When talking about disinfectants, it doesn’t get much better than 140 proof alcohol. This product is also known as 70% alcohol and isopropyl alcohol (or IPA). The substance is commonly used for hospitals, cleanrooms, electronics, pharmaceutics, and medical devices facilities.
Depending on how you use an alcohol product, they can provide different benefits. However, they can also pose a threat if you don’t utilize them properly. This is why you need to buy products that are properly purposed, like the ones within the Simple Solvents store.
In this article, we will take a look at 140 proof alcohol, and we will compare it with some other alcohol products on the market.
What makes 70% alcohol the best disinfecting product on the market?
Isopropyl alcohol, which has between 60 to 90 percent alcohol content, is ideal for killing various microbes. As long as the chemical has more than 50% of alcohol, it will have amazing disinfecting characteristics. However, its usefulness sharply drops when below this threshold.
An interesting thing about alcohol products is that higher concentration substances are not actually better at disinfecting. This is a bit confusing for people who don't understand the subject matter.
Water, not alcohol, is crucial for the killing of microbes. It works as a catalyst that denatures proteins of cell membranes. As the substance penetrates the cells, it will completely permeate it, thus coagulating proteins within. As a result, the microorganism will die in the process.
This water content helps alcohol stick to the surface. In other words, it slows down evaporation. Isopropyl alcohol will remain longer on the surface, which means that it will have a prolonged effect compared to some other alcohol products. However, you still need some alcohol within the substance, or it simply won’t provide an impact.
If a substance has more than 90% alcohol, it is also bad. These chemicals will not kill fungi and bacteria. But, they might act long enough to disinfect a wound. Keep in mind that certain disinfectants will be able to eliminate spores. These are usually categorized as chemical sterilants.
Can 140 proof alcohol kill fungal and bacteria spores?
When external conditions are unfavorable, certain bacteria have the ability to transform into spores. In such a state, they will slow their metabolic activity. Also, they will have increased cidal resistance while also becoming immune to alcohol-based products.
These spores will remain dormant for a time. When the outside conditions change, they will turn into vegetative states and start growing once again. Contrary to its disinfecting properties, sterilization will provide sporicidal attributes.
Can you sterilize objects with 140 proof alcohol?
Another thing that is often associated with isopropyl alcohol is sterilization. But, can the product be used in this capacity? Perhaps the biggest issue is that most users don’t understand the difference between some of these terms. For example, they might not know what it means to disinfect compared to sanitize.
Both of these processes are utilized when we wish to decontaminate something. Disinfection mainly relates to the removal of microbes from inanimate objects, while sterilization represents the complete elimination of all the microorganisms within an affected area. From this, we can conclude that sterilization is a much more thorough process.
Unfortunately, 70% alcohol is not regarded as a great sterilizing agent. It simply cannot kill off spores or hydrophilic viruses. Because of that, it shouldn’t be used for medical procedures. IPA is much better suited for some other processes like disinfecting tools, cleaning rooms, or disinfecting certain packaging.
Why not use a higher concentration of the product when performing disinfection?
There is a very good reason why facilities prefer a lower concentration of isopropyl alcohol when disinfecting areas and objects. While you might think that 91% and higher concentration is better, it isn't actually so.
70% alcohol fulfills all the requirements for killing off viruses and bacterial. On top of that, it is great for other general purposes. The product is also great because it doesn't produce the same amount of vapor and strong odor as some other alcohol products. This makes it much safer because you won't have to think about potential combustion when disinfecting larger areas.
Keep in mind that higher concentration alcohol can be very volatile when combined with oxygen, air, and light. The mix of chemicals will form unstable peroxides, potentially causing an explosion. The likelihood of this increases with the presence of aluminum.
Due to the fact that 140 proof alcohol has less alcohol, it won’t be as flammable. At the same time, it comes at a lower price tag, which makes it optimal for larger surfaces where you have to use high quantities of the product.
And of course, we cannot neglect the bigger reason, and that is the fact that 140 proof alcohol is simply more efficient.
When would you use 99% alcohol?
While higher concentrated products might not be ideal for disinfection, they still have their purpose. For example, 99% alcohol is great for companies that work with sensitive materials. They need to clean surfaces, but they cannot endanger their products. Given its low water content, 99% alcohol is one of the best solutions in this particular situation.
The product can be used to clean computer chips, circuit boards, and other sensitive objects. Besides the fact that it has low water content, it evaporates rather quickly, meaning that the surface of the object will not be affected for too long. This is one of the things that 140 proof alcohol doesn't do so well.
Where should I buy 70% alcohol?
This product is readily available in numerous solvent stores such as Simple Solvents. If you wish to buy 140 proof alcohol, there aren't many places in the US that will provide the same quality of product and service.
Simple Solvents company protects all its products so that they’re safely delivered to your address. Furthermore, we will help you out with any and all questions that you might have regarding 140 proof alcohol and its potential uses.