Isopropyl alcohol (CAS #67-63-0) is also referred to as IPA, isopropanol, and 2-propanol. It dissolves a wide range of polar and non-polar soils, it is often used to dissolve and remove light oils, fingerprints, cutting fluids, flux residues, carbon deposits, and mold release. It is also readily miscible in water, so can be used as a drying agent as well.
For electronic printed circuit board (PCB) assembly, you will find isopropyl alcohol being used to clean flux residues from recently soldered circuit boards or in PCB repair and rework. IPA is also used to remove solder paste or adhesive from SMT stencils. Maintenance cleaning with isopropyl alcohol is common for removing caked-on and burnt-on flux from SMT reflow ovens, wave soldering fingers, selective soldering nozzles, pallets, and anywhere else flux tends to collect in automated soldering processes.
For more information, check out our Cleaning Electronics with Isopropyl Alcohol.
Techspray offers IPA products that are either 70% pure, blended with 30% deionized (DI) water, or 99.8% pure.
A degreaser is intended to clean a surface, so remove contamination. A degreaser is designed specifically to remove oils, greases, and lubricants. Sanitizers are intended to kill various pathogenic agents, like bacteria and viruses. There are materials that can do both, like 70% isopropyl alcohol (per CDC guidelines for hard surface disinfecting), but don’t assume all degreasers will kill pathogens.