What are Methylated spirits?

1 Answer
Apr 24, 2016

Methylated spirit is #"denatured"# ethyl alcohol. What does this mean?


Ethyl alcohol is a good solvent, useful in a lab, and in industry as a solvent. Of course, pure ethyl alcohol, plus some water, and some cordial is an intoxicating drink, that usually attracts taxes and duties.

The solution is to denature the ethyl alcohol. Typically, some methyl alcohol would be added (maybe a few percent, hence the original alcohol is #"methylated"#), and some phenol, and maybe some benzene. This denatured ethyl alcohol is still useful for cleaning; I find it smells nice and is soft on the hands. But if you were to drink methylated spirits you would not only become intoxicated, you would also go blind. Substance abusers are sometimes so far gone in their alcohol addiction that they will drink #"metho"#.