Rubbing Alcohol

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Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, also known as surgical spirit that is a liquid prepared from denatured alcohol solution.

Constituent in rubbing alcohol is 70 per cent by volume of pure, concentrated Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or Isopropanol (Isopropyl alcohol).

Properties of Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is volatile and inflammable liquid. Isopropyl rubbing alcohol contains concentration of 68 % alcohol in water or 99 % alcohol in water. Ethyl rubbing alcohol consists of 97.5 % to 100 % of ethanol with water.

It has extremely bitter taste due to the additives and a characteristic odor which prevent people from consuming it.

Isopropyl alcohol is toxic than ethyl alcohol. It is converted to acetone by the liver. Drinking isoprophyl rubbing alcohol causes nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, anesthesia, damage to various organs and has the potential to cause coma or death.

Ethyl alcohol is naturally found in alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer, and others.

Rubbing alcohol is colorless. The melting point is −89 °C (−128 °F) and the boiling point is 82.5 °C (180.5 °F).

Uses of Rubbing Alcohol

Primarily it is intended to use only as a topical antiseptic as the named suggest must be rubbed on the skin.

  1. It is also used to tighten skin pores when applied topically and works as an astringent. It also helps to stop bleeding from minor cuts by tightening the capillaries.
  2. It also can be rubbed over aching muscles or joints to reduce the pain and swelling.

Laws related to Rubbing Alcohol

In United States, rubbing alcohol is made using 87.5 -91 % by volume of ethyl alcohol that must be accordance with the requirements of the US treasury department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. It must conform to Formula 23-H (100 parts by volume of ethyl alcohol, eight parts by volume of acetone and 1.5 parts by volume of methyl isobutyl ketone). The remaining volume consists of water and the denaturants, with or without color additives, and perfume oils.

Isopropyl rubbing alcohol contains at least 355 mg of sucrose octaacetate or not less than 1.40 mg of denatonium benzoate per 100 ml volume. A stabilizer, one or more colorants may be added to it.

Warning labels on Rubbing Alcohol

All types of rubbing alcohol are inflammable and so must be kept in well-ventilated space. It must be used only as a topical antiseptic and to ingest or inhale.

Other uses of Rubbing Alcohol

Some uses of rubbing alcohol are given below

  1. Disinfectant for objects such as a thermometer, phones, small accessories and personal items.
  2. Cleans sinks: By spraying rubbing alcohol on a dry cloth, it cleans and disinfects the skin.
  3. Removes ink stains: Soaking the area containing ink stains with rubbing alcohol for few minutes can remove the stains.
  4. Disinfectant for keyboard and mouse: The constant touching of mouse and keyboard makes it unclean. Rubbing alcohol cleans and disinfects them.
  5. Removes hair spray residues from mirror.
  6. Cleans stainless steel by removing fingerprints.
  7. Mixture of one part of rubbing alcohol and five parts of water, spray it on frost covering windows. Wipe with a cloth for easy removable of the frost.

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