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    isopropyl alcohol

    I see loads of posts on the internet about cleaning electronics with isopropyl alcohol and that it's the best way.

    However, I can't seem to find any to buy! Is it surgical spirit in the UK? And is it safe for electronics to clean them up?

    40 Comments

    You can buy it on amazon, I bought some not long ago.
    Edited by: "DVS_Dee" 15th Mar

    Maplins will sell cleaner.. Just found this one but don't know if it correct. Bought cleaner some years back that I used on components.. Anyway.. Look here maplin.co.uk/p/s…wcB

    In the past I've used vodka

    Halfords : halfords.com/mot…0ml?cm_mmc=Google+PLA-_-Engine+Oils+and+Fluids-_-Lubricating+&+Penetrating+Oil-_-778340&_$ja=tsid:60494%7Ccgn:GoogleShopping%7Ckw:778340&istCompanyId=b8708c57-7a02-4cf6-b2c0-dc36b54a327e&istItemId=liiaqa&istBid=tziq&_$ja=tsid:35522|cid:344535484|agid:24345231244|tid:pla-277301265768|crid:83795578084|nw:g|rnd:1010098479031170258|dvc:c|adp:1o1&gclid=CLOwn4Wy2NICFQcSGwodMrgHYg

    I get mine from Amazon. Maplins also sell it.

    amazon.co.uk/s/r…B2X
    Edited by: "robertr" 15th Mar

    Original Poster

    A lot of the stuff is 70% though, especially that one on Amazon.

    I need some to clean the insides of a PS2 so was going to buy 50ml of 99.9% on eBay for £3?

    IPA is propan2ol cpc do it
    Edited by: "trott3r" 15th Mar

    superfreddy

    A lot of the stuff is 70% though, especially that one on Amazon.I need … A lot of the stuff is 70% though, especially that one on Amazon.I need some to clean the insides of a PS2 so was going to buy 50ml of 99.9% on eBay for £3?



    I'd avoid eBay. This is the specific one I get from Amazon which is 99.9% alcohol.

    amazon.co.uk/d/B…hol

    It is also known as rubbing alcohol.

    Original Poster

    robertr

    I'd avoid eBay. This is the specific one I get from Amazon which is 99.9% … I'd avoid eBay. This is the specific one I get from Amazon which is 99.9% alcohol.https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Beauty/TNBL-Professional-Pure-Isopropanol-Alcohol/B00IT5ENMY/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1489577322&sr=8-3&keywords=isopropyl+alcohol



    What's wrong with getting it from a seller on ebay?

    Is it safe to use on electronics that get hot? Online, some people say it's dangerous as it's flammable?

    STEWIEG

    It is also known as rubbing alcohol.



    Be careful with the term 'rubbing alcohol' as it covers a wide range of products, not just isopropyl.

    superfreddy

    What's wrong with getting it from a seller on ebay?Is it safe to use on … What's wrong with getting it from a seller on ebay?Is it safe to use on electronics that get hot? Online, some people say it's dangerous as it's flammable?



    Never use it on anything that is hot as it is highly flammable. Personally, I avoid eBay for anything that can be easily faked.

    Original Poster

    robertr

    Never use it on anything that is hot as it is highly flammable. … Never use it on anything that is hot as it is highly flammable. Personally, I avoid eBay for anything that can be easily faked.



    It'll be to clean the internals of a PS2.

    Are you saying that once you've used it on electronics, if the electronics then gets hot, it's dangerous?

    superfreddy

    It'll be to clean the internals of a PS2.Are you saying that once you've … It'll be to clean the internals of a PS2.Are you saying that once you've used it on electronics, if the electronics then gets hot, it's dangerous?


    Can use it on anything whilst it's cool. Just make sure that it's completely dry and all alcohol has evaporated before powering it back on.

    What sort of electronics are you cleaning ? I'd be careful around certain things as it degreases very easily. Also always remember ESD. Fibreglass pencils are good also.

    Check out
    superuser.com/que…hol

    Original Poster

    kester76

    What sort of electronics are you cleaning ? I'd be careful around certain … What sort of electronics are you cleaning ? I'd be careful around certain things as it degreases very easily. Also always remember ESD. Fibreglass pencils are good also.Check out https://superuser.com/questions/598468/how-do-i-clean-my-computer-using-isopropyl-alcohol



    As above, a PS2.

