1) A colorless, aliphatic hydrocarbon oil obtained from petroleum distilled at 330-360C. Mineral oil, or liquid petrolatum, is normally divided into two fractions: light mineral oil (density 0.83-0.88) and heavy mineral oil (density 0.86-0.91). Mineral oil is used as a lubricants for textile processing. It was also used in a much touted formulation ( Phoebus) for the removal of bloom on varnished oil paintings. This practice, however, is not recommended. Mineral oil is chemically inactive and is unlikely to damage aged linseed oil films; however, once it is placed on a painting, the mineral oil will be virtually impossible to completely remove.
2) The term 'mineral oil' was originally used as a synonym for petroleum.
Synonyms and Related Terms
huile minérale (Fr.); aceite mineral (Esp.); olio minerale (It); liquid paraffin; liquid petrolatum; white mineral oil; white Russian oil; Nujol; paraffin oil; vaseline oil; Phoebus
Soluble in ether, chloroform, carbon disulfide, naphtha, benzene. Insoluble in water, cold ethanol or glycerol.
Hazards and Safety
May be harmful by ingestion or inhalation. Skin contact may cause irritation. Combustion products are carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
Flammable. Flash point = 135C (275F)
Mallinckrodt Baker: MSDS
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
- M. Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934
- Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
- Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
- Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000