White Spirit


Also known as: solvent naphtha, mineral spirit, varsol, mineral turpentine.

Description of White Spirit

White spirit (UK) or mineral spirits (US, Canada), also known as mineral turpentine, turpentine substitute, petroleum spirits, solvent naphtha (petroleum), Varsol, Stoddard solvent, or, generically, “paint thinner”, is a petroleum-derived clear liquid used as a common organic solvent in painting. A mixture of aliphatic, open-chain or alicyclic C7 to C12 hydrocarbons, white spirit is insoluble in water and is used as an extraction solvent, as a cleaning solvent, as a degreasing solvent and as a solvent in aerosols, paints, wood preservatives, lacquers, varnishes, and asphalt products. In western Europe about 60% of the total white spirit consumption is used in paints, lacquers and varnishes. White spirit is the most widely used solvent in the paint industry.

In households, white spirit is commonly used to clean paint brushes after use, to clean auto parts and tools, as a starter fluid for charcoal grills, to remove adhesive residue from non-porous surfaces, and many other common task.
Exact Description of White Spirit: White spirit is mixture of paraffin and aromatic hydrocarbons with a distillation range of 200-142 ° C. These types of Solvents are liquid, transparent, colored water and a mild odor, chemically stable and they do not cause corrosion.
“Usage of White Spirit” is more as a solvent in paint thinners and varnishes, as solvent drying paints, as solvents in printing inks, solvent oil separators from metal surfaces, as a solvent for waxes for furniture and flooring as well as shoe polish and dry-cleaning solvent, respectively.

Uses of White Spirit

White Spirit is a petroleum distillate used as a paint thinner and mild solvent. In industry, mineral spirits are used for cleaning and degreasing machine tools and parts, and in conjunction with cutting oil as a thread cutting and reaming lubricant. Mineral spirits are an inexpensive petroleum-based replacement for the vegetable-based turpentine. It is commonly used as a paint thinner for oil-based paint and cleaning brushes, and as an organic solvent in other applications.

Mineral turpentine is chemically very different from turpentine, which mainly consists of pinene, and it has inferior solvent properties. Artists use mineral spirits as an alternative to turpentine since it is less flammable and less toxic. Because of interactions with pigments in oil paints, artists require a higher grade of mineral spirits than many industrial users, including the complete absence of residual sulfur. Mineral spirits were formerly an active ingredient in the laundry soap Fels Naptha, used to dissolve oils and grease in laundry stains, and as a popular remedy for eliminating the contagious oil urushiol in poison ivy. It was removed as a potential health risk.

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