using surgical spirit to clean connections before desoldeirng?

Can i use ethanol and methanol based surgical spirit for cleaning connections prior to desoldering instead of isopropyl alcohol?
Thanks

Huh? I never bother to clean anything prior to desoldering. Sometimes I have to add some flux...

You would normally use a flux-remover after soldering or desoldering. Make sure you use a
solvent that can dissolve rosin.

1) I do not know of any methanol based surgical spirit, since methanol is super Toxic :grin: . I don't think you should be playing around with methanol if you don't know how to properly handle it, since even inhaling it or topical contact is dangerous.

2) Ethanol or Isopropyl based surgical spirit are not 100% pure. They are diluted with water. So make sure you don't clean your contacts in such a way that you might short them.

3) Do not use it if the contacts are not at room temperature, since these alcohols are flammable and have a low flashpoint (autoignition ). Also keep it away from your soldering Iron, unless danger is your middle name. :smiling_imp:

4) Why do you wanna clean the solder which you are going to remove anyway??? people usually clean the contacts before they solder something on to it, and not before taking it off. That is unless your connections were exposed and accumulated a lot of dirt/muck, in that case rubbing alcohol is not your best solution. :smiley:

IPA (IsoPropyl Alchohol) can be used to clean PCBs or remove flux.

That is NOT rubbing Alchohol which is dfferent. I don't know which you are referring to .

The bottle of IPA that I have says only "Isopropyl Alchohol".

It says nothing about ethanol so the answer to your question is NO.

Use IPA only. (Not ethanol)

raschemmel:
That is NOT rubbing Alchohol which is dfferent. I don't know which you are referring to .

The bottle of IPA that I have says only "Isopropyl Alchohol".

It says nothing about ethanol so the answer to your question is NO.

Use IPA only. (Not ethanol)

Rubbing alcohol is nothing but diluted IPA with some additives. It is also called surgical spirit because it is used to cleanse the skin.

If your bottle say only "Isopropyl Alchohol" then it is 99% IPA. You can use it to clean but must do so in a well-ventilated area since it is toxic (not as toxic as methanol which is NSFW anyway). Rubbing alcohol is relatively the best choice for cleaning when it comes to safety.

In some countries they use ethanol instead of IPA in rubbing alcohol.

Actually you an use ethanol based solution to clean. I use Vodka to clean my screen. (not pure ethanol)

I use Vodka to clean my screen

Not the good stuff I hope ! ;D

Noobian:
Rubbing alcohol is nothing but diluted IPA with some additives. It is also called surgical spirit because it is used to cleanse the skin.

If your bottle say only “Isopropyl Alchohol” then it is 99% IPA. You can use it to clean but must do so in a well-ventilated area since it is toxic (not as toxic as methanol which is NSFW anyway). Rubbing alcohol is relatively the best choice for cleaning when it comes to safety.

In some countries they use ethanol instead of IPA in rubbing alcohol.

Actually you an use ethanol based solution to clean. I use Vodka to clean my screen. (not pure ethanol)

Surgical spirit is ethanol and some additives. It won’t contain IPA since that’s not safe for medical use.

MarkT:
It won't contain IPA since that's not safe for medical use.

Ethanol would be to expensive (taxes) and IPA is safe for medical use (at least it is used there heavily).

Medical

Rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting pads typically contain a 60–70% solution of isopropyl alcohol in water. Water is required to open up membrane pores of bacteria, which acts as a gateway inside for isopropyl. A 75% v/v solution in water may be used as a hand sanitizer.[18] Isopropyl alcohol is used as a water-drying aid for the prevention of otitis externa, better known as swimmer's ear.[19]

I use a bit of liquid flux on component leads prior to desoldering them.

I use: Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, a good Vodka and Clamato juice to rinse the inside of my esophagus.

.

I use: Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, a good Vodka and Clamato juice to rinse the inside of my esophagus.

