Why Does Pure Alcohol Feel So Strange to the Touch?

Discover the strange sensation of pure alcohol on your skin and dive into its surface tension and intermolecular forces.

Why Does Pure Alcohol Feel So Strange to the Touch?
Photo by Photoholgic / Unsplash

I recently found myself handling 99% isopropyl alcohol to clean out some PC junk.

The liquid felt oddly peculiar against my skin, unlike anything I've experienced before.

This prompted my curiosity as to what causes pure alcohol to feel so strange to the touch.### Surface Tension or Chemical Reaction?

As I dipped my hands into the container filled with pure alcohol, I noticed that it felt very unusual, lacking the resistance typically associated with water.

The sensation was almost as if there was no friction against my skin, leaving me to wonder if it was due to alcohol's surface tension or a potential chemical reaction with my skin.### Unique Properties of Alcohol Pure alcohol, notably different from the water-based liquids we frequently come into contact with, exhibits distinct properties.

Its low surface tension, compared to water, plays a significant role in the unusual sensation experienced when it comes into contact with the skin.

This low surface tension implies that alcohol spreads more easily and readily than water.### Intermolecular Forces Additionally, the intermolecular forces between alcohol molecules and those between alcohol and the skin influence the peculiar sensation when it comes into contact with the skin.

Unlike water, alcohol can dissolve various substances more effectively due to its polarity and molecular structure.### Next time you come into contact with pure alcohol, consider the interplay of its properties and molecular structure that contribute to its enigmatic feel against your skin.### Ethanol, Isopropanol, Liquid, Solvent, Intriguing, Chemistry