Cleaning With Methylated Spirits

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Methylated spirits is a good general cleaner and so cheap! You can pick some up at any supermarket and also at Bunnings and Masters in the cleaning isle.

  • It’s great as a glass cleaner! Use full strength or 70% Metho with 30% water for stubborn stains
  • Methylated spirits can be used to remove ink stains from upholstery or clothes
  • Remove permanent marker from pvc plastics.
  • As a solvent for thinning paint
  • For cleaning paint brushes as an alternative to fossil fuel based solvents
  • As a general metal cleaner
  • For removing stickers and sticker residue from car windscreens
  • Cleaning electronics
  • Cleaning CD/DVD laser lenses (use a cotton bud/q- tip)
  • Benchtop cleaner and disinfectant – either full strength or 50/50 ratio

Recipes using Methylated Spirits:

Window Cleaning

To clean window panes prepare a solution of 50% water and 50% Methylated Spirits. Place in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the window. Wipe off the solution with paper towels (not newspaper) and the result is shiny, clean, streak-free windows.

Homemade Windex
1/8 cup cloudy ammonia
1/4 cup methylated spirits
1/2 teaspoon washing powder mixed with enough boiling water to dissolve

Mix all the ingredients together in a recycled spray bottle and fill to the top with water. To use, spray on glass and mirrors then wipe with a lint free cloth or paper towel. Your glass will be streak free and shiny.

Whiteboard Cleaning

Whiteboards can be cleaned easily with a spray of the solution above, again wiping off with paper towels. This tip is especially good when permanent marker pens have inadvertently been used on a white board.

Cleaning Ink Stains

Marker pen, felt pen and ink stains on upholstery can be easily removed. Dab the affected area with a non-lint cloth dipped in a little Methylated Spirits and you will find that the ink transfers to the cloth; keep dabbing, using a fresh cloth if necessary and the stains will lift readily.

Removing Grass Stains

Grass and berry stains can be removed from washable fabrics by dabbing in the same way as point 3 above, then rubbing the stain with a stain stick before washing on a cool wash. A hot wash can cause any residual stain to ‘set’.

Removing Makeup Stains

Lipstick and makeup stains can be removed from washable fabrics using the same method as in point 4 above. Note: never put clothes in a tumble drier until you are sure that the stain is completely removed as the heat of the drier may make the stain ‘set’ in the fabric.

Thinning Paint

Methylated Spirits can be used a thinner for paints; just mix a little into the paint you want to use and stir thoroughly before using.

Cleaning Paint Brushes

A little TLC and a little Methylated Spirits can greatly extend the life of your paint brushes. When you have finished a painting job, wipe the excess paint from the brush with an old rag, then put sufficient Methylated Spirits in a container so that it is deep enough to cover the bristles. A jam jar is good, so long as it is wide enough to accommodate the brush. The paint will lift away from the bristles. Soak overnight, then remove the brush, wipe off the excess Methylated Spirits, then wash the bristles in warm, soapy water before allowing them to dry naturally.

Stain Remover

Use undiluted or diluted with water as a stain remover. Spot test on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure product does not stain.

Windscreen Washer Additive

Add 100ml into the windscreen washer tank and top up with water

Homemade Glass Cleaning Solution

For a lint-free clean use a microfibre cloth. This can be washed and re-used over and over. For windows, invest in a squeegee.


1/4 cup methylated spirits

1 litre water


Add the methylated spirits to the water, transfer to a spray bottle and you’re ready to start cleaning!

For Mould:

Non-porous surfaces

80% white vinegar (by volume), plus

20% water

Porous surfaces

70% methylated spirits (by volume), plus

30% water

Rinse cleaned items with water and dry thoroughly.

Just remember that Methylated Spirits is a TOXIC substance and containers should be kept out of the reach of children and animals. Always read the Material Safety Data Sheet provided and wear protective clothing as guided. Accidental ingestion can cause blindness, loss of consciousness, coma and can eventually lead to death so please ensure that you use this chemical responsibly and enjoy the success of removing stains with Methylated Spirits.

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