Mechanical Music Digest  Archives
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info
MMD > Archives > August 2005 > 2005.08.31 > 06Prev  Next

Cleaning Wood - Alcohol
By Jan Kijlstra

Bruce Mercer wrote in the MMD of 30 August 2005:

> The only kind of alcohol you want to use is denatured alcohol.
> It has _no_ water in it. This is also what should be used to clean
> Edison Diamond Discs.  Never use anything else containing any
> amount of water on these discs. Any hardware store will carry it.

The most common alcohol we know is ethanol (CH3-CH2-OH, also written as
C2H5OH).  Although a higher grade can be achieved by over-distilling,
pure ethanol normally consists of 96% alcohol and 4% water.

Ethanol is a cheap product to make.  Yet it's a quite expensive product
to buy, due to taxes.  Therefore it's cheaper to buy a bottle of
whisky.  Does taste a lot better also.

However, ethanol (and in fact all alcohols) are very useful in chemical
processes and products, most in bulk-processing.  Ethanol is too
expensive for almost every process.  The solution is to convert the
pure ethanol in a denatured alcohol (and forget most of the taxes).

This can be done in many ways.  Over here in Europe almost every
country has its own method.  Methanol is very often used.  Methanol
also is an alcohol.  The strongest methanol is 96%, with 4% water,
just like ethanol.

Denatured alcohol is a lot cheaper.  However, it is in no way
consumable, unless you want to die quickly and painfully.

So denatured alcohol is not free of water.  It has water in it, as
well.  It's not the amount of water -- it's the price that makes the
choice.  It is possible that a denatured alcohol is colored, mostly
blue, to make a visible difference with ethanol.  I would not use this
type for cleaning wood, since it might leave a blue residue on the

Since any denatured alcohol will be made by adding other stuff to it
I would not use it for cleaning purposes in general.  A non-colored
type on wood: maybe, after testing on non-critical places.

On plastics (from lenses to old records) I would only use pure ethanol,
despite the price.  You will need a small amount, so the price will not
hurt a lot.  And you are sure that the alcohol will vapourize 100%,
without leaving anything at all.

Jan Kijlstra

(Message sent Wed 31 Aug 2005, 13:47:39 GMT, from time zone GMT+0200.)

Key Words in Subject:  Alcohol, Cleaning, Wood

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   

Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google

CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2019 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

Translate This Page

. .