Isopropyl Alcohol 70 Percent, 16Oz Bottle Review
One of the supplies that any first aid kit must never lack is what is popularly known as rubbing or surgical alcohol. In this case we’re specifically talking about isopropyl alcohol, also known as isopropanol. As manufactured by Breen Laboratories, this alcohol is a 70% solution which can be used to clean and sanitize minor cuts, scrapes and abrasions. The use of alcohol as an antiseptic can serve to prevent infection, sepsis, and putrefaction. As a disinfectant, isopropyl alcohol is limited to topical application; that is, directly over the skin.
Other than cuts and scrapes, isopropyl alcohol has a water drying quality that makes it ideal to prevent swimmer’s ear (medically known as otitis externa). That same quality renders it optimal to comply with many other duties, as we’ll see in the following paragraph. Before we get sidetracked though, let’s talk about how to apply rubbing alcohol. First you have to clean the wound with soap and water. Then you need to pour enough alcohol onto a clean piece of cotton or gauze, and apply it to the cut with a concentric movement from the center to the outside of the wound. Repeat a couple of times, with a new cotton ball each time.
Although we mainly concentrate on medical uses, we would be remiss not to mention a few alternative uses of isopropanol. For example, it is a noted solvent and cleaning fluid, since it is quick to evaporate and relatively non-toxic. It can be also found in gas dryer fuel additives. It is able to solubilize water in gasoline so that water doesn’t freeze in the supply lines. Similarly, it is often used to remove brake fluid from hydraulic braking systems. Finally, it may be employed to preserve specimens in laboratories. These properties are admittedly not probably what you came here to learn, but we like to be comprehensive whenever we can.
You should keep isopropyl alcohol not only in your first aid kit, but also take it with you on camping trips, or while practicing sports. And precisely because alcohol should be so ubiquitous, it’s essential to keep a few safety measures in mind. Don’t forget that isopropanol is flammable. It should be stored away from flames and heat and out of the reach of children as well. Alcohol poisoning symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, flushing, vomiting, CNS depression, and others. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect isopropyl alcohol ingestion.