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Old Denatured Alcohol is milky, ok to use?

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Forum topic by SMP posted 11-16-2018 07:20 PM 386 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SMP

128 posts in 111 days


11-16-2018 07:20 PM

I have some old denatured alcohol that I haven’t opened in probably 10 years. I poured some out to mix up some garnet shellac and it came out cloudy, like Irish cream colored. I am guessing moisture somehow got in the can? I read previously that denatured alcohol lasts pretty much forever as long as it doesn’t evaporate. Is it Ok to use still to mix up shellac? I was going to test some finishes for an upcoming project. I hate to spend another $10 on a new can if it won’t affect the actual finish once dry, since I already need to buy a bunch of other finishes.


8 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1491 posts in 369 days


#1 posted 11-16-2018 07:56 PM

I would use it for a burner or to clean brushes.
not to add to a perfectly good product that “could” cause issues.
spend $8 for a new can.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6308 posts in 3400 days


#2 posted 11-16-2018 08:28 PM

I wouldn’t use it at all….After sitting in the can for 10 years, I’d say it’s pretty well done….Why take a chance ?

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View SMP's profile

SMP

128 posts in 111 days


#3 posted 11-16-2018 08:28 PM



I would use it for a burner or to clean brushes.
not to add to a perfectly good product that “could” cause issues.
spend $8 for a new can.

- John Smith

Ok, good idea, will use for brush/spill cleaner. I found some at Walmart for $4, but says “fuel” but I am guessing that will still work for shellac? The woodworking store near me sells Behlens but I think its closer to $15, not sure if there is really a difference in finish?
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Klean-Strip-Denatured-Alcohol-1-Quart/23232923

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

607 posts in 1700 days


#4 posted 11-16-2018 08:51 PM

+1 do not use it.
If alcohol is not clear, then it is contaminated with more water than alcohol can dissolve into solution, and likely won’t even burn. If it has color, that is likely rusty water from can. Pour it out in your rock garden and dispose of it. (water and alcohol will evaporate :)

FWIW –
Best box store alcohol for dissolving shellac is Kleen strip brand 'green' variety.
Many of the other commercial types use denature chemical that does not dissolve the shellac flakes. They work, but are not optimum and create more sludge that needs to filtered.

IMHO – Best solvent(s) for shellac are either Behkol from Mowhwak/Behlen or 100% ethanol grain alcohol from liquor store. Just wished drinkable grain alcohol was not 2x-4x more expensive than denatured alcohol camp stove fuel. :)

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1958 posts in 2554 days


#5 posted 11-16-2018 08:54 PM

If it’s cloudy it isn’t from water, but rather from some other source. Maybe the cardboard inside of the lid or you poured some used material back into the container that had finish in it? Either way, get some new solvent and properly dispose of the old stuff.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1524 posts in 809 days


#6 posted 11-16-2018 09:50 PM



I would use it for a burner or to clean brushes.
not to add to a perfectly good product that “could” cause issues.
spend $8 for a new can.

- John Smith


This.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5098 posts in 2557 days


#7 posted 11-16-2018 09:54 PM

How well do like stripping failed finishes? I wouldn’t use it, DNA is cheap compared to fixing a wrecked finish.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View SMP's profile

SMP

128 posts in 111 days


#8 posted 11-17-2018 03:13 AM


+1 do not use it.
If alcohol is not clear, then it is contaminated with more water than alcohol can dissolve into solution, and likely won t even burn. If it has color, that is likely rusty water from can. Pour it out in your rock garden and dispose of it. (water and alcohol will evaporate :)

FWIW –
Best box store alcohol for dissolving shellac is Kleen strip brand green variety.
Many of the other commercial types use denature chemical that does not dissolve the shellac flakes. They work, but are not optimum and create more sludge that needs to filtered.

IMHO – Best solvent(s) for shellac are either Behkol from Mowhwak/Behlen or 100% ethanol grain alcohol from liquor store. Just wished drinkable grain alcohol was not 2x-4x more expensive than denatured alcohol camp stove fuel. :)

- CaptainKlutz

Alright stopped at Walmart and Home Depot on way home. Walmart had the regular Kleenstrip for $4, HD had the green for $8. I bought the green at HD. I mixed up a batch of the green and a tiny bit of the old cloudy stuff out of curiosity, will try them both on a test scrap of walnut tomorrow along with some arm-r-seal and minwax antique oil i have in the garage. Yeah would be nice if the drinking stuff worked out for a good price. A friend of mine makes his own, usually a blueberry flavor though. Thanks all!

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