One of my friends pointed out that isopropyl alcohol isn't good for people. However, I don't know if you could get hurt by the amount on three pills, and it's plausible that it would have evaporated from the pills fairly quickly.

As wedrifid pointed out, isopropyl alcohol isn't bad for you in small amounts. I definitely made sure to let it evaporate, but you can drink the stuff in small amounts and not suffer ill effects, assuming it's just alcohol and water. IIRC, it's something like twice as strong and twice as toxic as ethanol... something like that, anyway.

1wedrifid9yThat was my first thought too. So I looked it up. The stuff isn't good for you but you need a lot to do real harm. And as you say evaporation has worked on the pills already.

Is it okay to take toilet-pills? / Rationality vs. the disgust factor

by Hul-Gil 1 min read25th Jul 201138 comments


Well, I've a chance to prove my commitment to cold, hard rationality, unswayed by emotional concerns... I'm just not sure which route really is the more rational (assuming a desire to stay healthy).

In doubt as to the most logical course of action, I thought I'd get some LessWrongian input. To back up a bit and explain: I opened a pill bottle and was shaking one out into my hand, and since I'm a klutz the upshot was three pills in the (thankfully flushed) toilet. I fished them out, because these are three out of my last four pills; I take half a tablet a day, and don't get a refill until a week from now.

Now they're sitting on a dish in front of me, soaking for a few minutes in 91% isopropyl alcohol. Does LessWrong think they'll be okay to take? The alcohol should kill most germs, but I know it doesn't get all of them. What about viruses? Should I attempt to scrub the tablets to remove them? I've also always enjoyed informing my friends about various surfaces with more germs than toilet water (keyboard, phone), but that doesn't mean toilet water isn't horrifically toxic...


You decide. I promise to abide by the collective decision of LessWrong in this matter: should I take the toilet pills?