Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware shop?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware shop?

    Hi guys
    Another little problem lol

    I need something to remove flux etc from PCBs after rework. I normally use IPA for this, when I am in the UK.

    But I spend most of my time in Gran Canaria now where I am doing some repair work and hopefully setting up a new workshop soon. Now the problem is with IPA... I can't bring it with me on the plane in hand luggage and flammable liquids are banned in hold luggage too.

    Getting specialised items like that is not so easy on a small island - So does anyone know of some substitute that would be available in a general hardware store, or Ferreteria as they are called here?

    I have the same problem with Switch Contact Cleaner and Freezer spray as pressurised containers are also a no-no on the planes

    I've tried Absolute Vodka and it kinda works as a flux cleaner but it is too 'wet' and I wouldn't like to power up a board afterwards until the next day, though putting it out in the sun here would dry it pretty rapido.... and sunshine is something we have in abundance!! Anyway, the missus says that is a waste of damn good vodka!

    Rich

    Any ideas?
    Follow me on YouTube
    ------------------
    Learn Electronics Repair
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFX...R8UZ2vg/videos

    #2
    Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

    Pharmacy or grocery stores might sell 91% IPA. General stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc might sell 50% to 75% IPA.
    --- begin sig file ---

    If you are new to this forum, we can help a lot more if you please post clear focused pictures (max resolution 2000x2000 and 2MB) of your boards using the manage attachments button so they are hosted here. Information and picture clarity compositions should look like this post.

    We respectfully ask that you make some time and effort to read some of the guides available for basic troubleshooting. After you have read through them, then ask clarification questions or report your findings.

    Please do not post inline and offsite as they slow down the loading of pages.

    --- end sig file ---

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

      Acetone works pretty well (though you have to be careful what you use it on as it will melt some plastics), but I doubt it is much easier to get ahold of than IPA is.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

        I would venture to say all grocery stores should carry 70% isopropanol (that 30% is purified water). Drug stores and grocery stores with drugstores will carry 91% azeotropic isopropanol, and some may carry 99% (in the USA, Safeway seems to have 99% but concentration not tested). Only junk stores carry 50% (like Dollar Tree in the USA.) Any stores that sell 50% should be dragged out into the street and shot.

        Though salting out water-IPA solutions should work fine, I'd suggest against it.

        And I found that acetone was a bit harder to get... Denatured Alcohol (ethanol) also could be used in a pinch and this should be available in hardware stores (if they don't carry isopropanol too).
        Last edited by eccerr0r; 04-22-2017, 12:58 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

          Here it's not very easy to get either ethanol or isopropanol in large quantities, so I use alcohol with 90% ethanol and 10% methanol sometimes. I prefer to use acetone instead since methanol is highly toxic, but acetone can't be used on every surfaces so it depends on what I'm working on.
          OpenBoardView — https://github.com/OpenBoardView/OpenBoardView

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

            i dont find it so easy here to buy in a general shop .but can buy it as switch cleaner 97 percent from car spares supplier no problem in aerosol cans .

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

              @dicky96
              You can use a better IPA replacement than acetone (nail polish thinner / remover).
              I'm sure that although being a small island you will find car paint shops.
              These are bound to have paint thinner, also referred to as a filler, dilutant, diluent.
              Be careful, besides melting plastic it is highly flammable!!!
              .

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                Acetone was already mentioned. Should be fairly easy to find.

                You may also want to look into LCD screen cleaning solutions (usually sprays). They're typically around 50-70% isopropyl alcohol, almost all the rest distilled water, then in tiny percentage perfume and sometimes preservatives (i guess to keep the perfume from going bad or perhaps reduce the risk of bacteria growing in water, if it's even possible)

                On the more active side (stronger, and you should normally use it in well ventilated areas and with gloves) you could use paint thinner - most compositions are in large proportions acetone, turpentine, toluene, naphta... all of these are solvents that will clean the surfaces. Note that these would attack plastics and paints so you may loose silkscreen on pcb (printed text) or color could come out of pvc/plastic sleeves on capacitors and other components.

