I have a hardwood wooden frame, possibly lacquered, containing some very dirty nylon plastic pieces, a bit like the teeth of a comb, where the frame goes along top and bottom. I know it's nylon because the manufacturers say so, ditto they mention lacquer. I would normally just scrub the nylon section with soapy water, but the wooden frame MUST NOT warp! I have some isopropyl alcohol, 99 or 97%, i can't remember, and propose to wipe the nylon clean. It's 120cm long and has lots of slots in it, so this may take quite a lot of propanol. My question is: Is solid nylon 'plastic' affected by isopropyl alcohol of this %? If I am better off diluting it a bit, would it then warp the wood? I know it will take the lacquer off - it's not good with furniture finishes generally! I do know to do this job outside :-) Thank you

  • $\begingroup$ I don't care too much about the lacquer, but the wood must not warp or it will be useless for it's intended function. thank you $\endgroup$ – Bella Sep 2 '16 at 19:08

Your nylon plastic should be thoroughly resistant to concentrated isopropyl alcohol.

According to this encyclopedia.com entry, nearly all of the nylon produced (in the US anyway) is one of two types: type 66 and type 64. Each of these is stated in the article to be insoluble in water and most organic solvents, but soluble in strong acids.

As some anecdotal evidence of nylon's resistance to common solvents, this Quora discussion referenced a frustrated biker's need to find a suitable solvent for removing some nylon that had melted onto a motorbike exhaust pipe. There was really no good consumer-type of solvent listed (and nothing remotely chemically similar to isopropanol), and it actually included a link to a patent for a compound specially designed for dissolving nylon-based materials, just because they are so chemically resistant.

That all said, it wouldn't be a bad idea to do a "spot test" of the isopropyl alcohol on a small, inconspicuous as possible piece of the plastic. There's always an outside chance that it's not exactly what you think it is or that for some reason your particular nylon-based plastic is not as immune to a solvent like isopropanol as the above arguments imply that it should be.


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