Denatured ethanol is ethanol that was altered by adding chemicals to it. Like all other denatured substances, this type of ethanol cannot be used by humans. In fact, it is highly damaging to our bodies. Regardless of its denaturant (added chemical), the liquid has ordinary ethyl alcohol at its basis.
While these products can be used for all sorts of things and are suitable for both households and companies, they are unfit for consumption. Depending on where you live, denatured ethanol might come with a warning.
The US, for example, doesn't have this requirement, so you won't be able to distinguish this substance from its appearance alone.
You should never risk it by trying to drink denatured alcohol. Furthermore, you also shouldn't apply it to the skin.
Various denaturants can be used for alcohol, some of which might be toxic. Oftentimes, methyl alcohol is used as a denaturant. If ingested, this chemical will lead to major damage to your organs and, potentially, death.
Why is ethanol denatured?
A lot of governments of the world impose additional taxes on alcohol. This is one of the main ways of battling alcoholism and unruly behavior that comes from it. This is why companies and individuals have started implementing denaturation. If an alcohol product is not fit for human consumption, or if it’s used as a basis for other chemicals, you will pay lower tax on it.
Due to its low price, denatured ethanol has become popular as a household item. It can be used for cleaning, but it is also good for pests. You can utilize the substance for smaller manufactories, shops, as well as medical facilities, and labs. Denatured ethanol is a strong disinfectant.
In some parts of the world, these substances have a specific color, so you can distinguish them from alcohol for human consumption. In most cases, purple or blue is used to mark denatured ethanol. Unfortunately, some countries do not implement this practice, which can be very dangerous for users.
What types of chemicals go into denatured alcohol?
You can use all sorts of substances to denature ethanol. As already mentioned, methanol is commonly used. This is especially true for substances that we use as a solvent or fuel.
Keep in mind that methanol is highly flammable. Its boiling point is very similar to that of ethanol, and together, they create a potent mixture.
Methanol shouldn't be ingested or absorbed through the skin. Furthermore, you shouldn't use denatured ethanol that has methanol as a basis for cosmetic products.
However, that doesn't mean that all types of denatured alcohol are dangerous. As long as the denaturant is harmless and fit for human consumption, you might be able to use the mixture.
For example, you have specially denatured alcohol or SDA that is suitable for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Oftentimes, you can even see what kind of denaturant was used so that you can use the product without having to worry.
How can you use denatured ethanol?
Although the substance is potentially dangerous, it can be a great ally if you use it carefully. It is amazing for removing stains, greasy, and for some other purposes.
Here is a list of its potential uses:
What will happen to your body if you drink denatured alcohol?
Again, it all depends on the substance that was used.
Alcohol, by itself, should cause an adverse effect. The problem can be amplified with each added ingredient.
Sometimes, you might feel a cumulative effect as a result of several dangerous denaturants. But, given that methanol is the most common substance, let's focus on it for a second. People who use this chemical might suffer nervous and organ damage and even death.
Denatured alcohols are not only dangerous when you ingest them but can present a hazard when you administer them in some other ways. For example, just smelling the substance can cause dizziness. Apply it to wounds can be very dangerous and might burn your skin.