View Full Version : What kind of alcohol for a stove

12-20-2005, 23:06
So many good reviews of alcohol stoves--I got to try this. I'm stuck on the first step, what kind of alcohol should I be useing? I found HEET (this is methanol), denatured alcohol (this is ethanol), isopropyl rubbing alcohol, and iso HEET (this is isopropyl alcohol). Does it even make a difference?

12-20-2005, 23:13
Use either HEET/methanol or denatured/ethanol and you'll be fine. Iso- versions are watery and will produce a weak, fitful flame. There's lots more science behind it, but that gives you a start.

12-20-2005, 23:47
General opinion is to use Denatured alcohol, preferably "S-L-X" or "Kleen Strip" brands, as they have been shown to be consistantly a good fuel for all alcohol stoves.


12-21-2005, 11:48
I've used several brands of denatured alcohol but I found that the "HEET" in the yellow container burns hotter in my stove (Trangia) than the others.


12-22-2005, 19:37
General opinion is to use Denatured alcohol, preferably "S-L-X" or "Kleen Strip" brands, as they have been shown to be consistantly a good fuel for all alcohol stoves.

Not necessarily a consensus opinion. Heet is methanol, slightly fewer BTUs per ounce than pure ethanol. (Ethanol has 785 BTUs per ounce, Methanol has 637.)

S-L-X is composed of 80% methanol, less than 20% ethanol, and Methyl Ethyl Ketones not to exceed 3%. It also smells extremely bad. Heet is odorless.

S-L-X costs 3.50 to 4.00 per quart. You have to get it at Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart or some other hardware store. Heet costs around 1.00 per 12 ounce bottle. It can be gotten at Wal-Mart or any auto parts store.

I used to use S-L-X. I now use Heet. My reasons, given above, seem pretty logical.

12-23-2005, 12:01
you can use almost any brand of carberator cleaner as well, but folks will add the fact that there are fume issues as well as soot issues on yer cook pot. the other products will burn as hot or hotter, and may be the cause for my pepsi stove deterioration.

heet can be found at many gas stations. in VA i couldn't find denatured everywhere and many places i couldn't find Heet, so i would in a pinch use whatever i "had" to use. red heet works fine. some carb/fuel injection cleaners work equally as well. with a tad bit of sand, i was able to get the soot off my cook pot.

i personally would use these other products, because i didn't mind the fumes or soot. there is always, even with denatured, a fire risk...and i would bet in extreme situations a flame out or explosion. so best to pack enough denatured and get more at the outfitters or hostels.

i would add...there are several websites that discuss safety issues that i read before i started using my stove...antigravitygear comes to mind and something at freenet i think it is...more will post these sites if you ask or search for them.
oh, denatured has fumes as well...any fire does. i am guessing that some folks would discuss the properties of different effects of toxic chems in the wild...as well as spills and burns on the picnic tables or shelter floors. you'll see what i mean when ya get out there.

yogi tells the story of how someone caught a section of the PCT on fire using our little wonder stoves. caution, caution, caution....awareness....you know, don't set a pepsi stove in a pile of leaves or dry grass and not expect it to ignite....and watch those high winds.