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Difference between Acetone and Mineral Spirits

Difference between Acetone and Mineral Spirits

Different solvents are often confused with one another, and acetone and mineral spirits are two common solvents that are often mistaken for each other. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between acetone and mineral spirits. We will also provide tips on how to use each solvent successfully. Stay tuned!

What is Acetone?

Acetone is an organic compound with the formula (CH3)2CO. It is the simplest and smallest ketone. It is a clear, colorless liquid with a fruity odor. Acetone is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent in its own right, typically for cleaning purposes in laboratories. About 6.7 million tonnes were produced worldwide in 2010, mainly as a precursor to polymers. Acetone is produced naturally in the environment by the actions of bacteria, fungi, and plants. It is also produced industrially on a large scale as a by-product of the production of ethylbenzene and propylene using catalytic dehydrogenation technology. In 2012, about 2.2 million tonnes were produced industrially. The word “acetone” derives from Latin acetum meaning “vinegar” (literally “sour wine”), which is where an early impure form was first distilled; and was first used by French chemist Jean-Baptiste Dumas in 1835 [5] when describing chemistry experiments performed earlier that same year on mint oils obtained from Willem Kolbe (1800–1846).

What is Mineral Spirit?

Mineral spirits, also known as white spirits, are a type of petroleum-derived solvent. They are used in a variety of industrial and household applications, including paint thinning, cleaning, and degreasing. Mineral spirits are typically less flammable than other solvents and have a relatively low vapor pressure. This makes them suitable for use in many closed-system processes, such as those involving painting or staining. While mineral spirits are generally safe to use, they can be harmful if inhaled or ingested. As a result, it is important to follow all safety precautions when using this product.

Difference between Acetone and Mineral Spirits

Acetone and mineral spirits are two common solvents used in a variety of applications. Acetone is a fast-evaporating solvent that is effective for cleaning surfaces and dissolving adhesives. Mineral spirits are a slower-drying solvent that is ideal for degreasing and removing wax buildup. Both solvents are petroleum-based and can be harmful to the skin, so it is important to use them in well-ventilated areas. In terms of storage, acetone should be kept in tightly sealed containers as it is highly flammable. Mineral spirits can be stored in either open or closed containers. However, if you plan on using them for an extended period of time, it is best to store them in airtight containers to prevent evaporation.


Although mineral spirits and acetone are both solvents, they have different properties that make them better suited for certain tasks. Acetone is a good choice for removing finishes because it dissolves the adhesive that holds the finish in place. Mineral spirits, on the other hand, can be used to clean up oil-based paint spills because it dissolves oil-based paints and stains. It’s important to know which solvent to use for each task so you can achieve the desired results. Now that you know the difference between acetone and mineral spirits, try using them in your next project and see how well they work for you.

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