Handy Tool Cleaner
Learn how common hand sanitizers can be used as a substitute for denatured alcohol when cleaning tools.
For some products we use, like epoxy, hot glue, and permanent markers, the recommended solvent for cleanup is denatured alcohol—something every shop should have in supply. However, if you ever run out or find yourself at a job site with no alcohol on hand, consider this: Most common hand sanitizers are ethanol-based. And given our recent heightened germ-related awareness, there’s a good chance you have some in your vehicle.
You might even be able to scavenge a few squirts from a nearby portable toilet. Also, most brands of sanitizer are in gel form, which I have found can actually work better than liquid. The gel can be slathered on tools, and the alcohol coating in this form doesn’t evaporate so quickly, giving it more time to do its work.
—Brian Campbell, Minneapolis
Illustration by Charles Miller