Which brand of denatured alcohol? Where to get it in US?
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Larry Sullivan
(150mph) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
Which brand of denatured alcohol? Where to get it in US? on 05/15/2009 13:13:43 MDT Print View

Been pouring over all the excellent threads on various fuels that will work in stoves, learning about the percentages of ethanol, toxicity of methanol, burn and residue rates , mixing and blending - great stuff!

From my laymans understanding, the brand with the highest concentration of ethanol and the least percentage of nasty additives (Everclear aside) is a safe bet for good burning and avoidance of irritations that bother some. I don't have the scientific bend of many of you... I just want the results of your experience and I'll go buy it! (for my Sierra hikes)

So...What brand has the highest percentage of ethanol and where can I buy it in the USA?

JT Croteau
(Tobit) - F

Locale: Shadows of the White Mountains
Re: Which brand of denatured alcohol? Where to get it in US? on 05/15/2009 13:18:19 MDT Print View

I use whatever my local hardware store has in the paint thinner aisle that says "denatured alcohol" on it. *shrug*

JT Croteau
(Tobit) - F

Locale: Shadows of the White Mountains
Sample Link on 05/15/2009 13:22:29 MDT Print View

and here is what my local hardware store actually stocks and I've been using:


Any hardware store should have this or their own brand name (Ace, TrueValue, etc.). Home Depot/Lowes will have denatured alcohol as well.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Which brand of denatured alcohol? Where to get it in US? on 05/15/2009 13:49:53 MDT Print View

Look for Sunnyside Denatured Alcohol.

If you can't find Sunnyside, Google 'MSDS' for the brand you can get and make an educated comparison to Sunnyside. You're looking for 94% ethanol. Look for that last 6% and convince yourself it's OK to be around.

The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) tells you a lot, but you have to look to find it.

Edited by greg23 on 05/15/2009 13:50:28 MDT.

Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
a hard bargain on 05/15/2009 14:25:30 MDT Print View

The batch qualities on all that stuff in the can differ quite a bit. I have no experience with sunnyside so it may be an exception to the rule. What works once can next time have some very harsh vapors etc. I have found the yellow heet bottle to be the way to go, of course not as high energy as ethanol but as for availability and reliability I have not found better yet.


. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: "Which brand of denatured alcohol?" on 05/15/2009 14:56:21 MDT Print View

Hardware stores are typically required by law to have all MSDS sheets on hand or readily made available upon request. However, keep in mind that MSDS sheets don't necessarily list all ingredients and don't always cover uses other than that for which they are intended.

JT Croteau
(Tobit) - F

Locale: Shadows of the White Mountains
Re: a hard bargain on 05/15/2009 15:00:37 MDT Print View

"The batch qualities on all that stuff in the can differ quite a bit."

I've used about five different brands of hardware store "denatured alcohol" and they've all had very similar burn qualities. As long as the ingredients say 94% or better ethanol, I'd have no problems using it. Regarding availability, I actually have a harder time finding the yellow HEET bottles in this area than I do simple denatured alcohol.

Brian OKelly
(losthillsguy) - F
S-L-X on 05/15/2009 16:30:24 MDT Print View

SLX brand works well and is always reported to burn clean. I've had bad luck with other brands. I get it at WalMart.

Here is what it looks like.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: S-L-X on 05/15/2009 16:46:30 MDT Print View

And here is what the MSDS looks like.

48% ethanol
48% methanol
4% Methyl isobutyl ketone


Edited by greg23 on 05/17/2009 07:16:07 MDT.

JT Croteau
(Tobit) - F

Locale: Shadows of the White Mountains
Re: Re: S-L-X on 05/15/2009 18:15:43 MDT Print View

Yeah, SLX is some pretty nasty stuff thanks to all that methanol and methyl.

Lewis Wilson
(Lewis) - F
try your local outfitter on 05/16/2009 09:03:20 MDT Print View

If you're in Southern California, you should have lots of local outfitters that carry denatured alcohol in their camping departments. Any place that sells alcohol stoves will sell the fuel for them.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: try your local outfitter on 05/18/2009 10:59:04 MDT Print View

Not all "denatured" alcohol is created equal. S-L-X is about 50% methanol and has some nasty additives. Sunnyside is 85%+ ethanol. It's worth taking the time to look at the MSDS sheets. In general, the higher the ethanol content the better and the fewer number of nasty additives the better.

