Alternative automotive uses for surplus 80% alcohol hand sanitizer?

So, I have ended up with a basically unlimited FREE supply of surplus 80% ethanol hand sanitizer. Other ingredients are listed as purified water, hydrogen peroxide, and glycerin. Local charities are overwhelmed and turning away donations. This stuff is liquid and meant to be used in squirt bottles or automatic spray dispensers. The consistency and smell are of vodka.

Other ingredients (no percentage given) include hydrogen peroxide and glycerin.

Since I am basically being paid to take this stuff away, I am looking at alternative uses in any way possible. It is a great stain remover and kitchen cleaner, especially for grease splatter and such. You just don’t want ANYTHING burning nearby as this stuff is flammable! It works like rubbing alcohol as well.

I was wondering what automotive uses this could serve. A degreaser/solvent type product is one although I am sure others would do better. How about windshield washer fluid? Can this be used in a pure or diluted form? Would any of the other ingredients be a problem? I know that alcohol can damage paint so wouldn’t likely want full strength. I assume this would take a lot of effort to purify it into some type of fuel that could just be mixed in with gas over time.

Any other uses anyone here can think of? It is crazy that people were getting into fights over this a year ago and now people are getting paid to haul it away.

This is a Google is your friend deal . There are all kinds of uses for the stuff .

80%, if it were just water in the 20%, would be flammable, though not useful as an automotive fuel. If I had 1 bottle I’d use it as anti-freeze in the windshield washer fluid. I doubt any process to remove the ethanol from the rest would yield ethanol cheaper than buying it outright. Making it safely drinkable is even harder. ‘Denaturing’ means making it undrinkable in a way that it isn’t worth reversing.

Glycerin and peroxide are both edible. No doubt you could get rid of all of it on Skid Row, as long as you don’t get caught.

There are all kinds of uses but none that really can account for a pallet or more of the stuff without using it in mass quantities. Anyway, the stuff makes a great cleaner and degreaser. Just put some on a rag or paper towel and wipe away the mess… The main hazard here is avoiding open flame or spark as this stuff is flammable.

It sounds like use as a deicer, windshield washer, or solvent are probably the best auto uses.

I don’t even know if this stuff is officially denatured as this isn’t mentioned. I figure with the mad rush to produce it but figure it might contain harmful impurities or methanol at levels not considered harmful for its intended purpose which isn’t consumption. It also smells like rocket fuel! Hydrogen peroxide is easily broken down by shaking and expose to UV light. The containers are clear plastic so a day sitting outside in the sun would take care of that.

I see people are using this as a dry bath or hair wash now. I guess this could be of use when camping like I enjoy. Also, maybe it could be a fuel for camping stoves. Again, I might burn through a quart of this a year and now I have more 64 ounce containers available than I can count!

Here’s an idea from the news:

A crazy guy went into a police station, took off his clothes, doused himself with sanitizer, then the cops Tased him…

Yeah, one of my main concerns about using this for cleaning and such is its flammability. This video proves this!

Alcohol based hand sanitizer works great for removing pine tree sap from car paint.

Cut it with water 50/50 and put some on your windshield. See if it wipes off easily. As mentioned above, it would be a good windshield cleaner. Peroxide is a great oxidizer. I would be careful cleaning interior surfaces with it. If testing on an inconspicuous spot shows no damage, then you might use it for cleaning seats, interior doors, and the dashboard.

I accidentally got a few random spots of Purell on my car’s leather upholstery, and I thought… Oh, s**t.I hope I didn’t permanently damage the upholstery. I used leather cleaner and conditioner on the seats, and the spots are gone, but I am going to be MUCH more careful in the future.

That being said, I am using left-over hand sanitizer as a drain cleaner and a toilet cleaner.

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I am going to top off my washer solvent with some of this. It sounds like you don’t want to use it at 100% for this and that is what I figured.

I have hard water here so don’t think this would work well for the toilets or drains. It might deodorize but I need the stuff with the strong acids to cut the film that starts to build up.

I guess carefully applying as a deicer on windshields is another use.

Make sure that you check the ingredients. Besides the alcohol, many–perhaps most–hand sanitizers contain either glycerin or aloe so that they don’t dry-out your skin excessively, and you wouldn’t want to smear-up your windshield with either of those ingredients.

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I did some web searching and I am not going to put that stuff in my window washer . The general opinion is that large quanities should not go in the drains . As for cleaning tree sap on cars , not going to do that either .

Watkin , you have a lot of this stuff so if no one wants it it should be treated as Hazzard waste.

I agree.
I put a couple of ounces in my drains every week or so, and then I rinse the drain with a lot of water after 5 minutes or so.

Honestly, if I had as much as he has and couldn’t find a use for all of it, I’d just burn it


Perhaps as a fire starter for bonfires?

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I tried cleaning a window as a test and it leaves a film so that is a no go for windshield washer. Besides a solvent/cleaner for parts, this stuff may not have a good automotive use.

I will see if it is a good camping fuel of sorts. Of course the quantity I have would last many lifetimes for this use. It definitely burns hot and clean as I put a saucer out as a test but would want a stove that would burn it. I know some exist but want more pure fuel.

Besides basic household cleaning and other uses, I might see if the local schools want some. It seem a sin to just take it to the hazmat disposal site when there is nothing wrong with it. Besides, in two weeks people might be fighting over this again.

I would not use it in my coleman stove or lamp. I made hand sanitizer with everclear and a cut up roll of paper towels. Not sure how thin it is, maybe you can make these up and donate them. Bought 2 bottles of everclear, lifetime supply I think.

Leftover? I’m still using it and was using it before the pandemic. Not over yet. Before the pandemic I used it mainly in church after you had to shake hands with everyone during flu season.

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I keep a very small bottle of Purell in each coat pocket, plus a large one in one of the cup holders of my car. The stuff that I periodically pour into drains is some cheapo junk that doesn’t contain any glycerin or aloe, and it really messed-up my hands by drying the skin excessively.

I hate it when I’m right. :wink:

I doubt a your local household hazmat site would take that amount, you would have to find a commercial hazmat site and pay them.