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I've recently been cooking and using Sterno to keep things warm - or cook. However, from time to time I need to stir, scoop, or manipulate the Sterno in some way. Is it safe to rinse off my utensils, which have come in contact with Jelled Cooking fuel, in a kitchen sink?

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This question doesn't seem exactly related to food or cooking... Try plumbing SE perhaps?! – Noldorin Jan 1 '11 at 2:58
Uh, Sterno - and Jelled Fuels, are used in cooking everyday - just like Knives, Stoves, Spoons, Bowls, Microwaves, etc. – Marco Ceppi Jan 1 '11 at 5:17
Unfortunately I don't have enough rep to vote to reopen or I would. I think this site is a little too quick to close questions. This seems as appropriate as many other questions already on this site, e.g.……… – Ryan Elkins Jan 1 '11 at 17:02
@Ryan: Discuss it on meta if you want. Please keep statements like "this site is a little too quick to close questions" out of the comments as they have nothing whatsoever to do with the question. – Aaronut Jan 1 '11 at 17:22
I'm going to reopen this as it does seem to be on topic to me; I don't think anybody would bat an eye if a similar question were asked about cooking oil. I suspect that some people may not have been familiar with this product or its culinary uses. I edited in a wiki link to help out with that. – Aaronut Jan 1 '11 at 18:27
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Sterno is gelled denatured alcohol. It is denatured alcohol (a combination of methanol and ethanol) so that you can't, safely, drink it, but it is still mostly alcohol, which will dissolve in water and clean up just fine.

While I wouldn't dump a lot of it down the sink, you should have no problem with cleanup. And while Sterno isn't safe to drink, it won't be a problem if you touch it in cleaning up.

I just double checked the Sterno site and they confirm water cleanup and say, additionally, that it is biodegradable.

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