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Can't find denatured alcohol Can I try something else, like mineral spirits?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Manfred_Bass, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. Manfred_Bass


    Mar 16, 2005
    ponce, PR
    I can't find denatured alcohol in my local Home Depot. What else can I use instead?
  2. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    For those of you who have never heard of "Denatured Alcohol", neither have I. So I did a search and found that the USA is the only country that call it by this name. In Australia, we call it Methylated Spirits as per the extract below-

    "Names for methylated spirits around the world-
    In the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, metho is called methylated spirits. In the US it is called denatured alcohol. In Europe, it may be called spirits, brennspirits (Germany), alcool a bruler (France), or alcool etilico denaturato (Italy). It is generally available in hardware stores, supermarkets, service stations, and camping/outdoors stores."

    Hope that helps.
  3. um, what for?
  4. I think the most appropiate name would be Isopropanol or Isopropyl alcohol, I found it under that name... I suppose that is denatured alcohol or Im putting some strange stuff in my bass strings. lol.
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    As an alternative to boiling your strings to make them sound newer.

    I have two sets of strings for my main bass - one on the bass of course, the other left to soak in a tub of metho. When the ones on my bass start to sound a bit dull, I swap them over. The metho disloves a lot of the dirst and sweat out of the strings and returns their zing and brightness.

    Boiling works too, but it's rougher on your strings, especially the ones with fuzzy yarn on the ends. And unlike water, metho is non-corrosive.
  6. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    They are not the same. Isopropyl is about 30% water. Denatured alcohol is a mix of alcohols which has had (nearly) all the water removed. Most denatured solutions contain a good bit of isopropyl.
  7. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Also no. Denatured alcohol is mostly ethanol, which would be drinkable. So, it is blended with other alcohols (usually methanol but sometimes some isopropyl) and solvents which make it poisonous if inbibed. It is used as shellac thinner, to heat fondue pots, and by some to soak bass strings.

    Rubbing Alcohol is usually a blend of isopropyl and water, and that's probably what you are thinking about.

    Do a search. This topic has been done to death a number of times.
  8. simpy1


    Mar 31, 2005
    New Zealand
    Yeah isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol) is just an alcohol with three carbons, ethanol has two, methanol has one.

    Methylated spirits (meths, denatured alcohol), as has been mentioned, is just ethanol with some methanol and colouring in it to make it undrinkable.



    The CH3 in brackets means it's branched.





    If that makes sense. All the numbers should be subscript.

    You can't get isopropanol easily here - it's used to make methamphetamine.....
  9. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    Isoprophyl works just as good. Try to get the 90% stuff. If you can't find that the 70% stuff is good too. It can be found in any drugstore.
  10. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    West Canada here.

    Methyl-Hydrate is what I used for over a year with great results. Bought it at a home & gardening chain.

    $7.00 and change a for 4L(1 US gallon).

  11. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Neutral grain spirits, in the common form of Everclear, at your local liquor store. Expensive, but it's food grade!
  12. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Gin works hahhahahaha
  13. Bet this is the cheapest way:
    Wash your hands with lots of soap before practice and gigs, and boil the strings now and then.
    All kinds of spirits leave some stuff on the strings which may make em sticky..

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