Talk:Denatured alcohol

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( Denaturation: refactor & Dab page)[edit]

I've merged in some info that was originally on the denaturation page. However, I moved denaturation to Denaturation (Biochemistry), so refer to the latter for the page history.
--Kieran 14:41, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

   (Someone did the right thing, and lowercased that "B".)
--Jerzyt 00:59, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Propose merge with Ethanol[edit]

Ethanol” seems to cover denatured alcohol in about the same depth as does this article. Perhaps that content should be moved here, or this content should be moved there. —Fleminra 08:31, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

This page should be moved into ethanol, as that page is a catch-all for the chemical, its uses, applications, etc. Dancarney 15:43, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I strongly disagree on moving to Ethanol. People who do not know much about shellac and about rubbing alcohol, especially non-English speakers, might have trouble finding this material without a separate entry. I do not believe the "redirect" system is flexible enough to redirect to a subheading; that means a redirect to Ethanol would introduce the danger (to life or health) that a person in possession of denatured alcohol might drink it.
You could redirect to rubbing alcohol but that has water in it, while most denatured alcohol does not. Again, for safety reasons (including that instead of isopropyl alcohol other dangerous additives might be used) it is wisest not to redirect to rubbing alcohol either, lest someone open a can of denatured alcohol containing ketones or acetone (and no water!) and give a massage with it!
--Carrionluggage 05:44, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
I totally agree with the statement above, as this article can provide a quick reference what denaturated alcohol is. i think i wouldnt find it in the huge ethanol article. —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) . 14:43, 12 March 2006
I agree with "unsigned" above. I found the page by literally Googling "denatured alcohol" and found it a very useful description. —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) . 03:25, 15 March 2006
   Redirects have been able to target sections and subsections for a long time, maybe even by '06, but even so, where there's a public-safety matter involved, it should be borne in mind that sections are retitled much more casually than articles, which can turn a Rdr to a section into a Rdr to the top of the article.
--Jerzyt 05:45, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

"...most of which are indeed toxic to humans, but not all." Does this mean there are some denatured alcohols that are not toxic to humans, or does this mean that there are some humans to whom denatured alcohol is not toxic? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pjedicke (talkcontribs) 18:30, 16 January 2016 (UTC)


From the article:

Methanol itself is not toxic; rather, the toxicity is due to the accumulation of its metabolites — formaldehyde and formic acid.

What an irresponsible statement. Somebody needs to advise the CDC that methanol isn't actually toxic after all.
--Brianko (talk) 00:10, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I've edited the statement a little...
--Thenickdude (talk) 15:11, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Meth BP is 65C while eth is 78C. These temps are sufficiently different for even a crudely made simple still to reduce the meth concentration below 1% with a single pass. This level is much less toxic considering it is mixed with eth. The bad tasting additives should have the property that they both remain in the wash, and contaminate the distillate. Chemicals with very low taste thresholds are used. (talk) 02:04, 22 December 2016 (UTC)


Often enough, mouthwash is denatured alcohol: the active ingredients in the mouthwash also serve as the denaturants. For example, the formula for S.D. Alcohol 37 (27 C.F.R. 21.64) is, in itself, fairly close to the formula for Listerine. (Mouthwash is of course diluted with water, and Listerine also contains wintergreen in addition to mint, eucalyptus, and thyme oils.)
--121a0012 (talk) 05:46, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Methylated spirit[edit]

The term is "methylated spirit" (singular) not "spirits", because there is only one spirit: the ethanol. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:54, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Other uses- circuit boards[edit]

Common use of Denatured Alcohol is cleaning of electronics. A cell phone that was dropped in water (especially salt water) can be soaked in this solution and in most cases can save a phone.

- ZeusBAP 19:11, 21 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zeusbap (talkcontribs)

But in some cases, water comes mixed with the alcohol itself to dilute it; that might be an issue depending on the situation. You need also be careful because sometimes glues and other stuff in the devices might be soluble or otherwise react with the alcohol or some of the denaturants. -- (talk) 22:46, 8 December 2014 (UTC)


I'm not very familiar with Wikipedia policy, so I won't edit. But, just as an average joe reading this article the statement that says "the United States federal government denaturing program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people" seemed non-neutral. The assertion that the policy that mandates production of a solvent such that it is potentially lethal "killed" people is the start of a debate on the policy, not a neutral statement of fact.

