The Incredible Uses of Denatured Alcohol

denatured-alcoholDenatured alcohol has a variety of uses. It’s referred to as “denatured” alcohol because it includes ingredients not made for consumption and toxic if consumed. Not only can it be used as a clean-burning fuel for marine and camping stoves, it works well as a cleaner and sanitizing agent in a variety of commercial and industrial environments. Because denaturing the alcohol doesn’t alter the ethanol molecule, it makes an excellent solvent for many other projects.

Worldwide Janitor’s Denatured Alcohol contains Isopropanol and Methanol and is sold in a case of four, 1-gallon bottles. Because it is considered a hazardous material, additional shipping costs will be added to the order when shipped via UPS. Our packaging of this product is the best cost saver for people looking to buy in bulk, large amounts at a time, having it shipped via a freight carrier.

Glass Cleaner

Diluted properly, denatured alcohol works well as a window cleaner, leaving a streak-free shine. Mix the diluted denatured alcohol in a spray bottle. Spray it on windows and use a squeegee to clean them. Use a lint-free cloth or paper towel to wipe any additional cleaner off of the windows. Because denatured alcohol evaporates quickly, you’ll be able to see the results of cleaning the windows almost immediately.

General Cleaner and Sanitizer

Denatured alcohol can be diluted to assist in general cleaning and sanitizing. This includes toilets, bathroom stalls, sinks, kitchens and almost any other hard surface. Dilute the denatured alcohol with equal parts of warm water. Wearing gloves, dip a clean rag in the mixture and wipe down areas such as tables, sinks, stoves and countertops. Denatured alcohol can be poured directly into the toilet, then scrubbed and flushed to sanitize the bowl. It can also clean mirrors using a lint-free cloth or paper towel. It can also be used  to sanitize areas such as receptacles for liquid hand soap, hand towels and to sanitize door handles.

Remove Ink Stains

Ink stains are common in office settings. Pretreating an ink stain with denatured alcohol can assist in removing the stain from clothes and other textiles such as curtains and upholstery. Before using it, test a hidden area of the textile to ensure the denatured alcohol won’t ruin it. If it’s safe, use a small amount of denatured alcohol on the stain and a clean, cotton or textured rag to scrub the stain. Allow it to work for a few minutes, then remove the denatured alcohol with a clean, damp rag.

Remove Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can be a nuisance, especially in commercial and industrial buildings susceptible to high levels of humidity. This includes underground basements, industrial and commercial facilities near water, such as the ocean, lakes and other areas with high humidity levels. Equal parts of denatured alcohol and water sprayed directly onto mold and mildew will eliminate it. Spray the mold or mildew with the denatured alcohol mixture. Allow it to soak for a few minutes, then wipe the surface with a clean damp rag and allow it to dry. You may choose to use an industrial fan to assist the drying process. Because mold and mildew can eventually destroy structures, staying ahead of it is critical.

Cleaner for Metal Parts

Unlike other cleaners that may tarnish metal parts and other surfaces, denatured alcohol is an excellent choice to clean metal parts and surfaces. Because it evaporates so quickly, it won’t ruin the metal, but clean and sanitize it properly. This includes stainless steel appliances used in commercial kitchens and many other mechanical parts on cars. Some companies that manufacture the parts recommend using denatured alcohol to clean them.

Assist in Removing Tape and Other Sticky Substances from Surfaces and Floors

Many commercial and industrial facilities use tape on windows, refrigerators and other areas to hang signs or post information for customers and employees. The tape often leaves a sticky residue. Other substances, such as gum and food can create more work while cleaning floors. Wipe the sticky substance with denatured and a dry cloth. Allow it to saturate the spot. Use a tool, such as a metal-edged paint scraper lightly to remove sticky substance. Repeat the process if necessary.

Cleaner for Untreated Wood and Mixing with Shellac

Untreated wood needs to be cleaned before treating the wood with a stain, shellac or paint. Denatured alcohol assists in cleaning the wood after sanding it to prepare it for  other projects. Wear protective gloves and treat the wood outside in a dry area. Use a lint-free cloth and wipe the wood with undiluted denatured alcohol. The denatured alcohol will dry quickly and clean the wood. After the wood is dry, stain, paint or install the untreated wood.

Not often used because it’s been replaced with polyurethane and other resins, shellac works best if thinned with denatured alcohol. Mixing denatured alcohol and shellac in equal parts can make cleaning dust, finishing or resurfacing porous wood an easy job. Use a cheese cloth or lint-free towel to apply it. Stop hinges from tarnishing over time by using equal parts of shellac and denatured alcohol. It also works well as a primer for wood to allow the wood to absorb the shellac more evenly. If you use shellac, always have denatured alcohol to assist it on wood surfaces you plan on refinishing.

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50 Responses to The Incredible Uses of Denatured Alcohol

  1. Lisa says:

    will it kill poison ivy?

  2. Jen's Watmuff says:

    Will it remove rust stains from shower with out damages to the surface of the shower wall or floor?

