Cleaning Uses of Denatured Alcohol

Carol Stanley

Don't add denatured alcohol to your next cocktail, as this particular type of alcohol is altered with toxic ingredients not suitable for consumption. Rubbing alcohol used for wounds and other skin conditions is also a type of denatured alcohol.

Clean glass with denatured alcohol.

Denatured alcohol is suitable for many cleaning jobs, as it acts as a de-greasing agent and works well on many hard surfaces not affected by most soaps and detergents.

Cleaning Surfaces

Denatured alcohol works well for the cleaning of many household items and places which include kitchen appliances, stubborn spots on wooden floors, tile floors, mirrors and windows. Paint brushes and palate knives get a thorough cleaning with denatured alcohol. Clean your CDs with denatured alcohol. This type of alcohol is not a suitable cleaner for acrylic, vinyl or surfaces that are not painted or coated. It is also not suitable for porous fabrics which include draperies, upholstery and clothing.

How to Use

Use denatured alcohol directly from the container with a clean cloth. You can also put the alcohol in a spray bottle -- use a quick spraying motion to cover the entire surface, and dry thoroughly with a clean rag. For very stubborn stains, leave the alcohol on for several minutes and then rub off with your rag. You can repeat this procedure several times until the stain is removed.

Cleaning Instrument Strings

Another use for denatured alcohol is the cleaning of strings on your bass guitar. Do not add any water to the already waterless denatured alcohol You soak your strings for 12 to 24 hours after removing them from the instrument. Completely dry the alcohol off the strings with a dry, clean rag. Make sure the strings are completely dry before installing them back on the guitar. You can do this cleaning process as often as needed, as it will not affect the durability of the strings.


Denatured alcohol is highly toxic and is best kept in a dark cool place away from young family members. Keep it away from skin, eyes and face; and if you accidentally have contact immediately rinse the affected area with cool water. Because of the flammability of alcohol keep it away from open fires. Keep your room well ventilated during your cleaning project -- do not inhale the fumes. Make sure to test a small patch of your cleaning area to ensure the alcohol does not remove the finish. Use cleaning gloves to protect your hands.