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Denatured alcohol is ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, with one or more chemicals added to it making it unsuitable to drink. Methanol is one of the most common additives. It is not denatured in the molecular sense.

As with most alcohols, denatured alcohol is an exceptionally powerful cleaning solvent and should be handled with care. It removes chrome from plastic parts, so great care should be exercised in its use near chromed plastic wheels.