In recent years, denatured alcohol has become a popular choice for many DIY projects and household cleaners. But what exactly is denatured alcohol, and why is it so commonly used? Let's take a look at the basics of denatured alcohol to better understand its properties and uses
What is denatured alcohol?
Simply put, denatured alcohol is ethanol - the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages - that has been treated with other chemicals called "denaturants" to make it unfit for human consumption. These denaturants are added by manufacturers to make the ethanol toxic or unpalatable so that people do not drink it. The most commonly used denaturant today is methanol, an industrial solvent with a strong odour. This makes denatured alcohol unfit for human consumption, but also useful as a multi-purpose cleaner and solvent because it quickly dissolves oils and fats. The
is also flammable, making it ideal for use in products such as paint thinners and wood-burning stoves
Applications of denatured alcohol
Denatured alcohol has many practical applications, both at home and in industry. As mentioned earlier, it can be used as a paint thinner or as a fuel for wood-burning stoves. It can also be used as an antifreeze or window cleaner because of its low freezing point and ability to dissolve oils and grease quickly without leaving streaks or residue on surfaces. In addition, some people use it as a disinfectant in the home because it kills bacteria on contact; however, this should be done with caution, as inhaling large amounts of denatured alcohol can be dangerous in enclosed spaces
In summary, denatured alcohol is ethanol made toxic or indigestible by adding chemicals called "denaturants", such as methanol. This makes the ethanol unfit for human consumption, but very useful when diluted for use in products such as paint thinners, window cleaners, anti-freeze solutions, wood stove fuels, disinfectants, etc. Denatured alcohol can be incredibly versatile if handled properly; however, always be careful when using it at home or at work!