What has ethanol in it?

Are you tired of not knowing what has ethanol in it? Have you ever found yourself drinking or eating something and suddenly felt a little tipsy? Well, fear no more! We’re here to spill the beans on all things ethanol so that next time you won’t be caught off guard.

First things first, let’s discuss what exactly ethanol is. Ethanol is an organic compound with the chemical formula C2H5OH, also known as ethyl alcohol or just plain old alcohol. It’s a flammable colorless liquid that has been used for centuries for both medicinal and recreational purposes.

Now onto the main event – what contains this festively fun liquid?

Alcoholic Beverages

If we’re going to talk about ethanol, we might as well start with its most famous form – alcoholic beverages! Almost all alcoholic drinks contain some level of ethanol as it’s produced through fermentation of sugars by yeast.

Types of Alcohol:

  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Spirits (Vodka, Gin, Rum etc.)
  • Liqueurs (Baileys Irish Cream)
  • Absinthe

The percentage of alcohol in these drinks can vary greatly depending on the type and brand so always make sure to read those labels! Your favorite beer may only have 4% while your favorite liquor could be packing upwards of 40%.

Cleaning Products

It might come as a surprise but our little friend ethanol isn’t just used for getting us drunk; it happens to make a great cleaning agent too! Due to its ability to dissolve oils and kill bacteria/viruses/algal spores upon contact, many household products use ethanol including:

Cleaning Products:

  • Window Cleaner
  • Hand Sanitizers
  • Disinfectant Wipes/Sprays

It’s safe(ish) when consumed responsibly but don’t go chugging disinfectant wipes or using hand sanitizer as a mixer for your cocktail.

Pharmaceutical Products

From cough syrup to antiseptics, ethanol is commonly found in numerous pharmaceutical products. It acts as a solvent that helps deliver the active ingredients and can also work medially by itself.


  • Cough Syrup
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Antiseptic Solution

However – we would strongly advise against trying to catch a buzz by chugging an entire bottle of cold medicine.


In addition to being used for recreational activities and everyday household chores, ethanol is also frequently used as fuel alternatives around the world! Ethanol from various sources can be utilized in many different types of engines such as cars, generators, and heating systems.

Crazy right? You might think twice about putting down that gallon-sized vodka tonic when you realize it could potentially be powering your car!

Food Products

Just like how ethanol is created through the fermentation process with yeast during beer/wine production, it’s also present naturally occurring in some foods due to metabolic processes taking place within their cells.

This means consuming some food/drink may cause minor alcohol content upon consumption;

Food Items:

  • Bread
  • Kombucha
  • Soy Sauce

It’s unlikely these will actually make one feel tipsy since they’re typically very low/almost non-existent levels but still good knowledge regardless!

Personal Care Products

While pure/undiluted forms of ethanol won’t exactly do wonders for our skin/nails/hair/etc., small amounts are often included in personal care products such perfume/cologne/deodorants. This serves both as a preservative agent that inhibits microbial growth; Meanwhile leaving behind refreshing fragrances after application!

Personal Care Products:

  • Perfumes/Colognes

Hopefully someone will compliment on those “notes” with no idea you’re just casually wafting around ethanol.


To sum it up, ethanol is everywhere! From popular recreational beverages to cleaning products and even hair sprays – the possibilities are almost endless.

So next time you’re feeling particularly adventurous and would like to try something new, maybe grab that soy sauce instead of a bottle opener or invest in an old-school Absinthe spoon. The world’s your boozy oyster!

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