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HC-Pedia Entry

Denatured alcohol

Denatured alcohol is ethanol altered with toxic and/or bitter ingredients, making it undesirable as an alcoholic beverage. Ethanol is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. Rubbing alcohol is often a type of denatured alcohol.


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Denatured alcohol is a degreasing agent that works best as a spot cleaner, removing hard surface soils that aren’t affected by soap, detergent, or other degreasers. Apply denatured alcohol to a clean white cloth to remove scuffs from hard floors, clear dust and smudges from electronic component surfaces, or clean up greasy spots in the kitchen. In some cases, you may need to buff the surface dry with a second clean, dry cloth.

Caution: To reduce shock and fire hazard, never pour liquid of any kind onto any electrical appliance.

Alcohol in any form is unsuitable for cleaning fabrics, carpet, upholstery, vinyl, leather or any object with unsealed paint. It can cause discoloration if allowed to remain on surfaces vulnerable to solvents in general, such as acrylics and other plastics.

Warning: Like any form of alcohol, this product is both toxic and flammable, and care must be used in handling and storage. Store denatured alcohol in tightly closed, original containers and out of the reach of children. Don’t use denatured alcohol near open flame, and be certain ventilation is sufficient to avoid concentrating flammable fumes.


Denatured alcohol:  Created on November 3rd, 2009.  Last Modified on January 1st, 2010


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