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One of the purest alcohol solutions that you can buy is 99% isopropyl alcohol, also known as 99% IPA. The solution is widely used in a range of different industries, and its use is particularly widespread in the USA. While there are other concentrations of IPA which are also often used in homes and workplaces, 99% isopropyl alcohol is the go to choice for a multitude of different jobs. But how does it compare to other concentrations of IPA, such as 70% IPA? Let’s find out. 

99% Isopropyl Alcohol

A 99% Isopropyl Alcohol solution is a high concentration alcohol solution, which contains 99% pure alcohol. It’s far more concentrated than similar products, such as 70% IPA. This high concentration provides the solution with a range of different capabilities.

What is 99% Isopropyl Alcohol used for? 

Alcohol solutions such as 99% IPA are well used in a number of industries, all over the world. The 99% IPA solution in particular is favoured as a cleaning agent. It has added benefits over less concentrated solutions like 70% IPA as it is non-corrosive and won’t leave smears on hard surfaces such as glass and screens. When used as a general cleaning agent, it’s highly effective and incredibly reliable. 

Those working in the manufacturing industries often rely on 99% IPA over less concentrated varieties of the solution. It is used to clean a range of different industrial products, as well as machinery used in production processes. The solution leaves no residue, making it ideal for use in manufacturing, where any amount of residue could spell trouble for complex machinery. 

It’s not just manufacturing and cleaning businesses that favor 99% IPA over 70% IPA. High concentration 99% IPA solutions can also be found in widespread use within the beauty industry, and particularly in tattoo and piercing parlours. 

The high concentration of alcohol in 99% IPA means it’s brilliantly effective at cleaning the skin, something which is essential prior to any tattoos or piercings to prevent infection. Other minor wounds can also be cleaned with 99% IPA, to remove harmful bacteria which could result in nasty infections during the healing process. 

Nail technicians rely on the quick cleaning capabilities of 99% IPA, using it to clean customers’ nails before beauty treatments such as manicures. Not only is this beneficial from a hygiene perspective, it also ensures that the surface of the nail is completely clean. That way, varnishes, polishes and other products stick to the nail far more easily and coverage is much improved. 

One of the great qualities of 99% IPA is its ability to defrost frozen liquids. This has led to it being used in thawing solutions, such as windscreen de-icing products. The alcohol content of 99% IPA quickly melts stubborn ice away, clearing the windscreen so drivers can be on their way. Similarly, the solution is used as a thinner in inks and paint strippers. These products make tricky, time-consuming jobs far easier, and it’s all down to the high alcohol content of the 99% IPA used in them. 

The dangers of 99% IPA

While 99% IPA really packs a punch in terms of the benefits it provides in a range of different uses, it’s not without its dangers. The solution is of course highly flammable, due to its significant alcohol content. Other, less concentrated solutions such as 70% IPA are also flammable and must be handled with care, but in the case of 99% IPA extreme caution should be practised whenever the solution is being used. The liquid should always be stored properly, well away from any sources of ignition, and those handling the substance should be fully aware of the dangers that it presents, particularly in terms of fire risk. 

Dangers associated with 99% IPA also include the risk of inhalation, absorption through the skin and accidental consumption. Any one of these can have a damaging effect on health, and symptoms might appear quite rapidly. 

If a considerable amount of 99% IPA is accidentally ingested, medical help should be sought immediately. Likewise, medical assistance should be provided if a person inhales a significant amount of 99% IPA, or if the substance is absorbed through the skin and a person starts to experience symptoms as a result. Typical symptoms associated with IPA poisoning include dizziness, headaches, vomiting, difficulty breathing, seizures and even cardiac arrest in the most serious cases. 

Benefits of 99% Isopropyl Alcohol vs 70%

Compare 99% IPA to its slightly less concentrated counterpart, 70% IPA and you’ll soon see the benefits that a higher concentration of alcohol provides. One of the most important benefits of this solution is its speedy evaporation, a property which makes the solution ideal for many of its most important uses. 

High quality 99% IPA solutions evaporate rapidly, which is why they’re so effective as a cleaning agent in manufacturing and electronics production. There’s no residue left behind when 99% IPA is used, therefore it can be used as a reliable cleaning agent in situations where lower concentrations would not be up to the task. By contrast, 70% IPA evaporates more slowly and contains more water, which means it runs the risk of damaging fragile electronic components. 

Buying 99% IPA

Both 99% IPA and 70% IPA are incredibly useful solutions, so it can be tricky to determine which product would best suit your needs. If you’re struggling to decide, just take a look at the benefits of 99% IPA, compared to lower concentrations such as 70% IPA. 

If you’re looking for a cleaning agent that evaporates rapidly, leaves no residue and can be relied upon to kill germs and bacteria, 99% IPA could be just the thing. However, 70% IPA is also a widely used disinfectant and cleaning solution, and it’s preferable in some situations due to its slightly longer evaporation time which allows for better antimicrobial properties. 

Talk to our team to find out more about 99% IPA and 70% IPA, both of which can be purchased online via our store. We’re here to help explain the differences, and we’ll give you all the advice you need to make the best choice for your business.