White spirit

White spirit

White spirit

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White spirit (UK)[note 1] or mineral spirits (US, Canada), also known as mineral turpentine (AU/NZ), turpentine substitute, and petroleum spirits, is a petroleum-derived clear liquid used as a common organic solvent in painting. There are also terms for specific kinds of mineral spirits, including Stoddard solvent and solvent naphtha (petroleum). Mineral spirits are often used as a paint thinner, or as a component thereof, though paint thinner is a broader category of solvent.

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 tasks.

The word "mineral" in "mineral spirits" or "mineral turpentine" is meant to distinguish it from distilled spirits (distilled directly from fermented grains and fruit) or from true turpentine (distilled tree resin).

 

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