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In some cases, you have painting mistakes and need a solution to erase them; then mineral spirits will aid you in doing that.

Similarly, in our daily life, you can realize that mineral spirits are so helpful for many other activities such as cleaning machinery parts with grease and oil, washing off dirt and dried paint on objects made of metal, and removing marks and scratches.

Despite making a considerable contribution to the paint industry and daily life as well, mineral spirits are not highly recommended to use widely because of its toxicity.

What is Mineral Spirits?

What is mineral spiritsWhen needing a paint thinner or solvent, some of you certainly will think about mineral spirits, which is one of the most popular cleaning tools these days.

So what is mineral spirits made of? In mineral spirits, we will find out a petroleum distillate with a small amount of hydrocarbon. Mineral spirits are also known as petroleum spirits and white spirits.

Main Uses

Main usesMineral spirits is very common at home and in a variety of industries. In particular, in the automotive industry, this thinner can be used for degreasing and cleaning machinery tools.

Besides, mineral spirits comes with numerous impressive functions like removing varnishes and paints. Some of you wonder will mineral spirits remove lacquer? The answer is yes.

As a lacquer thinner, mineral spirits supports you to remove various layers of dried paint from objects made of metal or wood.

Negative Effects

Negative effectsCan you touch mineral spirits? Of course not. When this solution is in contact with any parts on your body, it will cause harm to your skin. Therefore, it is suggested that you should avoid falling mineral spirits on your skin.

Unfortunately, you leave it on the skin; it is necessary to make it clean with water in time. If not, your skin will suffer from unpleasant symptoms, including burns, irritations, and necrosis.

Apart from bringing adverse effects to your skin, are mineral spirits harmful in any other ways?

In mineral spirits, there are some poisonous ingredients, particularly hydrocarbons, which are constituted of hydrogen and carbon.

When having mineral spirit poisoning, you will deal with different symptoms in many parts of the body, such as airways, lungs, eyes, ears, noses, and throat.

For example, it will cause breathing difficulty and pain on the ears, lips, and nose when you inhale mineral spirits. More severely, vision loss may occur. Therefore, you need to wear a face mask and gloves while touching this chemical.

Pros and Cons

Pros and ConsIf you want to get a deep understanding of mineral spirits, please have a look at the pros and cons below:


  • Degrease automotive parts: With the ability to remove oil and other lubricants, mineral spirits is a useful tool for degreasing and cleaning machinery parts.
  • Get rid of stains: Mineral spirits also can carry all the stains away from various objects at home. For dried pain, you just apply mineral spirits to the surface; then it will be gradually washed off.
    By this way, all pieces of equipment in your family will maintain their appearance for a long time.
  • This solvent is often used for correcting mistakes in painting.
  • Be used for furniture maintenance: This cleaning tool becomes more powerful when showing the ability to dispose of varnishes and lacquer on wooden furniture. With a small amount of mineral spirits, all the objects around your house will be given a good polish.
  • Wash paint brushes: After completing your painting, you can dip your brush into mineral spirits to remove all the paint.
  • Wipe sticky price tags from glass objects: You dip a piece of cotton wool in mineral spirits solutions, then apply it to the objects. It is sure that the mark of the sticker will disappear.
  • Remove scratches on the floor: If your floor is covered with linoleum tiles, it is advisable to use mineral spirits for clear scratches away.
  • Dissolve various sticky substances: Unfortunately, your clothes are affected by gum, which makes you feel so confused. Then, take some mineral spirits to remove it in a flash.


  • You may have some difficulties in breathing, feel dizziness and nausea when inhaling mineral spirits. In some cases, you suffer from symptoms of throat swelling and faint.
  • What will happen if you swallow mineral spirits? It will be a terrible thing. IIt’s likely that this solvent will destroy your digestive tract, leading to serious consequences such as vomiting and throat pain.
  • In case mineral spirits touches your skin, some irritating rashes will attack you. The state will become worse if a large amount pours down your body while you don’t get it away from your skin immediately. Consequently, skin cells will be damaged, and it may leave a scar.

Mineral Spirits Substitutes

#1: Acetone

AcetoneFor many years, acetone has been a popular solvent that is often involved in cleaners. Are acetone and mineral spirits the same? There are some common points between them, but they have several differences.

Similar to mineral spirits, Acetone works as a thinner; therefore, it can be used for getting rid of grease, oil, glue, and many other stains.

Uses of Acetone

If mineral spirits is commonly used for thinning paints and varnishes and works as a cleaning aid, Acetone is used a lot in the beauty industry, particularly nail. It helps you to remove the paint adhering to the nail surface and clean nail tools.

