Mineral spirits

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A hydrocarbon petroleum distillate collected in the boiling range of 150-200C. Mineral spirits, or paint thinner, is used as a substitute for turpentine because it is odor-free and leaves no sticky residues. It has also been used as a dry-cleaning fluid to remove oil and grease spots.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Varsol; Shellsol; VM&P naphtha; white spirits (Br.); Amsco; Varnolene; Texaco spirits; petroleum spirits; petroleum solvent; substitute turpentine; odorless paint thinner; odorless mineral spirits (OMS); Stoddard solvent; ligroin; petroleum paint thinner; mineral thinner; naphtha; benzine


  • Highly flammable (flash point 38C).
  • Toxic by ingestion and inhalation.
  • Cisco Chem: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Miscible with other hydrocarbon solvents. Insoluble in water.

CAS 8052-41-3
Density 0.79 g/ml
Boiling Point 150-200 C

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
  • 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
  • Tom Rowland, Noel Riley, A-Z Guide to Cleaning, Conserving and Repairing Antiques, Constable and Co., Ltd., London, 1981
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996