Whats The Difference Between Denatured Alcohol and Isopropyl Alcohol?


They all have one similarity. Both are forms of alcohol. They have a hydroxyl group as their natural functional group. Alcohol is an organic compound that has a wide range of uses.

Laboratory-Grade Denatured Ethyl Alcohol, 95%, 500mL - The Curated...
  • 500mL bottle of denatured ethyl alcohol. Denaturing agents are methanol and isopropyl alcohol.
  • Laboratory-grade material for lab and research use. Cap may be red or black, depending on availability
  • Used as a solvent
Mountain Falls 91% Isopropyl Alcohol First Aid Antiseptic for...
  • First aid antiseptic
  • Topical antimicrobial
  • For treatment of minor cuts and scrapes

In most cases it used in the cleaning of spare parts and machines. In this article, you'll learn the difference in definitions, application, usage and chemical compositions of these two alcohol compounds.

Definitions of  Denatured Alcohol?

Denatured alcohol has many names such as methylated spirit, denatured rectified spirit. Denatured alcohol is therefore an ethyl alcohol mixed with chemical substances such as methanol and methyl isobutyl ketone.

Don't confuse the normal alcohol with denatured alcohol. Normal alcohol beverages have 5 to 40% alcohol based on the total volume.

Due to the toxic substance such as methanol in the composition, denatured alcohol is poisonous for consumption. It is undrinkable. Aniline solution is added to make it smell bad causing people vomit. Know that you can when you drink denatured alcohol, you can either go blind or die in the process.

Properties and Characteristics of Denatured Alcohol

  • This is a colorless solution.
  • Aniline solution is added to it so that it can be recognized.
  • Extremely flammable, toxic and volatile because of the ethyl alcohol and methanol. Because of that, you can't use it to make perfume.
  • Bad odor.

Uses and Application of Denatured Alcohol.

  • Humans can't use denatured alcohol but they can use it for other purpose:
  • The alcohol component kills mildew on leather surface.
  • Likewise this solvent can also be used for dissolving glue, wax and grease. That's happens because it does not react with glass.
  • It is a fuel for alcohol burn and camping stoves.

What is Isopropyl Alcohol?

Isopropyl is alcohol with a branched alkyl group. Isopropyl alcohol is most popularly known as rubbing alcohol because it used to heal wounds and cuts.


  • Forms a homogenous mixture with water because, its intermolecular hydrogen bonds forms in the water.
  • It can't dissolve in salt water. Therefore, it is an aqueous solution that is separable by adding salt.
  • It is flammable and toxic.
  • Volatile alcohol, if you open it, it will evaporates
  • Like denatured alcohol, it has a bad odor and a sour taste.

Uses and Application of Isopropyl Alcohol.

  • It is a solvent solution for non-polar compounds like disinfectant and as a cleaning agent.
  • It is also used for medical purposes. It can serve as an antiseptic.
  • Isopropyl alcohol used in the laboratory is for DNA extraction. It is added to the DNA solution to isolate or separate the DNA from the rest of the solution.


Denatured alcohol is toxic causing injuries to the skin if used.

Isoproply is less toxic, that's why it is used for medical purposes.

Chemical compositions.

The main chemical components of denatured alcohol are ethyl alcohol together with methanol, methyl isobutyl ketone and benzone.

The main chemical component of isopropyl alcohol molecules under components such as C1, Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms.

Last update on 2021-05-14 at 23:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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