The instructions for Dental LT Clear say that it can only be sterilized with ethanol, but I can’t find any that isn’t denatured, which I don’t think would be safe to use on parts that are going inside the mouth. Where can I find non-denatured ethanol that isn’t too expensive? Or can I use something else for sterilization? Would regular IPA work?
Perhaps the clue is in the fact that ethanol is the alcohol that gets us drunk!! Its subject to taxes, that is what makes it expensive.
Wikipedia gives you a lot of information. Just ask your self the question do you want to sterilise something with a product that is deliberately made toxic to stop its consumption?
To quote wikipedia: "In some countries, sales of alcoholic beverages are heavily taxed. In order to avoid paying beverage taxes on alcohol that is not meant to be consumed, the alcohol must be “denatured”, or treated with added chemicals to make it unpalatable.
Denatured alcohol is not, in itself, a product that would be normally demanded if given the alternative of normal ethanol. Denatured alcohol and its manufacture are a public policy compromise. The supply and demand for denatured alcohol arises from the fact that normal alcohol (which in everyday language refers specifically to ethanol, suitable for human ingestion as a recreational drink or extractive medium for medicinal tinctures) is usually very expensive in comparison with similar chemicals, being highly taxed for revenue and public health policy purposes (see Pigovian tax). If pure ethanol were made cheaply available for fuel, solvents, or medicinal purposes, some people might ingest it.
Denatured alcohol provides a solution to permit industrial use and manufacture of ethanol, whereby cheap ethanol can be made available for non-consumption use without the risk of its being converted for consumption. The process creates an ethanol-containing solution that is not suitable for drinking, but is otherwise somewhat similar to ethanol for certain purposes. As a result, there is no duty on denatured alcohol in most countries, making it considerably cheaper than pure ethanol. As a consequence, its composition is tightly defined by government regulations that vary between countries."
"Despite its poisonous content, denatured alcohol is sometimes consumed as a surrogate alcohol. This can result in blindness or death if it contains methanol. For instance, during the American Prohibition, federal law required methanol in domestically-manufactured industrial alcohols. On Christmas Day, 1926, and the two following days, which was roughly at the midpoint of the “Great Experiment” of nationwide alcohol prohibition, 31 people in New York City alone died of methanol poisoning. To help prevent this, denatonium is often added to give the substance an extremely bitter flavour. Substances such as pyridine are added to give the mixture an unpleasant odour, and agents such as syrup of ipecac may also be included to induce emesis (vomiting).
New Zealand has removed methanol from its government-approved “methylated spirits” formulation"
IPA is not safe for sterilising, Ethanol is available from many chemical suppliers - BUT is expensive, best to stick with what the instructions say.