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What exactly is rubbing alcohol?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Luis Fabara, Nov 12, 2003.


  1. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Is it the normal alcohol solution with mentol at 70% or is it something specific?

    Thanks.
     
  2. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    I know there's acetone in most rubbing alcohol.
    That's also known as nail polish remover. It can
    damage certain guitar finishes.
     
  3. The 70% (rubbing) is sold over the counter at most stores and is comprised of 30% water.

    There is another alcohol that is 99% and it's called Isopropyl. Many recording facilities use this alcohol when cleaning the multi track heads on tape decks.

    I use it to clean the heads on cassete decks, dat decks, adats. It evaporates quicker, because it has only 1% water base.

    You can also purchase this from any computer or audio store.

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    "The 70% (rubbing) is sold over the counter at most stores and is comprised of 30% water.

    There is another alcohol that is 99% and it's called Isopropyl. Many recording facilities use this alcohol when cleaning the multi track heads on tape decks."


    Um, not exactly. There are various alcohols, including ethanol, methanol, isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol), and others. Rubbing alcohol is generally (but not always) a 70% solution of isopropyl alcohol. As you mention, isopropanol is available in other concentrations. Denatured alcohol is also used by some as a string cleaner. This is ethanol mixed with something toxic like methanol or acetone to keep people from drinking it.

    Please note that I'm not recommending any of these for any purpose. I'm no chemist, and I don't know much about these substances.
     
  5. I soak my strings in denaturated ethanol (93%) occasionally, and it works great. I don't think it damages the metal in any way, and the result is longer lasting than boiling strings. Great trick for us who has to pay 50$+ for strings. I do think that there has to be as little added water in the solution as possible, to prevent corrosion.
     
  6. Flatwound, I do agree that there are other alcohols.

    However, 99% Isopropyl Alcohol is commonly used for cleaning and drying of instruments. It also has many uses in the laboratory in various staining and analytical techniques. 99% Isopropoyl does not contain ethyl alcohol and is not offered as a substitute, it is not intended for internal or external use.

    http://www.med-chem.com/Products/alcohols.htm

    If you are going to disagree with me, please have your facts straight first.

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  7. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Treena, I've got my facts straight, but I may not have been clear on what I was disagreeing with. I do not disagree that people use anhydrous isopropanol to clean stuff. It appeared to me that you were saying that the term "isopropyl" refers to a specific concentration in your statement, "There is another alcohol that is 99% and it's called Isopropyl." Do you see that this sentence is somewhat ambiguous? Kind of like if I said, "There's another alcohol that's 43% and it's called Jack Daniels." Could be misconstrued, I think. ;)

    So don't be mad.
    :bawl: (still can't make my own smilies)
     
  8. I apologize if my sentence was misleading or ambiguous.

    I was trying to convey the concept that, there truly is more than one alcohol.

    I love the Jack Daniels reference.[​IMG]

    I feel we both have been unclear with our words, but hey we are human! :D

    No hard feelings here at all, on my part!

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  9. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    carl-anton:

    that's one big ass banana!
     
  10. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Treena: [​IMG]

    (still haven't learned to make 'em, just learned to copy 'em [​IMG] )
     
  11. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Isopropyl isn't a good choice for cleaning tape decks as it can harden the synthetic rubber rollers and cause cracking. When I was a bench tech many years ago we used naptha.
     
  12. I never use it to clean the rubber.

    It's only used on the magnetic head itself, with a wooden double headed cotton swab.

    Naptha WILL soften the pinch roller and other rubber parts, and wow, that stuff really smells bad to!:meh:

    BTW, we are talking about cleaning strings here, not tape decks. That can be an entire new thread on the recording euipment forum if you want to start one!:D

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  13. ChenNuts44

    ChenNuts44

    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    Someone needs a nap...

    edit: Someone took a nap and edited her post. :p
     
  14. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Try GHS "FastFret" it's specifically designed
    for cleaning your strings. It won't spill,
    leak, damage finishes, make a mess, or cause
    arguments on Talkbass. I keep one in all of my
    bass cases and use it before and after playing.
    Best product I've found for cleaning strings
    since I started playing 27 years ago. It works!

    Slug