I found a reference to ‘alcohol’ in a thread about covid:
I thought a specific thread might be of interest.
The term ‘alcohol’ is widely confused. In chemistry, alcohol is an organic compound that carries at least one hydroxyl functional group (−OH) bound to a saturated carbon atom. Thus, ‘alcohol’ includes all compounds for which the general formula is CnH2n+1OH. For laymen, ‘alcohol’ is the intoxicant in fermented beverages.
For the discussion, the general public will be presented with two types of ‘alcohol’: Propanol C3H8O, which is the usual base for rubbing alcohol; and Ethanol C2H6O, which is the usual alcohol base in wines and spirits. Both act as solvents and disinfectants, are miscible in water, and are not corrosive to brass. So why the distinction?
Toxicity. Propanol is more toxic than Ethanol. Additionally, rubbing alcohol will have poisonous additives to ‘denature’ the alcohol. Thus, as a disinfectant for instruments, Propanol should be rinsed away with water, preferably distilled and de-mineralised water.
In the USA, the average consumer can avail her/himself to Propanol only, or 40% spirits, due to govt restrictions. Elsewhere, Ethanol is often available. I use 75% Ethanol, as this is proven to be the most effective against germs and spores (higher % evaporates too rapidly, lower % is useless).
I prefer Ethanol, for a few reasons: not toxic; acts instantly against spores; is hygroscopic; very low cost. I pour about 5ml into the mouthpiece and blow it through the horn, daily at the end of each session. I then leave it in the horn to absorb water off the metal and act as a reservoir for disinfectant. Over-night, the alcohol will have evaporated significantly to a low concentration. Commencing each session, I blow the condensed liquid out of the horn via the water keys, then oil the valves. All is very safe to humans.
In 40 years, my horn remains clean, zero odours, internally smooth, and zero rot.