What Is Denatured Alcohol- Is It Safe? Find Out All The Details
If you are wondering what is denatured alcohol and is it safe to use, there is a lot you need to find out. We shall discuss in detail what is denatured alcohol and related information about its benefits, uses, and side effects. Keep reading to learn everything.
Denatured alcohol is often abbreviated as “SD Alcohol” or “alcohol denat.” on the list of ingredients mentioned in many products from pharmaceuticals, households, etc. From products used to remove nail paint to medicines, you have seen it everywhere.
If you are a curious person and thinking about what is denatured alcohol, you will soon find your answer. It is basically used to kill germs, this is the sole reason it is also used in hand sanitizers (we have seen them a lot in 2020). This product is highly inflammable therefore it is also used in stoves.
Now the question is is it safe to be used in household products? the answer is YES! you can use it in household products for various purposes. It is absolutely safe unless you DO NOT drink it or use it near the fire.
Let’s find out more.
What Is Denatured Alcohol?
When ethanol is mixed with few other ingredients, it is called denatured alcohol. Other names include grain alcohol and it is the alcohol at the most basic or low level.
Ethanol is highly dangerous to be consumed in higher or larger quantities, therefore the name denatured is given. Other ingredients are mixed inside it so that people do not consume it for drinking purposes. While manufacturing the additional ingredients present inside it many taxes are applied to it.
Can We Drink Denatured Alcohol?
The answer to this question is a big NO!
Drinking just ethanol is not very dangerous and does not show any side effects immediately, but as we know alcohols are byproducts of fermentation, it will show later. Having ethanol in concentrated form is dangerous and when consumed on its own it is much stronger than drinking the regular alcohol we get from bars or shops.
While the average liquor has an estimated 40% alcohol, ethanol has a percentage of 60 to 90, which is quite high.
If taken directly or ingested into the body, you will soon start seeing or feeling symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Drinking ethanol in the same amount as we drink other drinks ( a glass maybe) can even kill you.
A piece of great news regarding denatured alcohol is that the manufacturers have done all the necessary things and taken all the needed steps that will discourage someone to drink ethanol in concentrated form.
It is purposely made in such a way that it smells really bad and the taste is beyond our imagination. Not to forget, they add a lot of extra chemicals inside of it so that it cannot be taken directly even by mistake. One important ingredient added to it is methanol. Methanol is another form of alcohol but this one is dangerous than ethanol. This form is generally discarded while carrying out the process of distillation.
It is universally known to everyone that drinking methanol or consuming it in any form will lead to death as it is highly toxicated. Drinking it alone will cause paralysis and death. Drinking poisoned alcohol has led to the death of so many till now. While mixing methanol in denatured alcohol along with ethanol is alone enough to put a full stop on people to consume denatured alcohol, there are some more ingredients that are still in line.
For offputting, the odor caused by methanol, methyl ethyl ketone, denatonium, acetone, etc is also added to it. Some form of dye is also added in denatured alcohol that helps to distinguish it from the remaining types of alcohols.
Denatured Alcohol For Hair And Skin
You have heard and read enough on what is denatured alcohol by now, another question that flotas in our mind are that how can denatured alcohol be used for skin and hair? or is it good to use? Let’s see in detail.
Sometimes you may have seen that denatured alcohol is mentioned in many skincare products like toners as an agent for drying out. It is said that this ingredient dried quickly, gives the skin matt and smooth skin, or neutralizes excess oil present in our skin. These things being said, using denatured alcohol in small amounts is not a problem in products or cosmetics unless another form of alcohol, that is methanol is used along with it.
Methanol has the tendency to seep in through our skin, which clearly makes it important to avoid.
However, using denatured alcohol is not dangerous or toxic at levels in which it is usually mixed in cosmetics but when used in excess it will cause dryness and the natural barrier of your skin will be disturbed. There are few studies that have mentioned that using denatured alcohol can even cause redness, irritation, and cause new breakouts which we hate.
Note: Denatured alcohol can also be present in some products that have clearly mentioned “alcohol-free” on their label, to promote their products or for increasing sales because many people prefer not to use denatured alcohol on their face. When written “denatured” in front of alcohol, the FDA usually approves it and takes it as alcohol-free because ethanol is only considered as harmful alcohol that can cause damage.
There are some called fatty alcohols that are proven to work amazingly well for all skin types, this being said, you do not have to keep denatured alcohol at the distant doorstep of your skincare regimen. There are few alcohols derived from fruits and plants that are actually brilliant like- cetyl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, and Cetearyl alcohol.
These types of fatty alcohols can be added to your skincare products. Many cosmetic companies are switching to these and making skincare products as moisturizing agents and emollients.
There are small studies like one conducted with only 35 participants in the year 2005 that suggested that the addition of emollients to alcohol-based hand rubs will decrease irritation in the skin. If you are tensed about which product to use that has denatured alcohol in it, go for any product that has mixtures of fatty alcohols, glycerin, and water.
Denatured Alcohol In Sanitizers
Another thing very commonly used for the past year is hand sanitizer. You might have read the word “Denatured Alcohol” written on labels of sanitizers in the ingredients section and thinking about what is denatured alcohol and why is alcohol added in sanitizers.
Some people were trying to make their own sanitizer during Covid-19, did they add denatured alcohol?
Many skincare experts are totally against using denatured alcohol in sanitizers that you make on your own in the house because you never know which ingredients are added in which proportion, you might end up adding more alcohol. Also, when added in the wrong proportions, it is quite unsafe to be used.
You already know that denatured alcohol consists of methanol too in very small portions, which is highly toxic and poisonous. Your skin absorbs methanol. So using a DIY method to prepare your own hand-sanitizer should be strictly unfollowed because you never know what it can cause to your skin.
This was the case when you add too much alcohol, in case you have added too little denatured alcohol, it would not give you the desired result. Your hands will not be sanitized or virus-free, what is the use of making it then?
According to experts, the best way you can use to sanitize your hands is actually wash them for more than 20 seconds and you are good to go. If you feel you cannot wait until then, just get yourself an FDA-approved product of hand-sanitizer.
The Bottom Line
You can say that denatured alcohol is just basic alcohol that is specially used in household products or skincare products in minimal amounts. It has various ingredients incorporated inside of it to make sure that people do not consume it for drinking purposes.
Despite being toxic, it can easily be used in household products. You just have to remain careful while using it, for instance, do not go near the fire while having hand sanitizer on your hand which you have just applied, it might catch fire. Some precautions are a must.
It is an important ingredient that is just prepared so that it can be used to kill germs, never consume it.
This was a detailed guide on what is denatured alcohol and its uses. By now you might have understood about various benefits and side effects of using it and is safe to be used or not.