You’ve supplied alcohol in number of instances. You drink it. You usage it come clean or disinfect. Girlfriend probably additionally cooked v it. While you usage it, you can leave the bottle open. Together you look at that open bottle, haven’t you wondered about this question: How fast does alcohol evaporate?

In general, all alcohol products evaporate, yet at different speeds. Because that instance, ethanol evaporates around 5 times faster than water. Beer have the right to lose 30% of its alcohol in 12 hours. Wine can lose 1% of its alcohol in 2 hours. And also 70% ethanol deserve to evaporate in 30 seconds.

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However, the a lot more complicated than that. There space plenty of determinants at play. These factors include temperature, wait pressure, humidity, surface ar area, and also wind speed. You deserve to learn much more below on how quick alcohol evaporates.


Here’s a little of chemistry crash course to explain evaporation.


Evaporation is the process of liquids turning into gas. In a liquid, the molecules are attracted to each other enough for lock to always make contact. Yet they are loose enough to relocate around and also flow. However, this molecules constantly want to be free. Think the them favor birds in a big cage. The bird seem composed inside the cage and they don’t shot to break free.

But as shortly as you leave the cage door open, they paris off. When those fluid molecules escape, lock turn into gas or vapor form. The cage door the keeps those indigenous escaping is the air pressure in your environment. It’s as if the air press from the setting is pushing under on those liquid molecules. So the fluid molecules can’t escape and turn into vapor.

So how can you help those fluid molecules push earlier so they have the right to escape?

You have the right to do numerous things. One point is to put the liquid in an atmosphere with a lower air pressure. That scenario is why liquids evaporate quicker at higher altitudes. In those places, air pressure is lower.

Another point you can do is provide those molecules much more energy so they deserve to push back. And also we provide them that energy through heat. The is the factor liquids evaporate faster at higher temperatures.

Boiling Point

The boiling allude is the temperature in ~ which a fluid boils. Friend say that a liquid is boiling as soon as the press of the vapor kind is the very same as the push of the surrounding surrounding air.

The boiling allude of every fluid is different. The distinction is due to the fact that of their distinct molecular structures.

The boiling allude also changes at various air pressures. In ~ sea level, water boils in ~ 212 °F (100 °C). At higher altitudes where the air push is lower, the boiling suggest is additionally lower. Therefore in a ar like Denver, i beg your pardon is about 1 mile (1.6 km) above sea level, water boils at 202 °F (94.4 °C).

All alcohols have actually a boiling allude lower 보다 water. At sea level, ethanol boils at 173 °F (78.37 °C).

So why do you must know about boiling points? because liquids with lower boiling clues evaporate faster. The molecules of these liquids don’t require as much energy to escape your liquid type and turn into vapor.

Other components That affect Evaporation

Besides temperature and pressure, there are other factors that influence how fast a fluid evaporates. We’ll go through quickly below

Surface Area

Evaporation occurs on the surface. The fluid molecules in ~ the bottom can’t turn right into vapor. The factor is that they have other fluid molecules on peak of them. Hence, the bigger the surface ar area, the faster evaporation happens.


Humidity is the lot of water molecules in the air. For water, the greater the humidity, the slower the evaporation. The reason is that the air currently has numerous water vapors. Hence, it deserve to only take it in a few.

But in the instance of alcohols, the greater the humidity, the faster the evaporation. The factor is that the water vapors draws out the alcohol. It’s like just how salt draws out water.

Wind Speed

The greater the wind speed, the much faster the evaporation. Remember the evaporation happens on the surface. So the very first vapors that form tend come hang the end just above the surface. These vapors have the right to be reabsorbed back into the liquid. A high wind rate would move these vapors away. As soon as swept, those vapors can’t it is in reabsorbed ago into the liquid. Plus, brand-new ones native the liquid can take your place.


Alcohol Evaporating native Drinks

So friend now know that alcohol and water evaporate at various rates. But how fast they evaporate alters when lock are blended together, favor in drinks. How fast either evaporates counts on the alcohol by volume (ABV). Liquors commonly cap turn off at 40% ABV since at the point, water and alcohol evaporate at the very same time.

So if you leave a 40% whiskey open up overnight, it should be about 40% alcohol the next day. But it can not taste the same. Due to the fact that the molecules that give the flavor often tend to evaporate faster. In drink with reduced ABVs like beer and also wine, the alcohol will often tend to evaporate faster.

Cooking through Alcohol

When you chef with drinks prefer wine, the alcohol will evaporate much faster than the water. However, friend can’t assume the you will burn off all the alcohol once you’re done cooking. How rapid alcohol evaporates when food preparation depends on many factors as well. Amongst those determinants is the dimension of the food preparation vessel.

An old study in 1992 found that cooking always results in some, yet not total, loss of alcohol. A much more recent study in 2016 also found that cooking with beer still ends v some alcohol in the last dish. Return they approximated that the highest possible amount the ethanol left per serving to be 1.28 g. The amount isn’t a concern for most people.

A dominion of thumb plenty of cooks monitor is to cook the food because that at least 3 hrs to be sure they burn turn off the alcohol. After that time, if any type of alcohol tho remained, that shouldn’t be much to be concerned with.

Alcohol Evaporation

Now let’s speak all factors we talked about are equal. Below is a ranking that the evaporation speeds of various alcohols. The fastest is 1 and the slowest is 5 also indicated is your concentration.

AlcoholEvaporation speed Ranking
Ethanol Disinfectant – >70%1
Ethanol Disinfectant – 60-70%2
Liquor – median ABV the 37%3
Wine – mean ABV the 11.6%4
Beer – average ABV the 4.5%5

Below is one alcohol burn-off graph from the united state Department of Agriculture. The shows how much alcohol have the right to remain in different food preparation methods.

Cooking MethodPercent the Alcohol Left
Alcohol added to boiling liquid & gotten rid of from heat85%
Alcohol Flamed75%
No heat, save overnight70%
Baked because that 25 minutes, alcohol no stirred into the mixture45%
Alcohol burn-off graph (USDA)

Here’s just how much alcohol will be left If girlfriend simmer bowl after:

15 minute : 40%30 minutes : 35%1 hour : 25%1.5 hrs : 20%2 hours : 10%2.5 hrs : 5%

As you can, the longer you chef less alcohol will certainly be left in your dish.

Related Questions

Does ethyl alcohol expire?

Ethyl alcohol, along with isopropyl alcohol, alcohol-based sanitizers, and also rubbing alcohol have an expiration date. However that date doesn’t typical the alcohol “goes bad”. It means by that time, much of the alcohol would have evaporated.

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Does ethyl alcohol evaporate quicker than isopropyl alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol has a boiling point of 180.5 °F (82.5 °C). Ethyl alcohol has a boiling allude of 173 °F (78.37 °C). Hence, ethyl alcohol evaporate faster than isopropyl alcohol.