    Only the lens for the DVD drive on it, the inside of the USB ports, any mucky bits inside. I was advised alcohol is best to use.

    superfreddy

    As above, a PS2.Only the lens for the DVD drive on it, the inside of the … As above, a PS2.Only the lens for the DVD drive on it, the inside of the USB ports, any mucky bits inside. I was advised alcohol is best to use.


    I think canned air and an ESD brush would be better. You really only need Iso for degreasing stuff like cigarette smoke, Cola and old thermal grease. I'd clean pads and contacts with it but you should fine as 99% of devices are just dusty and in need of a quick clean.

    Original Poster

    kester76

    I think canned air and an ESD brush would be better. You really only need … I think canned air and an ESD brush would be better. You really only need Iso for degreasing stuff like cigarette smoke, Cola and old thermal grease. I'd clean pads and contacts with it but you should fine as 99% of devices are just dusty and in need of a quick clean.



    What about the lens on the DVD drive?

    superfreddy

    What about the lens on the DVD drive?


    Does it need cleaning ? Unless it's miss reading I'd leave it but you can clean the len with a cotton bud and a small amount of Iso.
    youtube.com/wat…oNo

    Original Poster

    kester76

    Does it need cleaning ? Unless it's miss reading I'd leave it but you can … Does it need cleaning ? Unless it's miss reading I'd leave it but you can clean the len with a cotton bud and a small amount of Iso.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FCES1I-oNo



    I don't really want to buy iso just for giving the lens a clean!

    I'm refurbishing one so wanted to clean all of it.

    superfreddy

    I don't really want to buy iso just for giving the lens a clean!I'm … I don't really want to buy iso just for giving the lens a clean!I'm refurbishing one so wanted to clean all of it.


    That's why it comes in small bottles. It's not a spray and pray solution You dab a small amount on a cotton botton and clean with it. Plastic is semi tolerant to the stuff but it will damage most rubber and a lot of plastic finishes if you're not careful. It's the same stuff you find in some nail vanish removers with added ethyl acetate. I've had a small bottle for the last 15 years

    Most plastic cases I'd clean with warm soapy water. £5 isn't that much for a product.

    There are 99.9% onamazon. Alternatively the arctic silver arcticlean one is very good for cleaning. I used it myself and works very well. It's got a counters gent to wipe it clean.

    Original Poster

    Yeah i guess i could buy a small bottle then. Providing you use it on cold electronics, and then wait until it's completely dry before turning them on, is there no risk of igniting?

    It it for lazer lens? If so a dry cotton bud. Sorted.. Don't need cleaner or anything. 80+% it's got old and lost power. Just replace drive

    superfreddy

    Yeah i guess i could buy a small bottle then. Providing you use it on … Yeah i guess i could buy a small bottle then. Providing you use it on cold electronics, and then wait until it's completely dry before turning them on, is there no risk of igniting?


    Flash point is around 80c so you should be safe heat wise.

    I have some 89.9% absinth you could use? You have to do a shot of it first mind :P

    WD-40 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner 

    Diluted it an excellent delivery icer.

    hi superfreddy, I have been using isopropyl for years back in the day I used to use it to clean video recorder heads and the mechanism it's a great cleaning fluid. The last time I baught some was from ebay it was 99.9% pure it cost me about £5. Just make sure the details are printed on the bottle not a sticker as it could be fake. Hope this helps. cheers

    Original Poster

    phlhadfield73

    hi superfreddy, I have been using isopropyl for years back in the day I … hi superfreddy, I have been using isopropyl for years back in the day I used to use it to clean video recorder heads and the mechanism it's a great cleaning fluid. The last time I baught some was from ebay it was 99.9% pure it cost me about £5. Just make sure the details are printed on the bottle not a sticker as it could be fake. Hope this helps. cheers



    ​Thanks. Is 99% best for everything then? I don't see the point of 91% rubbing alcohol or 70%?

    Which one did you buy from eBay? Thanks

    Original Poster

    Could i use 99% to clean a sticky mark off the border of a TV which is plastic?

    superfreddy

    Could i use 99% to clean a sticky mark off the border of a TV which is … Could i use 99% to clean a sticky mark off the border of a TV which is plastic?