Larry Sullivan
(150mph) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
MSDS confusion... on 05/18/2009 18:21:30 MDT Print View

Thanks for your input guys. Never thought my love of the woods would lead me to researching chemicals and learning how to read hazardous chemical spec sheets. But this interest is all about staying as healthy as possible when using an alcohol stove over the long term, so I think it's an important thing to learn. I could use more enlightenment, if you can help. Maybe others are interested in this too. Ingredients aren't listed on cans.

I registered at MSDS.com, where I got 9 search results for "Sunnyside denatured alcohol".

Allpro Denatured Alcohol Sunnyside Corporation
Allpro Denatured Alcohol Sunnyside Corporation
Denatured Alcohol Anhydrous Sunnyside Corporation
Denatured Alcohol Solvent Sunnyside Corporation
Denatured Alcohol Solvent Sunnyside Corporation
Denatured Alcohol, Anhydrous Sunnyside Corporation
Denatured Ethyl Alcohol Sunnyside Corporation
Denatured Ethyl Alcohol, "Tecsol" 3 Solvent, 95%
Pro Solutions Denatured Alcohol Sunnyside Corporation

Here are excerpts from the MSDS pdf for Denatured Alcohol Solvent. (This is the same stuff I bought down at the local TrueValue hardware.)pic.

I'm posting only sections I cut out of the 3 pg pdf that appear relative to ingredient quantity.

The weight % of Sunnyside Denatured Alcohol Solvent is 85.7% - not bad - I can live with that. (Where on the spec sheet does one get the 95% figure? The figure "95%" is listed under "Common names" but there's no documentation or reference as to why...)

I could get no search results for SLX, slx, S-L-X or s-l-x. The search engine on this site refuses to give all results for "denatured alcohol". Signed up for msdsonline.com also...no more helpful because it lists 1000's of listings no matter how you narrow the search.

But I'm still curious. How to get info on SLX vs. other brands?

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
msds for slx denatured alcohol. on 05/18/2009 18:46:47 MDT Print View


Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: msds for slx denatured alcohol. on 05/18/2009 19:28:46 MDT Print View

Right on, nice resource!

Step forward and receive your nerd award, proudly.

p.s. The NIOSH guide is a good resource for interpreting what's on MSDSs, if you can figure out the decoder ring.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: MSDS confusion... on 05/18/2009 19:48:09 MDT Print View

Look above to my post on S-L-X. There is a link to the MSDS.

MSDS sheets can be created by anyone. MSDS.com is a company creating sheets, but obviously don't have the market cornered. Hence a few holes.

To find the MSDS for a product Google MSDS, 'company name', and the 'product name'. Then look at the dates on the hits. Some are old. If none of that works call the company and ask them where to find the MSDS. They are usually very helpful.

Edited by greg23 on 05/19/2009 06:13:33 MDT.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: "Which brand of denatured alcohol?" on 05/19/2009 18:59:14 MDT Print View

Yikes! And to think I was just going to tout the virtues of SLX primarily because a blurb on the can recommends it for use in marine alcohol stoves. Well, ya know what my momma always said...don't believe everthing ya read!

Kirk Beiser
(kab21) - F

Locale: Pic: Gun Lake, BWCA
S-L-X sold under Klean-Strip brand if that helps on 05/23/2009 22:28:42 MDT Print View

My yet unopened gallon bottle of S-L-X Denatured Alcohol is sold under the Klean-Strip brand. It will be my 2nd or 3rd gallon of SLX so I'm guessing that I'll be dead in ten years.

I would be interested in your results with the Sunnyside Denatured Alcohol Solvent. I don't know if I had a bad bottle (it was dented) but I vaguely remember my stove not burning as well with it.

Stephen Bodiya
(stephen@bodiya.com) - F

Locale: Michigan
Re: Best Brand on 05/28/2009 18:25:31 MDT Print View

Here is a short list of some with very low methanol in it. I just randomly stumbled upon it looking for some other brands. It even lists the MSDS ingredients too. Sunnyside does appear to be the best, although I haven't looked into any other ingredients yet to decide what I would end up using.


Warren Grannis
(karmannguy) - F
high quality denatured alcohol on 11/08/2010 18:34:49 MST Print View

According to the company's MSDS, Crown Next denatured alcohol (available at Lowe's) is 95% ethanol (the good stuff), for roughly the same price as the "usual" Crown denatured alchohol. Here's the company's MSDS:


The stuff runs about $7 a quart, and I've always had good experience with it. Cheers.