Posted 9th Jun 2022
Hi guys. I need a small bottle of iso propyl alcohol to clean delicate electronics.

I have seen a 250ml bottle on amazon for £5.50 which seems cheap enough to me but ordering off amazon for this seems a bit overkill. Can I get it cheaper off the shelves in the UK?

Also, is 99% concentration bad for cleaning electronics? If so, which percentage should I be looking for please?

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    99% is what you want, less is what is bad for electronics. (takes longer to evaporate which means residue could remain that would fry electronics)

    Use gloves when handling.
  2. Avatar
    Funnily enough, I was looking for some recently when I bought Cooler Master Thermal Paste a few weeks ago.

    My local independent chemist sells Rubbing Alcohol very cheap (only £2-odd for a reasonable size bottle, think it was around 400ml?) which was isopropyl alcohol. Some pharmacies call it Surgical Spirit (though one bottle, "Care" brand, I'm looking at has Methyl Salicylate & Castor Oil in it, so, best to check the label).

    Apparently Boots sell their own brand Surgical Spirit in big bottles (going by this Quora post - one commenter says typical isopropyl alcohol %s can be 70% or 99.9%). (edited)
    Sorry, but Surgical spirit and rubbing alcohol are not the same things as isopropyl alcohol. As you said, rubbing alcohol is for a different use entirely. The active substance is Methyl Salicylate. The other ingredients are Castor Oil, Diethyl Phthalate, Industrial Methylated Spirit.

    Isopropyl alcohol is pure alcohol and is a colorless liquid with a musty, sharp odor. There are no other ingredients in a bottle of isopropyl alcohol. It's used for cleaning circuit boards and other electronics. It's also used in automotive and engineering as a water dispersant (damp start). More recently its being used by 3d resin printers, for cleaning.

    Using anything other than pure isopropyl alcohol would leave an undesirable oily residue or may have a damaging or corrosive effect on certain materials.
  3. Avatar
    I've never been able to find the pure stuff in the high street. This is the stuff I got off Amazon: £7.98 for 1L, 99.7% pure. Bargain.…TP4 (edited)
  4. Avatar
    I just get this off ebay - 1L for £6.85 delivered -…Klg
  5. Avatar
    Get the purest isopropyl or ethanol you can, the idea is for it to completely evaporate. I try to avoid using mixed cleaners and sprays as they tend to leave smears and residues behind, especially noticeable on processor dies. Use microfiber cloths or paper alternatives that don't leave lint behind. (edited)
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    With Tandy and Maplins no longer trading I'm not sure which retailer would sell this.
  7. Avatar
    Depends what you want to use it for, cleaning or 3d resin printing. It can be bought in liquid form in large litre or more bottles or smaller pressurised spray cans.

    Make sure your in a well ventilated area and wear gloves and eye protection. Ideally, you don't want to breath any fumes in or get any on your skin if possible as its an irritant and is also carcinogenic, even though its in some hand cleaners, because it evaporates quickly. It's the long term exposure to skin and fumes that matters.
  8. Avatar
    I paid about that for 1L pre 2020 (delivered from Amazon). You want as pure as you can get for electronics, never had any luck finding this in a local store (pharmacy or Boots). Note acetone is not a good substitute as it can attack certain plastics. (edited)
  9. Avatar
    Pinging @toonarmy88 in case he can help.
  10. Avatar
    Thank you so much for your responses guys! Very helpful.
  11. Avatar
    B&Q Bio Ethanol is about £10 for 2lt. By the fires. Used for indoor flame effects. Few other places sell.
    I guess contact cleaner is no good in spray can?
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