Ethyl Alcohol or Isopropyl Alcohol: What’s The Difference?

Ethyl Alcohol or Isopropyl Alcohol: What’s The Difference?

Ever since the Coronavirus hit, hand sanitizer has been flying off the shelves with production companies struggling to restock, while others are being recalled. It is important to be familiar with the ingredients in your hand sanitizer to avoid unsafe use. There are two types of alcohol that are typically found in hand sanitizer, ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. We are going to break down the similarities and differences between ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol so that you can be more familiar with the ingredients when buying a new hand sanitizer.

Ethyl Alcohol

Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol or just alcohol, is a common ingredient in hand sanitizer formulas, as well as alcoholic beverages. It is a colorless liquid with the ability to dissolve in water and other organic materials. Although ethyl alcohol is the prime ingredient in alcoholic beverages, the chemical composition varies in hand sanitizer and you should never drink it, as the formula can be toxic.

On the other hand, ethyl Alcohol can be effective in killing 99.9% of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This is why you can find ethyl alcohol used commonly in cleaning or antiseptic products. At Remedi Pure, we offer a gallon of ethyl rubbing alcohol for your multi-use cleaning or topical antiseptic needs. Because this rubbing alcohol contains ethyl alcohol, it has added toxic substances to prevent people from ingesting it. Check out our blog to learn more about four ways you can use our Remedi Pure ethyl rubbing alcohol formula.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol serves basically the same function as ethyl alcohol but it has a different chemical structure. This chemical difference is why ethanol is added to alcoholic beverages while Isopropyl alcohol is not. Recovery First American Addiction Centers states that ingesting isopropyl alcohol can quickly lead to alcohol poisoning and even death.

In order for hand sanitizer to be effective in killing bacteria or viruses, the formula must contain at least 60% alcohol as stated by the FDA and CDC. At Remedi Pure, our hand sanitizer formula contains 70% ethyl alcohol and our wipes contain 75% isopropyl alcohol. Remedi Pure strives to provide products that help keep you safe and clean, as it meets the minimum requirements provided by the CDC. 

Which One Works Best as a Sanitizer?

Both alcohols work well in hand sanitizer formulas, especially when mixed together. They both require water to work and that both work to disinfect. When choosing a hand sanitizer, you may prefer one to the other. For instance, ethyl alcohol may be more likely to dry out your hands than isopropyl alcohol, according to an article from the science section of How Stuff Works. Ethyl Alcohol may be better for cleaning surfaces in this case. Additionally, isopropyl alcohol is great as an antiseptic and is frequently used in hospitals.

However, the CDC recommends hand washing to using sanitizer, as a more effective way of killing bacteria and viruses on the skin. Remedi Pure Foaming Hand Soap is also available for your hand hygiene needs. Our foaming hand soap is gentle on the skin and provides a thorough lather to keep germs away. Whatever your cleaning needs, Remedi Pure can supply you with CDC-approved products to stay proactive against coronavirus and other illnesses. 

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