What are mineral spirits

You may have heard of mineral spirits by many other names, including white spirits, mineral turpentine, solvent naphtha, petroleum spirits, Varsol, Stoddard solvent or by the generic name “paint thinner.” This solvent is manufactured for both household and industrial use in a wide variety of products.


In all cases, mineral spirits is a petroleum-based liquid often used as an organic solvent in painting and decorating. Mineral spirits works for several other purposes as well, including extraction and cleaning in both household and industrial settings.

Mineral spirits is the most widely-used solvent in the paint industry. In the household, it is often used for the cleaning of auto parts, auto tools, and used paintbrushes. It can remove adhesive residue from surfaces that are non-porous and it even works as a starter fluid for charcoal grills.

In industrial applications, mineral spirits is a powerful degreasing agent for machines and equipment. Paint wood preservatives, varnishes, lacquers, aerosols, and asphalt products use mineral spirits in solvent form.

Mineral Spirits Properties

Mixtures of hydrocarbons make up mineral spirits. It is derived from the refining process of petroleum. The three different grades of white spirits, determined by the crude oil used as starting material and the conditions of distillation, are low-flash, regular, and high-flash. Do not mistake mineral turpentine with turpentine, as the two are markedly and chemically distinct.

White spirits have a low acute toxicity and mainly exist in the irritant class, as inhalation will typically not have fatal effects. Prolonged direct exposure can have mild effects and should be avoided, but the substance is not highly toxic.


As a leading mineral spirits distributor, Brenntag North America is the exact company you need if you want to buy the chemical at a fair price from a reputable source. Our customer service is our top priority, so you will always get industry-best expertise, top-notch customer service, and an extensive product selection of more than 10,000 different chemicals and ingredients.

Contact Brenntag today to explore your mineral spirit product options and to receive free pricing information.

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