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Cleaning with Methylated Spirit

Methylated spirit or just spirit (also known as denaturated alcohol) is one of the oldest and most effective detergents available in almost every household. It is ideal for use as a window cleaner, limescale cleaner or degreaser.

Most chemical cleaners are not necessary if you know how to handle methylated spirit!

Why does spirit clean so well?

There are several reasons for the good cleaning effect of spirit. For one thing, spirit is a substance closely related to alcohol. Therefore it dissolves fats very well. This makes it an effective remedy for grease stains from leftover food, fingerprints, streaks of hands and feet and all other types of organic residue.
A second reason is that alcohol is defecating. If you give a shot into the cleaning water, you can prevent the formation of traces of limescale when cleaning surfaces after drying. This is a common problem, especially on windows or in the bathroom.

Where can you use methylated spirit?

You can use it on all smooth and even surfaces. Most commonly it is used for glass and tiles. First because it dissolves fat, second because it prevents lime and thus creates better shine.
Not suitable is spirit for wood or plastic. Real wood can be attacked by the acid and loses its shine and its pattern.
Plastic can fade and lose its color, which is also not very nice.

How to best use the “spirit”?

One of the easiest ways is to mix your own glass cleaner with spirit. All you need is a spray bottle (available in almost every hardware store), some spirit and water (best distilled). Water and spirit should be mixed at a ratio of 10:1, that means 10 parts of water and 1 part of spirit.

If the stains or residues are stronger, then a higher dosage is recommended. The cleaning agent thus obtained is just as durable as the glass cleaner from the trade and should be protected from direct light.

Who is going to use spirit e. g. as a cleaner for handrail on the balcony or takes it for harder stains or in the garden to combat woolen and scale lice, should also pay attention to the concentration. Very easily, too much is taken and not considered how much spirit acts. The above rule of mixing ratio 10:1 serves as a guide.

People with sensitive skin should resort to rubber gloves when working with methylated spirit.
Important when working indoors is adequate ventilation. It is best to use spirit only with the window open or outdoors, never in small rooms without windows. The vapors not only smell unpleasant, they can also lead to burns of the mucous membranes.

Methylated spirit can be used with both warm and cold water. If you clean surfaces that are supposed to shine beautifully, such as tiles or windows, you should refrain from cleaning with water. The situation is different with more sensitive surfaces such as metals. Here it is worth rinsing again with clear water.

Even if the use of spirit or other flammable liquids is quite common, due to its flammability and poisoning possibility has it to be used safely, especially in households with children. Liquids that are used and kept in the home which are dangerous to children should be stored safe and out of reach from children.




These “Spirits”

(Image credit: Amazon)

(Image credit: Amazon)