I think it would be more neutral to write something like "Since the institution of the United States federal government denaturing program, some estimates indicate that at least 10,000 people have died from ingesting denatured alcohol products" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:33, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

British CDA formulation[edit]

Changing methanol in the formulation of British CDA to wood naphtha. The source given specifies "wood naphtha", which is further defined later on that page, and states "Please note that methyl alcohol (methanol) is not identical to legally defined wood naphtha, or to any approved wood naphtha substitute". - (talk) 10:48, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Relevant page history[edit]

Some old page history that used to be at the title "denatured alcohol" can now be found at Talk:Denatured alcohol/Old history. Graham87 14:20, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Passive Voice[edit]

"in countries where laws are written in passive voice" this is clearly some sort of prank. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Link to denaturing[edit]

There is a link to "Denaturation (biochemistry)" at the beginning of the third paragraph of the intro section. This page describe the denaturation of proteins. A quick read of this page shows that the process of the denaturation of proteins described in this paragraph is not related to the denaturing of alcohol. As such, the link is misleading. Someone should remove it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:50, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Word usage[edit]

Hi, not sure that stating that the additives are there to make it more Poisonous as it sounds like it is done deliberatly. Why would someone want to make ethanol more poisonous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pjones4981 (talkcontribs) 15:05, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

This does seem stupid and requires a solid citation. Making alcohol poisonous just for the sake of being able to put a "warning: poison" label on it to discourage drinking seems like a criminal act. I suspect that in reality, what happens is that the label is put on without actually making it poisonous. (talk) 01:30, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
It is done deliberately, and if either of you were to actually read the article you'd know that hardly the "criminal act" of producers, it's actually a regulatory requirement.
PS, new comments go on the bottom of a page.
oknazevad (talk) 04:24, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
   PPS: No they don't : -- they go, indented another step, right after what you're responding to , or -- if there've been any other subthread(s) started by responding directly to what you're also responding to -- at the same indentation depth as their starts, but lower on the page than all the older ones.
--Jerzyt 00:00
& 10:50, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh! i wasn't thinking incisively enuf to notice that the placement of that response from me was a pretty good example of what i was describing! :-D
--Jerzyt 11:24, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Denaturing is a common tactic to make ethanol not intended for drink completely unsuitable for drink, and thus taxed differently.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:44, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  What i say in the following falls far short of notability, but some notable versions of the ideas have probably come out of notable pens, and could perhaps, after research, provide additional relevant content:
   Such steps, whether taken out of malice or for profit, is clearly immoral, and BTW has probably been perpetrated more than once by criminals:
  1. passing the poisoned liquor off as your competitor's (in order to make your competing goods seem more desirable), or
  2. as a way of demonstrating ruthlessness by eliminating a competitor via a presumably agonizing and somewhat slow death, or
  3. to realize a higher profit margin (presumably making methanol -- an even simpler compound -- either separately or in a side-reaction accompanying ethanol production, lowers overall production cost) by exploiting drinkers' desire and/or compulsion for the effects of ethanol.
   An argument (perhaps an anarch-oid one) can be made that
using government's monopoly on violence/of the legitimate use of force is not so different from
criminally exploiting the rest of the populace,
and that there's a moral equivalency between
criminals terrorizing victims for profit and
governments risking poisoning naifs and reckless fools by denaturing alcohol solely to maintain the practicality of mandating that retailers "skim" on government's behalf, the difference (called excise taxes) between the cost of production and what the traffic will bear.
--Jerzyt 10:50, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Prohibition era[edit]

It was done deliberately by the government to stop people from drinking. Kortoso (talk) 16:31, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

   (At the end of this sentence, i'll be done quibbling over the distinction between gov't doing something and requiring companies to do it as a condition of allowing them to do something else.)
   Interesting point, except that wasn't so done. Yeah, WP considers that Slate story a worthwhile source on Prohibition. But the accompanying WP article is not on Prohibition, and you sound overeager in confounding the denaturing of alcohol as a drink-suppression measure with continuing the practice during Prohibition (as they also continued it beyond Prohibition).
--Jerzyt 05:30, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Miscible vs immiscible[edit]

Immiscible liquids are easy to separate, I think what is meant is miscible. But it may be possible to separate miscible liquids by distillation. In any event we need a source for this statement. Martijn Meijering (talk) 10:19, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

@Quercus solaris: you are edit warring. You're not supposed to remove a dubious tag as I reminded you in my edit message. Please restore the tags until we've had a discussion about this. Martijn Meijering (talk) 18:18, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

SD Alcohol 40-B[edit]

There is a redirect from [Alcohol 40-B] to here at Denatured alcohol with no explanation as to what "SD Alcohol 40-B" actually is. Could someone knowledgeable please address this? By reading this talk page I get the impression that it may be a US statute for a chemical mixture. (talk) 16:54, 9 March 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps the redirect would be better sent to here? (talk) 16:59, 9 March 2016 (UTC)