99% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is one of the purest forms of alcohol available on the market and is used in any circumstance where a lesser concentration would be impractical or ineffective. 99% has a number of uses which we’ll explore below, but includes as a cleaner for electronics, for removing oils and fats, and as a disinfectant.
The United States is the currently largest global consumer of IPA, though it is used all around the world. Asia (particularly India), Africa, and the Middle East are expected to show higher than average global growth rates, albeit from a smaller consumption base, over the next five years.
In addition to being used as a cleanroom cleaning agent, isopropyl alcohol can be found in many everyday products such as inks, paint thinners, general-purpose cleaners, windshield thawing agents, and disinfectants, since it is so effective in killing bacteria and viruses. 99% isopropyl alcohol has an extremely high purity grade.
What is 99% isopropyl alcohol used for?
99% isopropyl alcohol is used:
- To clean surfaces, both alone and as a component of a general-purpose cleaner, or as a solvent. 99% isopropyl alcohol has the benefit of being non-corrosive to metals or plastics, so it can be used widely, on all surfaces, and won’t leave smears, even on glass or screens.
- As an industrial cleaner because it does not leave a residue that may cause complications in manufacturing. Water is a necessary component in most cleaning products, but some electronics and other components cannot come into contact with water. 99% isopropyl alcohol not only cleans these surfaces but evaporates incredibly quickly, leaving the component residue-free.
- To prevent infection from relatively minor surface wounds, such as cuts and scrapes, and is extensively used in the tattoo and piercing industry.
- For disinfecting in pharmaceutical labs, hospitals, and other medical locations. Alcohol is well known for its disinfectant properties, but solutions under 50% significantly lose their effectiveness. 99% isopropyl alcohol is so effective it is suitable for medical and lab-grade applications.
- In paint thinners and inks as it is an effective thinner and can be used in paint strippers.
- In windshield thawing agents, since it “defrosts” frozen liquid.
- To clean clients’ nails in the beauty industry prior to fake nail application or a manicure. When the nail is completely clean, any nail varnishes, polishes, or other accessories adhere much more easily
What are the benefits of using 99% isopropyl alcohol?
Besides its effectiveness as a disinfectant – which is one of the key benefits for many, 99% IPA evaporates quickly and cleanly, leaving behind no significant or notable residues. While its rapid evaporation does reduce its shelf life, it also makes it one of the most effective agents against sticky residues, grease, and grime.
It is commonly used across a large number of industries, and due to modern manufacturing systems that now produce superior grades of IPA in high yields, expansion in market supply has fueled innovation in water-sensitive applications.
The only downside of 99% isopropyl alcohol is that, understandably, it needs to be used and stored properly. In this concentration, it is highly flammable, may cause dizziness if used in high quantities in an ill-ventilated area, and can be an irritant to skin and eyes. Of course, it should also never be ingested.
99% isopropyl alcohol can be used in a range of applications but is the most effective and popular within manufacturing. With so much or our world becoming digitalized or a “smart” device, the need for 99% isopropyl alcohol will likely increase.