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Thread: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

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    Default Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    I was at Walgreens tonight and happened to notice bottles of 91-percent isopropyl alcohol on the shelf, and I picked up two bottles and then noticed that one had an expiration date of Feb. 2012 and the other one was March 2013--same brand, same size. What's the typical shelf life of isopropyl alcohol? Is the shelf life shorter for 91-percent alcohol rather than 70-percent alcohol? I'd like to have an ample supply of alcohol for medical needs.

    Also, would it be best to transfer isopropyl to glass jars (mason jars, probably) to extend their storage life? What kind of degradation will isopropyl go through if held way past its expiration date? How long will it still be effective as a disinfecting agent?
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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickelless View Post
    What's the typical shelf life of isopropyl alcohol? Is the shelf life shorter for 91-percent alcohol rather than 70-percent alcohol?
    It is not going to decompose on you, so the only worries are the permeability of the plastic containers. Over a long time, you may lose some small amount leaking through the plastic, or possibly dissolving a little of the plastic into solution. I doubt you would see anything of concern in the next ten to twenty years.

    Also, would it be best to transfer isopropyl to glass jars (mason jars, probably) to extend their storage life?
    If the glass jars are free and it is zero trouble... sure, why not? You might extend the life from a couple decades to tens of decades.

    What kind of degradation will isopropyl go through if held way past its expiration date? How long will it still be effective as a disinfecting agent?
    None. Forever.

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    i don't have the bottled stuff, i use the 70-percent alcohol swabs in tinfoil(?) packaging
    these have an expiration date of May 2012 ( i'm pretty sure i'll use them up by then )
    they come in boxes of 100 and i use them because they can be squished and bent during storage/packing

    and when May 2012 comes around, i'll still keep them
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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Nickel, we are thinking along the same lines. Put it in glass. Keep it cool. Could last for centuries. The weak link is the plastic bottles.

    Experation dates are required by law and are somewhat bogus.

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian-guerilla View Post
    i don't have the bottled stuff, i use the 70-percent alcohol swabs in tinfoil(?) packaging
    these have an expiration date of May 2012 ( i'm pretty sure i'll use them up by then )
    they come in boxes of 100 and i use them because they can be squished and bent during storage/packing

    and when May 2012 comes around, i'll still keep them
    Hey CG eventually those will dry out....doesn't take too long...maybe sealing them up in a plastic bag
    might help. I hate when I open those at the hospital and they are dried out =(
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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    I have gallon of 91% and have had it for years.

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    The second biggest wrong inflicted on manufacturers and companies-happened years ago when the EPA REQUIRED an expiration date on all commerce and manufacturing.It is killing companies, forcing them to throw out items like rubber, paint, o-rings,chemicals, nearly all consumables.
    This expiration date requirement has wiped out billions of of inventory.All major companies now keep very little inventory of anything, and buy it as they need it.

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Alcohol DOES degrade over time BEFORE it gets to the store shelf, here's proof;

    Two years ago I could purchase 80% isopropyl alcohol just about anywhere but today its looking like 50% by content is the norm.

    The one element that insures degradation of alcohol is corporate greed.

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Nickel, we are thinking along the same lines. Put it in glass. Keep it cool. Could last for centuries.
    Just make sure you label it differently than your corn likker, or else...
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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by minimus View Post
    Alcohol DOES degrade over time BEFORE it gets to the store shelf, here's proof;

    Two years ago I could purchase 80% isopropyl alcohol just about anywhere but today its looking like 50% by content is the norm.

    The one element that insures degradation of alcohol is corporate greed.
    I'm not seeing the proof of alcohol degradation from your post, I'm just seeing the evidence of corporate greed. Do you have any links or sources?
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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldhedge View Post
    I have gallon of 91% and have had it for years.

    Still smites an open cut...
    Alcohol at above 75% or so, will actively destroy tissue. Be careful.

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclad Lad View Post
    Just make sure you label it differently than your corn likker, or else...
    Isopropyl alcohol is only slightly more toxic than ethanol. But Isopropyl won't won't give you a buzz, so the state doesn't care what you do with it. Wood alcohol, OTOH, can blind or kill you, but the gov't don't seem to care about that.

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickelless View Post
    I'm not seeing the proof of alcohol degradation from your post, I'm just seeing the evidence of corporate greed. Do you have any links or sources?
    Give this man a cigar !

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by beercritic View Post
    Alcohol at above 75% or so, will actively destroy tissue. Be careful.
    The 91 percent will be used as a disinfecting agent for medical devices such as my fiancee's catheters. She has spina bifida and uses catheters whenever she's traveling and/or at night. To my knowledge, she's not planning to actively destroy tissue.
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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Hmmm. I use 99.953% for cleaning electronics and all my digits are still attached.
    And this is why I'm a monarchist ... the public is just too damn stupid to be allowed to control the country

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    We use it on rare occasions in our snowmobiles when we get water in the gas. I am still using 10 year old iso and it works fine.

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Get a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and dump it. Find a pop top from a sport bottle that fits it. Now you have a tough convenient container for alcohol for your backpack stove.

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Clean your canteens with the H2O3, don't dump it. Hydrogen peroxide is more valuable than alcohol. Better to clean a wound with, heals sores and wounds. Good to gargle or brush teeth with. Great cleaner that is safe for food to contact. Very mild bleaching agent. Distill it, (boil off the water) and it is even more effective. 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide is an exceptional anti-oxidant for medical purposes.

    If your stove will burn multi fuels, probably #1 diesel, home heating oil, is the best choice; many more BTUs per ounce of fuel. Flavor the fuel with essential oil so the smell is pleasant; or use scented lampoil. Lampoil just costs about 10x what the heating oil does and is same composition except for the scent; which comes from an essential oil the mfr adds.

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    Default Re: Storage life of isopropyl alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by noworries View Post
    ...Distill it, (boil off the water) and it is even more effective.
    Heating hydrogen peroxide decomposes it, you will just make expensive water. It also decomposes with time, so rotate your prep stock, it's one of those products that the 'use by' date actually means 'use by'

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