  3. Tanya says:

    I have heard that vodka can be used as a b.o. remover from clothing. A friend suggested denatured alcohol as an alternative to vodka as it would be considerably less expensive. Thoughts?

    • Worldwide Janitor says:

      Hi, what type of detergent are you using? That sounds like something the detergent should normally remove. If yours isn’t working, I’d recommend trying something different or adding Oxy Care or Oxy Clean to a pre-wash cycle.

    • Carol says:

      Odoban works well and is a disinfectant too. Also, oxi laundry ? s awesome for my Airbnb. If that doesn’t work kaboom !! We had bloody sheets and kaboom made them white again, not a bleach just back to normal clean.

  4. Scooter Maxx says:

    To save a cell phone submerged in water, turn it off, immerse it in a bowl of denatured alcohol for 10 minutes, air dry 10 minutes, seal it in a zip lock bag of white rice for a week and it will be good as new.white

    • jdizzle says:

      Not true, this will destroy the plastics in the phone, peels paint etc.
      Don’t suggest it if you haven’t tried it.

  5. Johnny says:

    Hi, wondering if it will take out stains on stucco? Thanks.

    • Worldwide Janitor says:

      Hi, not sure – and it probably depends on the type of stain. But a good rule of thumb is to try a small amount in an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t cause any problems before applying it in areas that are more noticeable.

  6. Big John says:

    Is it safe on mirrors and glass shower doors

    • Worldwide Janitor says:

      Safe to use on glass – I’d limit it’s use on plexiglass though because I’m not so sure about that. Some chemicals can cause plexiglass to get cloudy over time.

  7. Charlene Santangelo says:

    Can it remove outdoor house paint from vinyl door frame?

    • Worldwide Janitor says:

      I don’t think so. I think you will need paint stripper for that. Always try a bit on an inconspicuous area first to make sure that it doesn’t damage the item you’re trying to work on.

  8. Jeffrey Anderson says:

    It is also very good for cleaning windshield Waper Blades

    • Rosebud says:

      I’m not sure what “ Waper” blades are – is it a brand? If they mean regular wiper blades – I would be careful using denatured alcohol on rubber as it is a strong solvent and drying agent and very toxic. Denatured alcohol is not a drinking type alcohol which even that can cause alcohol poisoning. It may clean the residue but leave it dried out and accelerate its destruction in the sun – plastic and rubber. Windshield blades seldom need cleaning – if they are breaking down to leave smears then they need to be replaced. The best don’t last more than a year or two. If you buy the cheapest you can find – figure on six months. My suggestion — buy replacements from your dealer or search for the best performance wise. Look up on Amazon (don’t buy there, it will cost you more than local due to shipping) but use the site to see the reviews of different brands. But don’t just look at the overall all — read the bottom reviews to see what issues they had and then look at the best reviews to see what they liked so much. Then do a search on those best rated reviews and see what the price range is for that brand and particular product.

      Keep in mind even if Amazon says free shipping or you have Prime with free shipping — it’s a game (really fraudulent advertising) and shipping has been added to the product. As an example – Why pay $6 a gallon for distilled water when you can get the top brands and store brands from .69-.89/gal. Some folks charge as much as $10 and up per gallon. It’s crazy for a product you can buy local at every grocery, CVS, Walgreens, every convenience store such as 7/11, etc., , Kroger, Publix, Kohl’s, Target, Walmart, and similar stores on every corner in most towns. Water weighs 8.3 lbs per gallon – why paid for that weight when you pass by many stores that have it every day.

      When I read these comments – it points out why we have so much chemical damage to the environment. Go to the manufacturer’s website, look up”MSDS denatured alcohol”, don’t ask on a social media of people who don’t know how to use it or websites who write articles but may not reply. It’s not so much the professionals, they know the warnings and the high fines they will have to pay and the court battles — it’s the people who don’t have a clue that do the most abuse with chemicals. I mean why would you use denatured alcohol for some of the reasons listed here and then to wash down the drain into our drinking water, in the lawn to sink down into groundwater source, or into nearby wells or street sewers snd again to further poison our water sources and aquatic life? A simple soap for cleaning works in most cases, replacement of items like wiper blades, or use specific chemicals as directed by the label. If not on the label or their website — it’s not approved for that purpose. Always read labels, be responsible.

      • Tom green says:

        Buy silicone blades, they can last a long time. And yes, iso or denatured can clean wiper blades generally without doing any harm. To say that wiper blades seldom need cleaning is not the truth. Not to get into the physics or mechanics of wiper blades, but just as the name implies, it wipes OR CLEANS with every pass. Your windshield, just as the front of vehicles, are subject to a very harsh environment that includes but not is limited to oil, grease, tar, insects(very acidic), dirt etc…….Why wouldn’t you clean your wipers periodically to make them perform at their best?

  9. Emiliano D. says:

    Could I use denatured alcohol on optical plastics such as tail lamps, clear headlamps, side markers and clear gauges. If so, what would be the diluted ratio mix.

    • Worldwide Janitor says:

      Not sure, but our recommendation is usually to try it on a small inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn’t damage whatever you’re trying to clean. This is a good rule of thumb for most cleaning products.

