.) Removing Wood Paint
Denatured alcohol has found another application in the removal of wood paint and fingernail polish. A cloth is first soaked in methylated spirit, then rubbed on the wood furniture to remove the paint, or fingernail polish.
14.) Removing Wax
If the furniture is to be repainted, all leftover wax coatings have to remove from the furniture. Removal of these wax coatings can be done by rubbing the surfaces with denatured alcohol.
15.) Cleaning the Strings of a Guitar
The strings in guitars tend to develop stains after being used for a while. When this happens, denatured alcohol can be used to clean them. These strings are first removed, after which they are soaked in the methylated spirit for approximately 12 to 24 hours. The resultant stainless stings are then dried and installed back on the guitar.
16.) Testing Pectin Levels
Pectin is an agent used for the thickening of jams and jellies. To test the Pectin levels in these jams and jellies, 3 teaspoons of methylated spirit are mixed with a teaspoon of precooked fruit juice. Enough Pectin levels will be indicated by the formation of a thick substance.
17.) Controlling Pests
Denatured alcohol can be used for eliminating pests; both plant pests and animal pests. For plants infested with pests, first spray them with water. Then, using a cotton swab dipped in denatured alcohol, wipe the infected plant area. Animals infected with pests can also be sprayed with diluted denatured alcohol to exterminate the pests.
18.) Removing Excess Sawdust in Wood
The wood used mainly in construction projects usually includes a lot of sawdust trapped within the wood grains. Denatured alcohol, when rubbed on the wood surface, helps to remove the excess sawdust to make a softwood with smooth coating finishes.
Denatured alcohol is known for its ability to dissolve rosins with ease. Rosins are resins obtained from plants and pines, usually in the solid form. This property is what gives denatured alcohol its practical application in printmaking.
20.) Cleaning Paint Brushes
When painting your house or any building, you don’t necessarily need to buy a brush for each paint used. With denatured alcohol, you can easily clean your paintbrushes for reuse. These brushes are soaked in a solution of denatured alcohol, then left overnight. In the morning, rinse off your brushes with water to get your clean paint-free brushes.
21.) Removing Permanent Marks on Plastic
Permanent marks present on plastics can be gotten rid of using denatured alcohol. Simply wipe off these marks, using a cloth soaked in denatured alcohol, to remove these permanent stains on whiteboard or plastics.
22.) Manufacturing Detergents and Dyes
Denatured alcohol is also used in industries, for the manufacture of detergents and dyes. This is so, following the reagent’s ability to effectively clean surfaces and remove tough spots.
23.) Manufacturing Cosmetic Products
The trade specific denatured alcohol, or TSDA, is a common reagent in cosmetic industries. This form of denatured alcohol is used in the manufacture of cosmetic products, such as perfumes, creams, and ointments.
24.) Medical Disinfectant
Denatured alcohol contains anti-bacterial properties, which give it an application in the medical field. This reagent is used to disinfect and clean hospital surfaces, as well as make hospital sanitizers.
25.) Specimen Preservation
Most laboratories use denatured alcohol for guaranteed preservation of specimens. The bottles containing samples of the specimens are usually filled with denatured alcohol, which then acts as a long-term preservative.
Who said that if alcohol is not consumable, then it has to be thrown away? Denatured alcohol is enough evidence that even non-consumable alcohol can find a wide range of uses in human life. So, the next time you go to get that bottle of alcohol, consider also getting a bottle of denatured alcohol. Denatured alcohol can do a great job of providing you with a clean environment to enjoy your drink.