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Old 04-21-2009, 01:24 PM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is offline
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Putting vodka into a humidifier

I was having a conversation with my wife about this the other day. What would happen if you poured a bottle of vodka, or any other high-proof spirit into a humidifier? Would you be able to get drunk off the fumes, or would the alcohol just cause the thing to catch on fire?
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:37 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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It would disperse in the air. You wouldn't absorb most of the alcohol since it would be spread in a low concentration throughout the room over a period of time. You don't really get drunk in a room full of drunks breathing out alcohol fumes either.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:39 PM
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Probably neither.

The room would have to be pretty small to have one bottle of alcohol give you a buzz.

I once had to paint some white alcohol primer on the walls of a small room. I used two gallons of primer to do the room and because of the noise levels outside of the room I kept the door closed.

I was hammered from breathing the fumes when I finished. I think that was more from my breathing proximity to the roller than the volume of the room.

And after sobering up a few hours later I had the worst hangover headache of my life.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:42 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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I think you would have to inhale a lot of alcohol to get an effect. I would be worried about the damage this could do to your lungs. In my youth, I did try something similar and ended up coughing reflexively like mad. I did it by making a cloud of ethanol in a jar then inhaling. It was definitely dumb, but I was in college with just enough science to be dangerous.

Whether or not it catches fire probably depends a little on the type of humidifier. I think most humidifiers these days are the cold steam type. They vaporize by sonicating, and there probably wouldn't be too much of a risk from the mechanism. Of course, you are vaporizing a flammable liquid which is always a major fire hazard. The vaporizers that work with a heating element I think would be very dangerous.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:48 PM
Jimmy Joe Meager Jimmy Joe Meager is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaDog View Post
I once had to paint some white alcohol primer on the walls of a small room. ... I was hammered from breathing the fumes ... And after sobering up a few hours later I had the worst hangover headache of my life.
Uhhh.... you sure that was ethyl alcohol?
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:03 PM
jujuju jujuju is offline
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Someone is trying this, here

eta: I just heard about this this morning on the radio on my way into work, weird that it came up in General Questions on the same day...

Last edited by jujuju; 04-21-2009 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:15 PM
TheFaerie TheFaerie is offline
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We own an AWOL vaporizer http://www.awolusa.com/page-2.htm, which is essentially a cold water vaporizer. It works pretty well, but I don't like the sensation of liquid vapor in my lungs, so I don't use it except to show other folks how it works.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:32 PM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is offline
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This seems like it would be a good Mythbusters experiment.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:17 AM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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We* nebulize with ethanol (actually, 100 proof vodka) in cases of near-drownings or anything else that might have really wet lungs. I've inhaled some of the fumes while checking on the patient and didn't get any contact buzz. Then again we don't use a whole bottle at a time.

*We are a veterinary clinic, I don't know if they do this with people.
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:46 AM
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Well, I know people who try to get high off of hand sanitizers by inhalation. It seemed to only be the same effect one gets by huffing markers.
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:37 AM
jackdavinci jackdavinci is offline
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I think there is a commercial alcohol inhaling device out there, but just using a regular vaporizer wouldn't be an ideal device for this purpose.
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:47 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdavinci View Post
I think there is a commercial alcohol inhaling device out there, but just using a regular vaporizer wouldn't be an ideal device for this purpose.
Yeah, there is a device called AWOL Alcohol Without Liquid. I'd be tempted to try it, if I could find one. (Looks like it may have been banned in some or all the states.)

Last edited by Khadaji; 04-22-2009 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:32 AM
awldune awldune is offline
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If I recall correctly from a thread about alcohol enemas, getting alcohol into your bloodstream by means other than your stomach is very dangerous. Probably why AWOL is banned in some places.
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:34 AM
gang green gang green is offline
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Can't have this thread without linking this.
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:46 AM
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beowulff beowulff is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile E View Post
We* nebulize with ethanol (actually, 100 proof vodka) in cases of near-drownings or anything else that might have really wet lungs. I've inhaled some of the fumes while checking on the patient and didn't get any contact buzz. Then again we don't use a whole bottle at a time.

*We are a veterinary clinic, I don't know if they do this with people.
[Hijack] - I'm curious as to why you do this. What does inhaling ethanol do, medically?
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:54 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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I'm not a vet, but ethanol will dry things by forming an azeotrope and evaporating. I'm suprised to see that people are trying this. When I attempted it in my youth, the vapor was like trying to breath chlorine gas. I did do a very effective job of saturating the air so that must be the difference. I was working with 95% ethanol. I just did your standard cloud in a jar experiment with Everclear. Then I inhaled. Then I went into a convulsive coughing fit.
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