Alcohol Soaking

Welcome to my blog on alcohol assisted drying of wood. The intent is to provide an avenue for information sharing about the process. Much time has been spent answering individual emails from around the world and countless questions on many woodworking forums. As time permits I will share information about current pieces I am drying as well as the final outcome in the form of pictures of finished pieces.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Alcohol Brands and Sources

My recommendation is to use denatured alcohol that has a low percentage of methanol. I have identified several brands that meet this criteria. When possible I have consulted a Material Safety Data Sheet(MSDS) to confirm the contents and relative concentration. I will add to this list as information become available. If you know of a product that is not listed here please notify me. Alcohol sold as denatured can be any where from 100% methanol to less than 5%. Ethanol percentage can be from 0% to 95%. Most ethanol is denatured by addition one or more of the following: methanol, methyl isobutyl ketone, ethyl acetate, and gasoline. Ethanol is the least harmful of the ingredients so it is logical to use a substance that is highest in ethanol and lowest in other ingredients.

True Value Hardware brand denatured alcohol.
UPC for one gallon can is 42909 04814.
Listed ingredients on can:
Ethyl Alcohol
Methanol <4%
Methyl Isobutyl Ketone
Ethyl Acetate

Parks, division of Zinsser Co., denatured alcohol
Listed ingredients in MSDS dated: 08/09/02
Ethyl Alcohol: 87-92%
Methanol: 5-10%
Methyl Isobutyl Ketone: 1-5%
Ethyl Acetate: 1-5%
Rubber Solvent: 1-5%

Sunnyside brand denatured alcohol.
MSDS dated 1/25/06, Percentage by weight.
Ethyl Alcohol: 85.7%
Methanol: 3.6%
Methyl Isobutyl Ketone: 1.9%
Ethyl Acetate: 1%
Naphtha: 0.8%

Mohawk Shellac Reducer
MSDS, Percentage by weight.
Ethyl Alcohol: 81% - 90%
N-Propyl Acetate: 1% - 10%
Isobutanol: 1% - 10%
Isopropanol: 1% - 10%

It is incumbent on each individual to become familiar with the chemicals they are using and the consequences of their exposure to them. The information listed here is for information only and is not deemed to be a substitute for a Material Safety Data Sheet(MSDS) that each manufacture is required by United States law to provide fee of charge to any user. Unfortunately not all manufactures have easy on line access to their products MSDS. My opinion is that all MSDS should be required to be available on line without any incumbrance for quick and easy access.

Here are a couple links to locate stores that carry denatured ethanol.


True Value Hardware

Distributor Lookup


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