  10. RDerkits says:

    Could you spray a mixture of water and denatured alcohol on a rug to remove smell of mothballs

    • Worldwide Janitor says:


      I’m not sure this would work or not damage the carpet. Just try it on a small area that isn’t very visible first to make sure it doesn’t damage the carpet.

  11. Dennissmith says:

    Can it be used to clean eyeglasses

  12. Chuck says:

    This article is spreading dangerous information.
    You should never be using denatured alcohol to clean things.
    Most denatured alcohol has methanol in it. Some brands have up to 50% methanol. Methanol is extremely toxic. Not worth using to clean things.
    Use Everclear instead, if you can buy it, because it is 95% ethanol, 5% water.

    • Ken says:

      Get a hold of yourself. All chemicals can be dangerous. Bleach is also extremely toxic. Vinegar can be extremely toxic when concentrated (that’s what glacial acetic acid is). Most household cleaners are toxic. It’s not what’s in them, it’s how careful you are when you use them. Please educate yourself about usage, not just content.

      Also, 95% ethanol is actually poisonous. Concentration matters.

    • Woodie says:

      I’ve been using denatured alcohol to clean picture framing glass and my windows since the late 70s. I used to be a picture framer by trade but now only do it as a hobby for friends but I would sometimes frame up words to a hundred pictures a day when we were doing stock for the stores. It works great. Never had an issue and as long as you wash your hands very soon after finishing your project you will have no problem with any leftover on your hands. Of course when you’re mixing it there is absolutely no smoking anywhere near. Any framed pictures in my house that have glass on them get cleaned with denatured. I do mind Windows twice a year with it.

    • Charlie Lange says:

      I agree with you but for another reason: Denatured alcohol is flammable. You really don’t want to be spraying it all around waiting for it to find an ignition source. It has its place; it’s good stuff, but it has to be used wisely .

  13. Gay Bishop says:

    Can you use denatured alcohol on sealed cement floors to remove paint?

  14. Nancy says:

    Will it work on a ceiling with water stains? My neighbor says I just need to wipe the affected area and then paint with latex paint. I’m skeptical and can’t find anything that agrees with this cure. What do you think?

    • Baby Monster says:

      Identify and repair the root cause. …
      Clean the stain with bleach. …
      Apply a base coat of stain-blocking primer. …
      Cover the primer with ceiling paint.

    • Bette Solomon says:

      You can get a sealer at the paint store that will seal over your stains. There are water- and oil-based sealers. Check with salesman/ depends on what kind of stain and what kind of paint.

  15. Simeon says:

    i accidentally liked my finger when i cleaned it with a wet wipe that has denatured alcohol and water (and other stuff) am i going to be ok cus i can taste a bit of bitter in my throat and then iimidietly drinked water am i safe or should i seek help

  16. Will Crawford says:

    Not all stain blocking primers cover with one coat, and others don’t cover with two. I have found aluminum paint covers any stain with one coat. Use that in place of your stain blocking primers. And it’s easy to finish coat over.

  17. Dian McCaffrey says:

    Is fuel Denatured Alcohol safe to use in cleaning a quartz countertop?

  18. Bernie says:

    How about to kill coronavirus?

  19. Karen says:

    hello – cleaning supplies are scares in my area and I do have denatured alcohol. What part water / denatured alcohol is safe for cleaning this virus?

  20. Lou says:

    It’s hard to get or find the answer I’m looking for. From what I can find is that denatured alcohol is a great cleaner and disinfectant when diluted On hard surfaces such as glass. I’m trying to find out if it’s safe to use daily on counter tops where food is prep? With this coronavirus going around it’s hard to find if at all Rubbing alcohol and other cleaners. Bleach is not safe so I can’t use that.

  21. Kristy says:

    I’m a Barber and want to know if this can be used to sterilize our scissors and clippers with low saturation time?

  22. Terrin says:

    Can I use denatured alcohol just to remove the old wax buildup, not to remove the finish on my wooden floors.

  23. jerome grigoli says:

    i have a bio ethanol fireplace—can i mix denatured alcohol with bio ethanol to use as my fuel? if so, any particular ratio?

  24. Lori Spangler says:

    Can you tell me the ratio of water to the denatured alcohol for cleaning windows? And can I use the one labeled for clean burning fuel for alcohol stoves for this?

  25. Lin Curt says:

    Is Denatured Alcohol good for cleaning granite and marble countertops? Will it damage them in any way?

  26. flea says:

    Where are the “31 responses”? 🙁 I’m wondering if I can use this to wipe down/clean some antique end tables as I think iI once read somewhere.

  27. Cindie Thompson says:

    I recently moved into a house where the previous owners were HEAVY smokers. The kitchen cabinets are covered in cigarette and nicotine tar to the point where you can scrape it off with your fingernails under some of the cabinets where they had their ashtrays sitting. Will denatured alcohol easily take off the tar? I am having a hard time removing it.

  28. Vernese Gunter says:

    Can I use denatured alcohol to get hazy or cloudy film off of my hardwood floors?

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