Closer Look at Isopropyl alcohol

The Difference Between 70% Isopropyl Alcohol and 99% Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl Alcohol is commonly used in a huge range of different settings, from households and businesses to hospitals and schools. The solution, which is also sometimes known as isopropanol or IPA, can be made in different strengths, with 2 of its most common types being 99% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and 70% isopropyl alcohol.

In this article, we’ll discuss what Isopropyl Alcohol is exactly and the differences between 70% and 99% isopropyl alcohol solutions. You’ll also learn about the most common uses of isopropyl alcohol, and how you could use the solution at home or in the workplace.

What is Isopropyl Alcohol and What is it Used for?

Isopropyl alcohol has been utilized for years as a universal cleaner for everything in a variety of industries ranging from hospitals, schools, households, and other businesses. It is a widely used solution which, as its name suggests, contains alcohol. The solution itself is clear and colorless, no matter what percentage of alcohol it contains. There is usually a strong odor attached to it.

Isopropyl alcohol is used in a countless number of ways, but one of its most common uses is as a disinfectant. The solution is also used as the main ingredient in many hand sanitizers and in rubbing alcohol. In addition to cleaning, isopropyl alcohol is used in the production of many medical devices and in the manufacturing of electronics as well.

The uses of isopropyl alcohol can vary according to its strength and purity and on the types of alcohol which are used in its production. Before using it, it’s useful to know about the different variations of the solution to find out which one would best suit your needs.

70% Isopropyl Alcohol

Solutions containing 70% isopropyl alcohol are usually used as disinfectants. This concentration of alcohol makes the solution an extremely effective, fast-acting product which can provide protection from harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These solutions are often used in environments where cleanliness is of the highest importance, such as healthcare settings, hospitals, and doctor surgeries.

One of the main attributes to note about 70% isopropyl alcohol is its water content. 70% isopropyl alcohol is pure isopropanol diluted with 30 percent purified water by volume. Water might not sound too important when it comes to disinfecting, but it really is. The water in the solution works quickly against harmful cells, helping to clot proteins and rapidly destroy viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The presence of water also slows down evaporation, giving the liquid more time to work against these cells before it’s evaporated. Another key advantage of 70% isopropyl alcohol is that it doesn’t release harmful toxins and fumes into the environment, which is very important if the liquid has to be used in public spaces or at home.

70% is recommended for disinfecting one’s household and routine cleaning. Many homeowners frequently use 70% isopropyl alcohol for household cleaning, but it also has way more uses than just disinfecting surfaces. The properties of this liquid make it a great option if you need to remove stubborn marks and stains as it works against anything ranging from ink stains, the residue left by stickers to unwanted marks on furniture. It can be used to clean sinks and taps as well, and it is also highly effective when cleaning stainless steel surfaces. 

99% Isopropyl Alcohol

There are a lot of advantages with using 70% isopropyl, but in some cases the presence of water in the liquid can be an issue. And this is when it’s usually better to use 99% isopropyl alcohol instead. In fact, solutions containing 99% isopropyl alcohol aren’t quite as popular as their 70% counterparts, but they are also very important in certain industries.

One of the main reasons why you might want to use 99% isopropyl alcohol instead of 70% is when the solution has to be used with a water sensitive product. For instance, in the manufacturing of electronics or medical devices, 99% isopropyl alcohol is preferred, as it offers the reliable disinfectant attributes of the 70% solution, without any of the risks posed by water content.

Circuit board manufacturers, electricians, computer technicians, and others also rely on 99% isopropyl alcohol because of its fast evaporation speeds attribute. In these industries, it’s extremely important that the liquid evaporates instantly when used. A great thing about 99% isopropyl alcohol is that no residue is left after evaporation, which is ideal for those working with electronic devices.

In some situations, 99% isopropyl alcohol is used since it is more effective against the most stubborn marks, stains, and residues. Sometimes a 70% solution won’t quite work for tough cleaning tasks, and in these cases, it is often better to switch to a 99% liquid for best results. In fact, 99% isopropyl alcohol is proven to work incredibly well against grease and other stains.


If you’re having issues choosing between 70% and 99% Isopropyl alcohol or need more information on any of our isopropyl alcohol products, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team at Nixxie Trades is always ready to offer you help and advice, and also answer any questions you may have.

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