This experiment is often used by teachers to get students interested in science. They set a shirt or a dollar bill on fire without burning it. And it works best if you use a 50% alcohol solution (methanol or ethanol).
The trick works because the volatile alcohol catches on fire just above the rest of the liquid. More and more alcohol is drawn out of the liquid as it burns, leaving behind water which keeps the t-shirt or money wet and unaffected by the fire.
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