Why am I so propyl ?

Quentin’s helpful hint for the day. Remember audio cassettes? You know those cassette-head cleaning kits? They would cost a few quid and come with a little bottle of cleaner which you’d drip onto Q-tips or some special device which would clean your cassette heads so that everything would sound nice and crisp and you could turn Dolby back on again?

Well, that cleaning fluid is basically Isopropyl Alcohol, and it’s jolly useful stuff for cleaning all sort of things. About 14 years ago, I went into Boots, our local big chemist, and asked if they could sell me some because I was fed up with paying three or four pounds for a tiny little plastic bottle of cassette head cleaner. Sure enough, for 85p, they provided me with a cute little 50ml glass bottle.

Well, I only use this stuff in small quantities, but recently, the level in the bottle has been getting a little low, so I went back yesterday and asked for some more. Sadly, they no longer keep the stuff. I presumed this was on the grounds of public health or something, but thought it was worth trying again, so I went to the nasty new Superdrug around the corner. And sure enough, I was able to purchase a pint of isopropyl alcohol, which at my rate of usage should keep me going sometime into the next millennium.

And it still only cost me three or four pounds. But I like the old bottle better.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser