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General Cleaning Issues - Floorcare, car valeting, buying and selling businesses, pricing, staffing, market research, etc.

Natural alcohol

Posted by MichaelS (MichaelS), 3 December 2003
Hi there,

Is there a natural alcohol on the market for cleaning electrical equipment and for disinfecting surfaces? I'm looking for the kind that evaporates quick, leaves no lasting odours and is harmless to the skin. Kind of what hospitals use I think.

Also, how many different types of alcohol are there? That's all, thanks.

Posted by DP (DP), 3 December 2003
There is one that we used in the fire industry, which we used for cleaning the boards etc of computers on site. Otherwise known as IMS (industrial metholated spirit).
Clear in colour and very "pure" which is the difference in types that you are referring to.

Chemical company based in SE London sells it for about £6-£7 for a gall.

Ill try and get the name for you. got loads of it here, just cant remember the name of the company at the mo.

It dries odourless and evaporates instantly.

However be warned like all IMS grade's, application is still hazardous.

I think the other type you are referring to is surgical spirit (old name), this is a different grade again and obtainable from chemists (although current regs my have effected their ability to stock).

Really your are looking for two different products, to do two different tasks. The grade used for electrical cleaning will sterilize, but this depends on certification required.

Posted by MichaelS (MichaelS), 3 December 2003
Thanks for all that info.

A few months ago I was cleaning a graphics card with a type of alcohol (might have been IMS you mentioned) but the fumes from it burnt my hands quite bad. That's why I was thinking along the lines of what hospitals use as it might not be as harmful.
Posted by DP (DP), 3 December 2003
The grade used for electrical cleaning wouldnt burn your hand so not sure what that was, however surgical spirit can be very bad. you just need the right one and you will be ok. Why are you cleaning electric boards at all is it a service you supply?
Posted by deep_clean (deep clean), 4 December 2003
We clean computer monitors, mice, keyboards and cases with an item called Alcowipes, these have been sourced by our domestic supervisor through her contact in the NHS.  They resemble the hand wipe you get at Kentucky Fried Chicken only much larger.
They are primarily used in the NHS for sterilising clinical equipment. But we find them invaluable for removing stubborn marks on a variety of surfaces and leave no residue when dry. The alcohol on the wipes is 70% v/v Isopropyl Alcohol BP and is available by the gallon at good chemist\ chemical suppliers.

Hope this helps

Posted by (, 9 December 2003
I work in a school and we had a problem with permanent marker pen. We tried graffiti remover but it just wouldn't remove it all. Don't ask me how, but another caretaker found that a spray air freshener seemed to clean it off a treat. I looked into the chemical make up of the product and found it was basically made up of alcohol (can't remember the full name now but smelt like tape head cleaner). I went alone to our science department to see if they stocked it. They did, but unfortunately the cost of it was extremely expensive. But it worked on the permanent marker pen and only use it on very rare occasions.
Posted by DP (DP), 9 December 2003
Cd and tape cleaner are the same stuff, just different grades thatís all. I am thinking of putting a chemical range together, as I already have access to many of the base products, This isnít rocket science, and not outside the scope of many, but as always it just comes down to sales and a lot of market research, thatís the expensive bit. as there is an awful lot of good chemicals already out there.

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