                In some situations, the enamel (insulation) of wires in inductors/chokes could be damaged by such strong solvent.

                But after use, you should really clean the surface with sanitary alcohol or distilled water.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                  Thanks for the suggestions. One thing I can easily get here is Absinthe and some of that is 85% alcohol by volume (ethanol I would presume). I guess I could try that

                  Rich
                  Follow me on YouTube
                  ------------------
                  Learn Electronics Repair
                  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFX...R8UZ2vg/videos

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                    Another possibility: Auto parts store: Drygas usually is isopropanol (though watch out, some use methanol).

                    I really would not use acetone as a straight substitute. It can only be used as a substitute in certain situations else each have their specific uses... I'd use denatured alcohol, even with its methanol for isopropanol before using acetone.

                    Except when using it to disinfect human wounds (unless I know what the denaturing agent is), then again I wouldn't use acetone to treat wounds either.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                      I don't think Absinthe would be a good choice the green fairy might get you!

                      I don't know if Vapping is a thing there but I noticed a while back one of the local corner store / Vapping shop had gallon jugs of 99% IPA, not cheap @ 50$CDN. I have no idea what they use it for but you never know where stuff will show up.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                        Check your local petrol station, if they got any additive to remove water from petrol tanks. They usually contains a high percentage isopropyl.
                        ------------
                        Be a mensch

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                          Originally posted by dicky96 View Post
                          Thanks for the suggestions. One thing I can easily get here is Absinthe and some of that is 85% alcohol by volume (ethanol I would presume). I guess I could try that

                          Rich
                          Absinthe is for drinking and getting f****d up on. Not for wasting trying to clean stuff.
                          If you're planning on having a permanent repair shop over there, perhaps investigate one of the chemical companies that supplies the islands.

                          Failing that you should be able to use acetone in cheap nail polish remover, but avoid using it near plastic.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                            what about car clutch and brake cleaner? ive used it in the past it did a really good job but not 100% sure if ok for pcbs

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                              Hi guys thanks for the continued suggestions.

                              A spanish member on here got in touch via PM and told me to get Alcohol de Quemar 'para encender y limpiar' from the local supermarket which basically means Alcohol for fires (barbecues) and cleaning.

                              I found a litre of this in the local supermarket for a couple of euros.

                              Limpiar translates as 'cleaning' and it also says 'desengresante domestico and limpieza cristales'

                              So that is 'degreaser and glass cleaner'.

                              There are no exact list of contents but it does say it contains ethanol and does not contain methanol.

                              It smells more like vodka than meths.

                              I tried that on a pcb and it seems to remove flux OK and evaporates fast.

                              Oh and it does indeed help to light the barbie.

                              rich
                              Follow me on YouTube
                              ------------------
                              Learn Electronics Repair
                              https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFX...R8UZ2vg/videos

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                                Let’s not complicate things: any spanish supermarket have 96º alcohol that is poor man’s flux-off, but it leaves residue. You can buy IPA at any pharmacy!

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                                  Most brake/clutch cleaners are pretty aggressive to plastics. The cleaner I use contains toluene, acetone and MEK (methyl ethyl ketone). Great for stripping flux, no residue - just watch the overspray and where it runs.
                                  Stupidity should be a crime, especially for drivers. I have NO patience for them.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Re: Any Substitute for Iso Propyl Alcohol IPA that could find in a general hardware s

                                    Originally posted by delaware74b View Post
                                    Most brake/clutch cleaners are pretty aggressive to plastics. The cleaner I use contains toluene, acetone and MEK (methyl ethyl ketone). Great for stripping flux, no residue - just watch the overspray and where it runs.
                                    Really aggressive, MEK can dissolve potting material. I wonder if something like MAP sensor cleaner would be better. But if you've got access to an auto parts store they should have electrical contact cleaner which would probably be your best choice.

                                    Comment

                                    Working...
                                    X