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Any chemists around here? Isopropanyl alcohol

Recent Forums Main Forum Suggestion Box Any chemists around here? Isopropanyl alcohol

This topic contains 30 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  wickededge 06/04/2018 at 10:49 am.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 31 total)
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  • #39046

    Mark76
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 179
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    People here use isopropyl alcohol for various purposes like cleaning/softening strops and cleaning diamond film. I would like to use it for the same purposes, but isopropyl alcohol is very hard to get here (even chemists don’t sell it). However, denaturated alcohol (70% and 96%) is quite easy to get. Is there anyone who can tell me whether this works similar to isopropyl alcohol or doesn’t it?

    Thanks!

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #39050

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 33
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    Mark:  I think that for our purposes, they’re almost the same thing.  According to Wikipedia, denatured alcohol is ethanol which has some additives to make it too yucky to drink.  In either case, they’ll dissolve or loosen the accumulated swarf and evaporate quickly.

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    #39052

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
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    Mark, do you have available “rubbing” alcohol? The rubbing alcohol that we use in US for rubbing on muscles, is isopropyl alcohol. It may also be denatured.  Also, do you have alcohol prep wipes?  They are sold in a box, individually packaged in little envelopes containing a small square paper towel impregnated with isopropyl alcohol. They’re used to prepare or clean the injection site for diabetics injecting insulin too treat their Diabetes.  These alcohol prep wipes are also isopropyl alcohol.  The little prep wipes would be perfect to use to clean your lapping film. One use and throw it away.  Both products should be available at your pharmacies.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #39055

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
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    As tcmeyer said, denatured alcohol is ethanol (the same type of alcohol that is in beer, wine and other beverages) with additives to prevent it from being drinkable. This is usually done so that the retailer can avoid having to pay the taxes and age restrictions that are imposed on the sale of alcoholic beverages. What is commonly know as isopropyl alcohol (properly known as 2-propanol) is very similar in chemical structure and therefore very similar in chemical properties to ethanol. 2-Propanol is most readily available as a 70% solution in water that is sold as rubbing alcohol in the pharmacy section of supermarkets. For the applications that you describe, I would expect that either ethanol or 2-propanol would be equally suitable. Use whichever one is cheaper and easier to come by.

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    #39056

    Mark76
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 179
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    Thanks for your answers, guys. Obviously I’d googled it too (and read Wikipedia where its chemical properties are explained), and I could easily find how it’s made up chemically. But I didn’t know whether the two C-atoms isopropanol (= isopropyl alcohol) has in addition to ethanol make any functional difference. On the bottle of denaturated ethanol (which is indeed ethanol with a few percents of isopropanol to make it undrinkable) it is stated that its main uses are the solution of glue and of ink from markers. Which is not exactly the same as cleaning metal swarf, hence my question.

    I’ve also looked for rubbing alcohol, but that is something that is totally unknown here (Netherlands).

    But I’ll give the ethanol a try and let you know.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #39058

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
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    I just tried, both, 91% Isopropyl Alcohol and 91% Ethyl Alcohol to clean a used Diamond lapping film pair.  Both alcohols worked equally well and easily and quickly cleaned the film. Both alcohols evaporated almost as fast as I applied it and left no residue to be felt.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #39059

    Mark76
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 179
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    Thanks Marc! By the way, did you use a paper towel? I wonder whether this wouldn’t leave paper residue in the lapping film.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #39061

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
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    I cleaned the Lapping film with a paper towel. No paper residue was left.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #39088

    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
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    As tcmeyer said, denatured alcohol is ethanol (the same type of alcohol that is in beer, wine and other beverages) with additives to prevent it from being drinkable. This is usually done so that the retailer can avoid having to pay the taxes and age restrictions that are imposed on the sale of alcoholic beverages. What is commonly know as isopropyl alcohol (properly known as 2-propanol) is very similar in chemical structure and therefore very similar in chemical properties to ethanol. 2-Propanol is most readily available as a 70% solution in water that is sold as rubbing alcohol in the pharmacy section of supermarkets. For the applications that you describe, I would expect that either ethanol or 2-propanol would be equally suitable. Use whichever one is cheaper and easier to come by.

    I first experienced the 91% Isopropyl for the cleaning of high end bowling balls made of resin. The 70% alcohol would leave a slight film, or residue behind and actually ruin the ball after a few uses. I don’t know but after that I use at least a 91% solution for any cleaning purposes.

    #39093

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 837

    As tcmeyer said, denatured alcohol is ethanol (the same type of alcohol that is in beer, wine and other beverages) with additives to prevent it from being drinkable. This is usually done so that the retailer can avoid having to pay the taxes and age restrictions that are imposed on the sale of alcoholic beverages. What is commonly know as isopropyl alcohol (properly known as 2-propanol) is very similar in chemical structure and therefore very similar in chemical properties to ethanol. 2-Propanol is most readily available as a 70% solution in water that is sold as rubbing alcohol in the pharmacy section of supermarkets. For the applications that you describe, I would expect that either ethanol or 2-propanol would be equally suitable. Use whichever one is cheaper and easier to come by.

    I first experienced the 91% Isopropyl for the cleaning of high end bowling balls made of resin. The 70% alcohol would leave a slight film, or residue behind and actually ruin the ball after a few uses. I don’t know but after that I use at least a 91% solution for any cleaning purposes.

    Interesting. I assumed that the remaining 30% in a rubbing alcohol was water. I just looked into it and there are other things including <span class=”_Tgc”>perfume oils and denaturants. In that case, I would recommend going with a higher purity solution.</span>

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    #39098

    Josh
    Participant
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    I’m curious now… I’ve seen it recommended for years to “wet” the strop with a misting of rubbing alcohol, however, if it evaporates so quickly how does it actually moisten the strops?

    For cleaning many things I use acetone, it is a little more aggressive than ribbing alcohol but pretty amazing at degreasing and removing gunk (tape residue). I don’t use this on lapping film however.

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    #39102

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
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    I’m curious now… I’ve seen it recommended for years to “wet” the strop with a misting of rubbing alcohol, however, if it evaporates so quickly how does it actually moisten the strops? For cleaning many things I use acetone, it is a little more aggressive than ribbing alcohol but pretty amazing at degreasing and removing gunk (tape residue). I don’t use this on lapping film however.

    The majority of the remaining 30% of rubbing alcohol that is not 2-propanol is water, so that doesn’t evaporate very quickly even though the 2-propanol does. I have only used my strops dry up to this point. Josh, do you wet your strops?

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    #39104

    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
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    I think acetone is a very good cleaner. However can be very harsh to certain surfaces and does leave residue behind. I do spritz my strops with 91% alcohol not so much to moisten the strop but it seems to help the paste or emulsion from coming of the strop onto the blade. After the first 3 of 4 times after loading the strop, I’m not sure that the compound coming off is as big of a concern.

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    #39115

    Mark76
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 179
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    Acetone is a very good cleaner, but mainly for glue-related things, I guess. (And nail polish for the girls .) Does it also aid in cleaning metal awarf?

    My alcohol is 96% by the way, so I hope it doesn’t leave any residue.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #39116

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
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    I’m curious as to what you all mean when you say that something”leaves residue behind.”

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