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Why clean with IPA?

Why clean with IPA?


Our world revolves around electronic gadgets and they make our day, day in and day out. To keep this going, they need regular maintenance, any impairment would bring down efficiency or even worse wouldstop work flow. Dust and dirt are the regular culprits that need to be cleaned at reasonable  intervals, if left unattended it may give rise to heating issues, loss of data and at times short circuit. So its best they are given due attention.

Different ways of cleaning

The simplest way of clearing dust is to use a micro fiber cloth but this may not be the ideal method for through cleaning as well as for delicate handling. Compressed air cleaning guns can be used to focus cleaning in specific areas, water can also be used to wipe away dust but not advisable for electronic circuits, in such instances Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is the best alternate. IPA is an excellent solvent which cleans up the surface without leaving residue.

But why IPA? when there are several other alcohols like ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol and butyl alcohol which have similar properties.

Reasoning it

Methyl alcohol is equivalent to IPA in cleaning but evaporates quickly, it vaporizes so fast that it doesn’t wet the wipe enough to carry out the cleaning action.

Ethyl alcohol is quite similar to methyl alcohol and pose the same challenge of quick evaporation.

The evaporation rate of butyl alcohol is convenient enough to complete the cleaning action but has an unpleasant odour which restricts its use..

IPA surpasses all the solvents in its category with the advantage of complete miscibility in water, optimal evaporation time and pocket friendly. Depending on the type of application IPA concentrations fall between 60% – 90%..

Applications of IPA

IPA applications are umpteen from cleaning household mirrors to disinfecting in hospitals. It is also used to erases greases and clean up dry board build-up. Another prominent use of IPA is in cleaning up of electronic gadgets. Computer keyboards, mouse and mother boards can get rid of dirt with the least effort using IPA. Certain precautions need to be taken while initiating to clean the electronic device, make sure that the component on which IPA is to be sprayed is at room temperature, as higher temperatures may initiate sparks or undesirable effects. Use 99% pure IPA on electronic devices, as lower concentrations will have higher water content and is not advisable for gadgets that uses electricity for its functioning. Lower concentrations of isopropyl alcohol are used for clearing windshields of frost.

IPA’s role as a disinfectant is appreciable, it is capable of destroying both bacteria and virus. The alcohol disintegrates the cell membrane and penetrating the cell to denatures protein which leads to disintegration of the bacteria.

On a larger scale the printing industry uses Isopropyl alcohol as a solvent and to wash off acetone and toluene which are also solvents.

IPA is one of the ingredients in disinfectants, antiseptics and several cleaning formulations and we use it more often than we are aware of.Sinograce Chemical is a leading chemical manufacturer of IPA who supplies different grades to suite the exact requirement of clients.

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