I recommend Tito's Vodka.

I forgot the Celery.
I'll look for Tito.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Bloody Mary Basics.jpg

Noobian:
1) I do not know of any methanol based surgical spirit, since methanol is super Toxic :grin: . I don't think you should be playing around with methanol if you don't know how to properly handle it, since even inhaling it or topical contact is dangerous.

What a load of bollocks! :roll_eyes:

It turns out that "surgical spirit" is by definition, "methylated spirit" which is 10% methanol, so rubbing it on the skin (and possibly introducing it into cuts) is exactly its intended application.

Calling methanol "super toxic" is quite an exaggeration. The body has limited capacity for tolerating it so the small amounts involved in the reasonable use of surgical spirit - on the skin - or as a cleaning agent, are not dangerous.

The only concern might be the oily residue - or perhaps this might even be an advantage.


Whandall:
Ethanol would be to expensive (taxes) and IPA is safe for medical use (at least it is used there heavily).

"Denatured" alcohol avoids the taxes since it is simply not practical to remove the methanol. IPA is certainly the standard for medical use in skin "prep" swabs and cleaning cloths, so the vapour is not considered a significant problem.

Mind you, it is generally prohibited for use in the operating theatre as a skin "prep" due to accidents where this has pooled on sheets and ignited during surgery. On the other hand (or hands), ethanol - denatured with acetone (whose awful smell means no-one would even dream of drinking it) - is now used as an alternative to water-based surgical (hand) scrubbing.

"super toxic"

If you are really worried wear protection:

I buy them by the gross:

Quit bragging Larry ... :wink:

Methanol, ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are the three most common and lightest alcohols. They contain 1, 2 and 3 carbon atoms respectively. They are all flammable, volatile and toxic. Ethanol is the least toxic, and isopropyl alcohol the least volatile. Methanol is the most toxic and the most corrosive. Isopropyl alcohol is the best to use for cleaning flux residue, but ethanol evaporates faster. Methanol can cause micro-pitting on iron (or below in the activity series) surfaces, so should not be used.

I use Isopropyl alcohol to remove the residue, before the alcohol evaporates wash the PCB in distilled water, then use an air compressor to blow off the water.
Things like switches, relays etc. that can be damaged by water, are soldered after.
.

Paul__B:
What a load of bollocks! :roll_eyes:

It turns out that "surgical spirit" is by definition, "methylated spirit" which is 10% methanol, so rubbing it on the skin (and possibly introducing it into cuts) is exactly its intended application.

Calling methanol "super toxic" is quite an exaggeration. The body has limited capacity for tolerating it so the small amounts involved in the reasonable use of surgical spirit - on the skin - or as a cleaning agent, are not dangerous.

The only concern might be the oily residue - or perhaps this might even be an advantage.

Mother of sweet bejeezus :astonished:

It turns out that the methylated spirit "aka denatured alcohol" by definition is nothing but ethanol with 10% methanol additive. So basically the Surgical spirit which you mentioned is Ethanol based, and NOT methanol based. But that's B.P's version of surgical spirit, others use IsoPro with no methanol, instead of denatured alcohol.

Here's what your wiki page says about Methanol.

Methanol has a high toxicity in humans. As little as 10 mL of pure methanol, ingested, is metabolized into formic acid, which can cause permanent blindness by destruction of the optic nerve. 30 mL is potentially fatal,[16] although the median lethal dose is typically 100 mL

Methanol (whether it enters the body by ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin) can be fatal due to its CNS depressant properties

The amount of methanol in Surgical spirit is of a considerably small amount, that is after the methylated spirit has been diluted with 30% Water.
But opening a bottle of pure methanol in a non ventilated room is by no means "small amounts" or safe.

and does any of these signs look like an exaggeration to you?

LarryD:
If you are really worried wear protection:

No, you must wear real full body protection :smiley:

This is the only place in the world where a simple question can start WWIII...