After a period of time, the paint on the nail is no longer eye-catching. It is time for you to take advantage of acetone to clean the nail.

You dip a small cotton pad into the acetone, then apply it to the nail surface for 2 – 3 seconds.

After that, you gently rub the surface of the nail until the paint is gone. Next, use a new cotton pad with acetone to clean the nail again.

When the tip of the paintbrush gets dry and hard, you also make it clean by using cotton absorb acetone.

In addition, after using the nippers, you should wipe them clean with acetone.

#2: Denatured Alcohol

Denatured alcoholDenatured alcohol is also a type of solvent cleaner whose function is quite similar to mineral spirits. That means it is a product designed for meeting your cleaning needs. This solvent is widely used in various industries such as lacquers, cleaning preparations, polishes, and many other ones.

Uses of Denatured alcohol

House cleaning

Add some warm water to denatured alcohol. Then, you can sanitize all the rooms and corners of your house, from bathrooms to kitchens.

Remove Mold and Mildew

Mold and Mildew come when the areas are not provided with enough ventilation. Because they can cause harm to your health, we need to find all ways to get rid of them.

Denatured alcohol is one of the most effective methods. You can spray the alcohol over the area with mold and mildew. Several minutes later, you use a piece of rag to mop it. Then, you can wipe the area off again to make it dry.

Remove Paint

You can use denatured alcohol for paint removal and paint brush cleaning.

To remove paint from the brush, you put the brush in denatured alcohol overnight and wash them with clean water the next day.

Keep in mind that denatured alcohol contains toxic chemicals; therefore, you absolutely do not let it touch your skin. Also, you should wear a mask to avoid breathing it.

#3: Turpentine

TurpentineTurpentine is extracted from the sap of live trees, typically pines. Its main ingredients include oil and rosin distilled with steam. It performs efficiently as a solvent that is so useful for painting and varnishing.

What’s more, with dominant properties, Turpentine has increasingly become popular in numerous fields like cosmetology.

Uses of Turpentine

Work as a paint thinner

People usually use Turpentine to thin the paint before applying it to the surface of the object.

With a high evaporation rate, Turpentine helps to increase the effectiveness of painting. When you mix Turpentine with paint, it will make pain dry with higher speed and easy to use.

For this reason, Turpentine is an indispensable part of oil paint and many other industrial products.

Polish Furniture

Turpentine will become an awesome product for furniture polish if you combine it with soap flakes, lavender, and beeswax. In reality, thanks to this mixture, your furniture will gain a higher level of durability.

Providing high-quality shining, it will contribute to promoting the life expectancy and the appearance of the furniture. As a result, Turpentine is often regarded as a useful tool for furniture maintenance.

Remove Stain

Like mineral spirits, Turpentine stands out due to its ability to get rid of every type of stubborn stains.

You need to know that after a certain time of using, all the objects around your house, including bathtubs, sinks, and toilets will be covered by stains.

You will own a high-quality cleanser by mixing turpentine with salt in the proportion 1:1. Put some on the dirty areas and let it work for 20 minutes.

For higher efficacy, you can use a brush to rub at the stains and wash them with clean water.

#4: Oil, Soap, and Water

Uses waterAre you hunting for a green substitute for mineral spirits? We would like to introduce you to a natural way to clean your paintbrush with oil, soap, and water.

These three essential ingredients will make your tools be in a good state of cleanliness without using any toxic chemicals.

Uses of Oil, Soap, and Water

Following are what you need to do with oil, soap, and water to clean your brushes.

The first thing to do is dispose of the excess amount of paint on your brush.

Then, you prepare a barrel filled with oil and dip your brush into the barrel.

Keep in mind that all the bristles of your brush will be covered with oil.

Next, take your brush away from the oil barrel. Use clean water to get rid of the oil and paint. Do that several times so that there are not any paint sticking on the brush.
Use natural soap to wash the bristles.

Cleaning the brush is a must-do task after we take the painting. Covering all the steps above, you certainly not only keep your paintbrush clean but also preserve your brush bristles.

The Best Paint Stripper

All in All,

It is a fact that some areas have banned taking advantage of mineral spirits because they contain a dangerous level of toxicity that will be harmful to human and the environment.

If you want to seek for a stain remover or paint thinner, it is highly recommended to come to mineral spirits substitutes, including Acetone, Denatured alcohol, Turpentine, and Charcoal Lighter Fluid.

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