Acetone is widely used in the labs as a solvent to clean the vials and tubes as it is good solvent for organic materials. While Isopropyl alcohol is used as a rubbing alcohol for cleaning contaminants on the body before injection. Both are good solvents for organic materials. I would like to know which one is more suitable for cleaning the organic contaminants on the PCB's (Printed Circuit Board) with minimal residue?

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    $\begingroup$ PCB should be OK, but a soldered PCB has components, e.g. polystyrene caps, or a piezo element in a polystyrene case. $\endgroup$ May 31, 2020 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ The residue may be oils left behind that the iso missed... but I certainly wouldn't use a stronger solvent on a phone. Just gentle rubbing with microfiber cloth will remove most oils. $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2020 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ Acetone aggressively attacks many polymeric components (not just polystyrene) and often completely destroys them. The circuit board itself, for example, may well be damaged as will many electronic components. isopropanol does not and is always a better choice. $\endgroup$
    – matt_black
    Jun 20, 2020 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ @gfdsal yes. But pure dry ethanol in not readily available and comes with legal restrictions. Pure Isopropanol is easier to get and it is easier to dry and doesn’t need to be denatured to stop people drinking it. $\endgroup$
    – matt_black
    Jun 20, 2020 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ @matt_black +1 I believe you made it easier for me to decide what to purchase. I had an option of ethanol or isopropanol 70%, I shall go with isopropanol as pharmacy ethanol is most likely to have ingredients that denatures it and might leave residue on the circuit board which is undesirable. $\endgroup$
    – gfdsal
    Jun 20, 2020 at 16:04


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