Rubbing alcohol, USP / Surgical spirit, B.P. is a liquid prepared and used primarily for topical application. It is prepared from a special denatured alcohol solution and contains approximately 70 percent by volume of pure, concentrated ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol). Individual manufacturers can use their own "formulation standards" in which the ethanol content usually ranges from 70-99% v/v. In Ireland and the UK, the equivalent skin preparation is surgical spirit, which is always an ethyl alcohol-isopropyl alcohol mixture. It is colorless. The melting point is -89 °C. The boiling point is 82.5 °C.
The term "rubbing alcohol" has become a general non-specific term for either isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) or ethyl alcohol (ethanol) rubbing-alcohol products.