Denatured ethanol is a substance that has become more popular in the last few years. While it doesn’t have the same disinfecting properties as regular ethanol, the substance is very cheap and can be used for cleaning large areas. You can buy the product almost anywhere, among others, from chemical stores such as Simple Solvents.
We call these products denatured because they are changed from their original, natural state into something different. Besides having a different chemical compositions, they have significantly different properties. The traits of a product can vary based on the underlying substance that was utilized.
The main thing that you need to know about denatured ethanol is that it cannot be used for human consumption. In fact, it was denatured precisely, so you cannot drink it. The product is highly toxic, and even its vapors can damage your body. If you put it onto the skin, you might experience burns (depending on chemicals that were used).
What is the secret behind denaturation?
The reason why companies denature ethanol has to do with economics.
Basically, ethanol is heavily taxed in most countries. Depending on taxation policies, alcohol beverages can be really expensive in certain parts of the world. A similar is done with cigarettes and other substances that cause dependency. With these high taxes and subsequent high prices for the products, the governments are trying to protect the local population from overconsumption.
When you alter the chemical properties of ethanol, it can no longer be drank. Once the product goes from food-grade to regular liquid, the high tax will be alleviated. You can still use the liquid but in a bit different matter.
Unlike ethanol, denatured ethanol is not a good disinfectant. However, it is still great for cleaning. You can also use it to eliminate pests, which is why this substance is great for warehouses and other facilities that are easily infested. You can also utilize it for certain lab processes.
You can stop denatured alcohol from a mile away. Oftentimes, companies will change their color by using dye. Blue and purple denatured ethanol are the most common ones, but you might be able to find them in some other colors.
Keep in mind that this color doesn’t have an esthetic function but, instead, a protective one. With these vivid colors, a manufacturer is trying to warn users against consuming the substance.
What kind of chemicals can be used for denaturation?
Lots of different things can be utilized for this process. For example, Simple Solvents use heptane for their completely denatured alcohol. You will also often see methanol. Some of these chemicals can be really problematic and could trigger a volatile reaction. For example, methanol is highly flammable, and when you combine it with ethanol, you can create a very dangerous mixture.
Unlike ethanol, added ingredients are usually not suitable for consumption. Or they might become toxic when combined with ethanol. Oftentimes, there will be several different chemicals within a barrel, making the potential side effects that much more unpredictable.
Always remember that not all denatured alcohols are volatile. They might vary in terms of their potential dangers. Some of them can even be utilized for creation of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. So, it is not that you’ll instantly die if you get into contact with the substance. Nevertheless, you should still properly inquire about the product before making a purchase and learn more about its potential risks.
How can people use denatured ethanol?
Denatured alcohol products can be utilized in numerous ways. Depending on a particular chemical, you can use them as:
- You can utilize the product as a pest repellant. If a chemical is highly toxic, you can simply put it in places where there are likely to be pests or insects. It might not be ideal for gardens and other places where plants and people can get in touch with the chemical.
- A lot of companies utilize these products for window cleaning and other similar surfaces. Denatured ethanol can evaporate really quickly without leaving any smudges. In that sense, it might even be better than some other, traditional cleaning products.
- People who are into furniture refurbishing often struggle with wax and glue. These are common products used during restoration projects, and they can be quite a nuisance. There is only a handful of substances that can efficiently remove them, for example, denatured alcohols.
Before utilizing one of these products, make sure to contact a manufacturer for additional tips and suggestions.
About the author: Nikolay Stoyanov is ther CEO of a leading cannabis marketing agency in Denver, Colorado. Nikolayhas been helping CBD, cannabis and marijuana brands boost their online presence since 2015.