What is isopropyl alcohol and what is it used for?

What is isopropyl alcohol and what is it used for?

Isopropyl alcohol, also called isopropanol, is used for different purposes, the most common being those related to cleaning and disinfection. But these are not the only uses for isopropyl alcohol, since it is a product with numerous applications also in the industrial field. Something that you should keep in mind when using this alcohol is that it is a flammable product, so it is essential to use it carefully.

Below, we explain what isopropyl alcohol is and what it is for, in addition to indicating how to use it correctly. So that you can use it without risk and benefit from the use of isopropyl alcohol widely.

What is isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol?

Isopropyl alcohol is not ethyl alcohol like the one from the pharmacy. But rather a chemical compound that also receives other names such as isopropanol, propanol, or API, among others. The main characteristics of this product are that it is colorless and has a strong odor. Although its aroma may vary depending on the product that contains this type of alcohol.

Its texture is usually like that of any other alcohol. But when it is at very low and extremely cold temperatures. It is noticeable that it is dense and thick. If we talk about the characteristics of isopropyl alcohol. It is worth insisting that it is a highly flammable chemical compound. So you have to be very careful when it is used, how it is used, and where it is stored or stored. It is best to keep the product that contains this type of alcohol well away from heat sources.

What is isopropyl alcohol for – uses

Now that we know what this product is, we have to talk about what isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol is for. In general, this alcohol is mainly used as a disinfectant. Although it may have other applications. We talk about the most common uses of isopropyl alcohol:

  • Sanitizer: This type of alcohol is used as a sanitizer, especially for the hands. In fact, it is common for products such as wipes or some gels to contain a certain percentage of isopropyl alcohol since this prevents microorganisms from proliferating and growing on the skin. That is why isopropyl alcohol is often used to prevent or kill pests. If you want to learn how to make a homemade disinfectant , be sure to visit this other article.
  • Cleaning: isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol is also used to clean certain objects such as electronic equipment –as long as they are disconnected and cold–, and all those surfaces where it is common for marks or fingerprints to remain. In addition, it is useful for cleaning windows or mirrors, blinds, and floors. Although you can also learn how to make homemade cleaners with natural products.
  • Pharmacy and medicine: Isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol is also used in this sector to preserve biological samples in a laboratory or to use in cosmetic products to prevent them from foaming. This is the case with toners, purifying masks, etc.
  • Automotive: this alcohol is also used in the automotive industry since it is one of the additives that are added to the fuel. In addition, it is useful to prevent the water in the vehicle from freezing when it is very cold, although it can also have de-icing effects. In industries in this sector or in workshops, it is also often used to remove grease and oil from surfaces, machines, or tools.
  • Industry: Isopropyl alcohol is used in other industries as well. For example, it is used as a solvent in paints or dyes, as well as a solvent in resins and essential oils.

How to use isopropyl alcohol correctly

Due to the characteristics of isopropyl alcohol -especially its strong odor and the fact that it is flammable-, it is important to be very careful when using it. So how can we use isopropyl alcohol correctly so that there are no problems and we benefit from its properties? You just have to follow these tips when you want to use it at home:

  • Apply a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to a damp cloth when cleaning surfaces, electronic equipment, etc. If you are going to use it to clean a garment, apply a little directly to the fabric. And let the alcohol work before putting the garment to wash.
  • Pass a dry cotton cloth or kitchen paper over the cleaned surface or object to polish. You can do this gesture quickly since the product evaporates very quickly. In addition, it does not leave any traces or marks.

You already know how to use this product correctly. However, from this article we want you to take into account the following precautions:

  • Wear gloves: it is important that you always wear gloves. As this product could irritate your skin (especially if it is not diluted with other substances). Remember that, when it is used in cosmetics, there is a small percentage of alcohol that is mixed with many other ingredients, so it is not harmful.
  • Do not inhale it: Never inhale isopropyl alcohol. Especially if it is not diluted with water or other products, as it could damage your respiratory tract.
  • Store it properly: Store isopropyl alcohol away from heat sources to avoid hazards.

From this article, we hope we have helped you with these explanations about what isopropyl alcohol is. And what it is for so that you know more information about this product and the different uses it can have.