Substitute for Isopropyl Alcohol

I was wondering if there is a good substitute for Isopropyl alcohol. 345 ml (11 fl oz) cost about $10 and it does not go very far and is only 64 % proof in Australia. So many hurdles to overcome.

I have been using Methylated spirits and seems to work OK. Also is "rubbing alcohol" the same as Isopropyl alcohol ?? as that is what it is sold as in Australia.

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.



  • Hi John
    I haven't tried methylated spirits so I can't comment on that although it is quick to evaporate and I may have to give it a go.
    But I have use isopro from dick smith (there are similar products from jaycar electronics and other electrical suppliers) it's 99% isopropyl alcohol and is about $8 for 250ml. Still relatively expensive depending on the mix ratio with whatever paint/ink you are diluting. I have found that using it on both sides of sheetwood reduces warping to almost nil as the water content less than 1%. If you talk to your chemist they may be able to get it in bulk cheaper but is more likely to be rubbing alcohol which tends to be lower in alcohol content resulting in a higher water content which increases warping and reduces drying time.
    I have used windex (the blue solution for windows not one of the other fancy variations) which I have had good success with as long as you don't soak the item with it as it will remove paint if allowed to soak in it, bit of trial and error there.
    just my thoughts.
  • G'day Dave and John.
    Thanks for opening this thread. I too have been confused with IPA...I have been forced to use metho as well. Taking a 200km round trip to buy IPA is a nuisance (my local chemist does not stock it in bulk as there is a problem with people drinking the stuff....can you imagine that?), thanks for pointing to the Jaycar option, there is an agent for them in the local town, and its only a 50km round trip.
    Thanks again.
  • edited June 2012
    Found this last night.

    I haven't tried to find how much it would cost to ship it to the Gold Coast, hoping to find a supplier in Brisbane.
  • Brett - your input into this would be appreciated - Is your reference to rubbing alcohol the same as Isopropyl alcohol ? and can methylated spirits be a good substitute for Isopropyl alcohol ??

  • Rubbing alcohol and Isopropyl - the same thing. I have no experience with meth spirits but would just experiment. Iso alc is used over water as it evaporates faster with less chance of warping...
  • Gday john,i use acrylic lacquer thinners avaporates just like metho or rubbing alcohol and its cheap, you can get it at supercheap auto or your local paint store. hopes this helps.
  • G'day Stevo.
    Acrylic lacquer thinners, eh? Never tried that. Any tips in using them...? Greg
  • G'day Greg, Nice to hear from a fellow aussie.I just thin down my chalk sticks with it and black stain too, mixing ratio for black stain is 25% black to 100% thinners brush it on your timber leaves it a nice grey weathered look.This is my personal choice you can experiment get a look that you are happy with.Check out my Tool Shed in finished o scale builds.
    cheers Stevo.
Sign In or Register to comment.