Can drinking moonshine or Everclear make you blind?

I’ve always heard that drinking almost pure alcohol can make you lose your vision. Is this true? If so, how does this happen?

Nah, not Everclear. That just makes you pee blood.

The wood alcohol by products that can be left over in moonshine are what would make you go blind.

I’m not sure about ethyl (drinking) alcohol, but I belive isopropal (rubbing) alcohol can infact cause blindness.

isopropYl that is

Considering that there is no good reason to drink moonshine or Everclear, no good has ever come of this, why take the chance?

Methanol, or wood alcohol, is the alcohol that will cause blindness. Everclear will not cause blindness although I challenge anyone to drink it straight. If you do, your stomach is going to scream as you traumatize it.

Isopropyl alcohol won’t cause blindness but it is certainly not a good thing to drink.

From here:

The symptoms of ingestion occur within 30 minutes, with GI complaints of pain, vomiting, and hematemesis being predominant. Central nervous system effects include headache, muscular incoordination, ataxia, confusion, and coma. The initial excitatory phase that is well recognized with ethanol intoxication does not seem to be present with isopropanol ingestion. Pupil size may vary, but it is not uncommon to have miotic pupils. Should the eyes have direct exposure to isopropyl alcohol corneal de-epithelialization has been reported. The patient may have a distinct odor of acetone. With very large doses cardiovascular effects include myocardial depression and severe hypotension. Less common presentations include renal tubular necrosis, hemolytic anemia, acute myopathy, and hypothermia.

You do know that Everclear is a commercial product and legal in some states right? It can be looked at as simply vodka in undiluted form. There is really nothing wrong with it. You can use it in mixed drinks in place of vodka if you use smaller quantities.

The only thing I ever used Everclear for was heating my Whisperlight before I tried lighting the burner. (It’s much cleaner than trying to use Coleman fuel for this stage.) Of course, I finally got myself a butane-powered variant of the Whisperlight and so now I never deal with the old stove.

I used to drink it straight. Would do it to blow people’s minds. You put the first sip in your mouth and roll it around, let your taste buds do their screaming and dying first, let your tongue finish shrivelling up and your cheeks dessicating and so on. Then swallow very very tiny bits and let your throat get used to the idea, and also introduce your stomach to the stuff in miniscule doses first. The second sip you can generally release down your throat much quicker. By the third, you can do at it like any other strong liquor, like Bacardi 151.

What you don’t wanna do it try tossing off shots of the stuff all in one gulp.

I’ve found that it’s a great home remedy for sinus congestion, a good machine lubricant, and a potent explosive.

Though I bet many don’t use “smaller quantities” in their mixed drinks.

Bacardi 161-proof white rum is sold in California, or it used to be. I still can’t get my mind around even that, let alone drinking Everclear.

Does anyone know if higher-proof liquor is taxed more heavily than standard 80-proof? What about 100-proof “bonded” liquor?

Everclear is legal here (naturally, in a state where there is a church on every other corner). From my brief, but potent, encounter with the stuff back in my college days, I can tell you that it doesn’t mix worth a damn, tastes like crap, constricts your throat, and lights easily. While it won’t make you blind, it may make you wish for death before exiting your system.

When I interned at the university conservation lab, the conservation librarian bought Everclear in bulk on her account for the lab - we use it in a process to fix iron gall ink, and it’s much cheaper and smells less nasty than “lab alchohol” - works just as well. But we laughed like donkeys when it came time to buy more. :slight_smile:

Not up in Barrow it’s not, but I suspect you already know that. They’ve completely banned alcohol up there, even simple possession.

I’m not giving a link; anyone interested needs merely to google Barrow + alcohol + prohibition.

Makes for some good fire breathing fun - OUT DOORS

It sure is, by the Feds, anyway. The tax is based on the alcohol content not the total volume of the goods. In fact, the ‘standard’ proof on some (not all liquor) was dropped from 86- to 80-proof some, what, fifteen years ago in an effort to keep the price of a bottle from jumping too high when the tax was raised quite a bit.


Growing up in East Tennessee I had heard many stories associated with moonshine and blindness. They were usually due to poisoning due to someone using an old car radiator for a condenser in the distillation process.

Don’t know if this is true or not, but that was the popular anti-moonshine story of the day in the 70’s.

Everclear is pretty much the only alcohol I drink, but I mix it with a large quantity of pink lemonade to dilute the rubbing alcohol type taste. :wink: I have dranken it straight that for and its not as impossible as it seems but after about 4 shots I have to take it easy for a while. Oh yeah swallowing while on fire= not a good idea :mad:

Everclear makes great liqueurs. You can adjust the proof upwards more easily, and you don’t get “diluted” tastes like you sometimes get making them with vodka. :smiley:

Can’t severe alcohol abuse eventually lead to blindness as the person grows older anyway?