Isopropyl alcohol is a chemical capable of eliminating polluting substances. It is also known as dimethylcarbinol, 2-propanol , AIP , or isopropanol . It is characterized by evaporating quickly, carrying waste away.
This substance is available in supermarkets, pharmacies and other stores. Presentation is almost always in jars of 1 liter or more, sometimes in aerosol, and always specifies its concentration greater than 99%.
13 uses of isopropyl alcohol
The usefulness of isopropanol reaches industrial processes and household cleaning routines. For cleaning the house and some appliances, it is common to choose this type of alcohol. Find out what activities it can be useful for:
1. Exterminates pests
Soak or spray isopropanol on objects that are in contact with parasites or insects, such as pet collars or combs. The disinfectant effect kills some bacteria and viruses.
2. Cleans and maintains electronic and computer parts
These equipments are made up of tiny and delicate parts that require meticulous cleaning. Due to its cleaning power and solvent capacity, isopropyl alcohol is a good choice. When evaporating, it doesn’t leave residues and it’s not as volatile, so it doesn’t damage the parts.
The same is true with other electronics. With a cloth dampened with isopropanol, you can sanitize LCD screens, 3D printers, optical disc drives, tablets, CD players and video game consoles.
On frequently used devices like smartphones, dirt accumulates. According to a study carried out in a hospital setting, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, cell phones are potential channels for bacteria and should be disinfected with wipes moistened with alcohol.
3. Eliminates bad smell
In addition to sterilizing, this type of alcohol eliminates bad odors. Spray a little inside the shoes and notice how the smell changes.
4. Wash tiles and blinds
Isopropanol is effective in removing mold on tiles and accumulation of dust on curtains. However, it is not recommended for all types of walls or floors.
For tiles, blackened joints, marble floors or natural wood, white vinegar is best.
5. Removes stains
Paint or acrylic marks on fabrics come out with isopropanol. Smear a little of the liquid and rub it in to remove the stain.
6. Melts car ice
In winter, cars outside the garage wake up covered with ice in colder countries. One way to defrost quickly is to pour alcohol.
7. Helps polish jewelry
2-propanol is an excellent brightener for silver, gold and other metals. Fill a container with the substance and soak the dirty jewelry for 5 minutes. Then dry the jewelry with a cloth.
8. Clean windows
Isopropyl alcohol is a good ally for washing glass and mirrors.
9. Take care of tools
In workshops, the properties of isopropyl alcohol stand out for removing grease and oil from tools. It is also used to prepare surfaces to be welded.
10. Disinfect the house
In addition to cleaning floors, walls and windows, the AIP disinfects furniture, clothing and appliances. Furthermore, it is less toxic than other chemicals.
11. In pharmacy and cosmetics
In menthol-based and astringent masks, dilute isopropanol is likely to be found. The alcohol structure reduces the thickness of some liquids and prevents foaming when shaken.
12. Biological preservative
Laboratories use 70-99% 2-propanol for the preservation of biological samples as an alternative to formaldehyde.
13. In the industrial sector
In industry, isopropyl alcohol is used as a solvent for rubbers and acrylic resins. It is an additive in the extraction and purification of various products.
The automotive area, on the other hand, uses dimethyl carbinol to solubilize water in gas tanks and prevent it from freezing.
How to use isopropyl alcohol?
Diluted, isopropanol is non-irritating. Otherwise, the correct thing to do is to apply it with gloves.
To spread the liquid, moisten and rub with a lint-free cotton cloth. You can also spray the spray dry with a cloth or paper towel.
Precautions when using isopropyl alcohol
Handling isopropyl alcohol requires care. The main thing is to respect the warnings and indications on the label.
The following are safety recommendations when using the product:
- Keep alcohol closed and out of reach of children and pets in a cool place.
- Do not inhale the vapors produced by the substance, due to the risk of headaches and lung damage. Also do not ingest as it is toxic.
- Disconnect appliances from electricity before cleaning. If they were recently used, wait for them to cool. After cleaning, wait for them to dry before turning them on again.
- Avoid contact with eyes and body mucous membranes.
- Never use it in hot environments or near fire as it is flammable.
- Apply in well-ventilated areas, with or without sensitive skin.
Difference between isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol is not the same as ethyl alcohol or alcohol 96, which is based on ethanol. While the cleaning agent is for home use, ethyl disinfects superficial wounds, is bactericidal, antiseptic and intermediate in chemical reactions.
The composition of the two products is different; therefore, they can cause damage when misused. When buying alcohol to clean at home, check on the label and with the seller that you are going to take home the isopropanol alcohol.