I'm new to 3D printing and have bought a resin printer.

Cleaning with Isopropol Alcohol seems to be the rage, however I think this is unaware of cost savings. It appears methylated spirits is ok and is 25% the cost of Isopropol Alcohol.

I'm now down to wondering if I should buy methylated spirits or turpentine (I ruled out kerosene as too flammable)? I'm leaning towards methylated spirits, however would like input.

Factors I'm curious about:

  1. Cost: same for methylated spirits and turpentine.
  2. Evaporation/solvency: ?
  3. Flammability: ?
  4. Poisonous levels: ?
  5. Resin object cleaning effect: ?
  6. Skin effects: ?
  7. Smell: ?

I checked a few sources.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I would sort the items differently: 5 4 3 6 7 2 1. If it doesn't clean, the rest of the test is moot. If it is too dangerous to work with, the rest is moot. Cost is the last factor to look at. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Commented Feb 8, 2020 at 12:08
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you use turps, you'll need something like isopropanol to clean that off the print. If you use meths in that sort of quantity on a regular basis, you might want to operate in a fume cupboard to avoid inhaling toxic methanol. Whichever solvent you use, you're going to be using nitrile gloves and eye protection at least because of the resin. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 8, 2020 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. There is a non smelling methylated spirits. I just ordered alphabetically, however I agree with Trish's priorities. I have bought methylated spirits. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 4:12

2 Answers 2


I would personally stick to isopropanol. Be aware that 3D printing is a very expensive hobby, but health wise this is a better option. Methylated spirits can quickly become dangerous, and often can burn with a close to invisible flame, meaning that you may not even see if it is burning. Also, the fumes can quickly become dangerous, whereas after years of dealing with isopropanol I have noticed no ill effects. Cost should not be your primary concern, health of you and your printer should be.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Isopropyl alcohol is also very flammable. Please read both SMDS and see the similarities and differences. sceneys.com.au/media/pdfs/msds/Isopropyl_Alcohol_SDS.PDF cleaningessentials.com.au/images/sds/… Know the information from a real science source not a single persons anecdote. Both are Class 3 flammable. and have similar properties re danger. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 7:03
  • $\begingroup$ @StacyDennis that has nothing to do with the ability of the alcohol to take resin into a solution. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ @StacyDennis Isopropanol doesn't burn with an invisible/close to invisible flame. You can at least see it burning. I'm extremely aware of the fact that both are highly flammable. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 16:34

Are you for real?

Isopropyl alcohol is less dangerous to your health than ethanol with a touch of denaturant?

Seriously read the MSDS sheets for the products and know what's in them before you say stuff.

The amount of MEK or MIBK is so small.

Some and not many methylated spirits have a small fraction of methanol but so little that it is safe to work with.

Why would they sell methylated spirits in the supermarket and not IPA if it was more dangerous?

Personally, I would read the SDS/MSDS sheet for the metho if you are worried and find one that is only denatured with Bitrex but to be honest I doubt there will be a health issue any more so than IPA with any of them.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Hi, Matthew. This would be a helpful answer if you listed some sources to support what you say. And welcome to the stack. $\endgroup$
    – Davo
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 12:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I agree with Matthew, there is no reason to think Methylated Spirits is more dangerous than IPA, and if someone believes there is, they should give reference to some science based rationale to push their point. "I've used it for years and I'm ok".. is not scientific. I think Luke's answer needs more of this than Matthews @Davo.. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 4:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .