isopropanol : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary


99% isopropanol  isopropyl alcohol

Isopropanol aka isopropyl alcohol, C₃H₇OH, has many uses in keeping computers running well. You can buy it in any drugstore, usually in a 500 mls (1.06 US pints) bottle. You don’t want methanol, methyl alcohol, wood alcohol or rubbing alcohol. In a pinch, you can get it from Amazon at considerably more than the going price. Make sure you get the 99% pure form. Other types may contain water or massage oil. It dissolves grease. It leave no residue. You can use it to:

Both isopropanol and hydrogen peroxide H₂O₂, come in brown plastic bottles that, at a glance, look identical. It might be wise to add your own labels to make the difference obvious. You don’t want hydrogen peroxide anywhere near your computer or isopropanol anywhere near your mouth.

Excellent Glass Cleaner

You can make a powerful yet environmentally friendly glass cleaner similar to Windex. Here is a recipe for a three 650 mls (1.37 US pints) sprayers full:

water 1.65 litres (1.74 US quarts)
isopropyl alcohol 70% or 99% 240 mls (1.01 US cups)
sudsy ammonia 60 mls (2.03 fl oz)
Dawn dishwashing liquid 2½ mls (0.51 US teaspoon)
blue food colouring. 1 drop (1 drop)

The blue food colouring is optional; it helps identify the sprayer contents as window cleaner. Use a microfibre cloth.

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