    No, don't get it on your LCD monitor either as it would be bad.

    Original Poster

    kester76

    No, don't get it on your LCD monitor either as it would be bad.



    ​So it's pretty much useless for what i want it for then lol

    You can use it on plastic, It usually comes in a plastic bottle too.

    Original Poster

    Apparently you can't use it on plastic according to others?

    superfreddy

    Apparently you can't use it on plastic according to others?



    ​Bleach, White spirits, Meths and Petrol can be kept in plastic containers but I wouldn't recommend them as cleaning products for plastics. It's how the product reacts with the plastic, some bleach the plastic and others melt it or turn it brittle. Most companies will ask you to try a small area to see if it causes an issue just to be safe.


    Edited by: "kester76" 17th Mar

    superfreddy

    Apparently you can't use it on plastic according to others?



    In my experience it has never reacted with any plastic I've tried it on, I think the key thing is to use a very small amount, It evaporates very quickly.

    Found this on Google:

    "Alcohol will damage some plastics, but not all. I will list my answers by the resin code, or "recycling symbol", found on most plastic items:

    Poly(ethylene terephthalate), PET or PETE - PET is not very soluble in ethanol or isopropanol, but prolonged exposure may cause crazing or stiffening due to dissolution of plasticizers.
    High Density polyethylene, HDPE - HDPE is resistant to most things.
    Poly(vinyl chloride), PVC - PVC is not very soluble in ethanol or isopropanol, but prolonged exposure may cause crazing or stiffening.
    Low Density polyethylene, LDPE - LDPE is resistant to most things.
    Polypropylene, PP - PP is resistant to most things.
    Polystyrene PS - PS is not very soluble in ethanol or isopropanol, but prolonged exposure may cause crazing or stiffening.
    This stands for "other", but the most common is polycarbonate, which is not very soluble in ethanol or isopropanol, but prolonged exposure may cause crazing or stiffening. ".

    So kester76 is correct but for occasional use I think it'll be fine.

    shauneco

    In my experience it has never reacted with any plastic I've tried it on, … In my experience it has never reacted with any plastic I've tried it on, I think the key thing is to use a very small amount, It evaporates very quickly. Found this on Google: "Alcohol will damage some plastics, but not all. I will list my answers by the resin code, or "recycling symbol", found on most plastic items:Poly(ethylene terephthalate), PET or PETE - PET is not very soluble in ethanol or isopropanol, but prolonged exposure may cause crazing or stiffening due to dissolution of plasticizers.High Density polyethylene, HDPE - HDPE is resistant to most things.Poly(vinyl chloride), PVC - PVC is not very soluble in ethanol or isopropanol, but prolonged exposure may cause crazing or stiffening.Low Density polyethylene, LDPE - LDPE is resistant to most things.Polypropylene, PP - PP is resistant to most things.Polystyrene PS - PS is not very soluble in ethanol or isopropanol, but prolonged exposure may cause crazing or stiffening.This stands for "other", but the most common is polycarbonate, which is not very soluble in ethanol or isopropanol, but prolonged exposure may cause crazing or stiffening. ".So kester76 is correct but for occasional use I think it'll be fine.


    Thanks for tracking down the information I'm not too sure if age and the type of paint used on the plastic will cause an issue as well. I know a lot of plastics in the past were painted as you could see the over spray on the inside of the case. Also some are coated in a rubber type finish as with the nintendo switch which could damage or weaken the elasticity of the rubber and the bonding agent holding it on.

    Most stuff will quote surface wash with mild soapy water only. I tend to use only washing up liquid or wet wipes on cables etc as you don't know what happens to the insulation inside a cable. For removing stickers I would use an oil based product such a baby lotion and just wipe clean.

    I remember my friend telling me how when cleaning graffiti off a BT call box windows he mistook acrylic for glass and the whole panel melted in front of his eyes

    You can actually wash electronic devices with water, remove all batteries and clean, put into airing cupboard until bone dry.

    I used to work for an equipment rental company renting out high accuracy electronic kit, this is how we cleaned it. In a washing booth then into a heated area, then we recalibrate to B.S.

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