Mineral Spirits vs Paint Thinner | Know the Differences

This blog will go through the differences between mineral spirits vs paint thinner.

After reading this blog, you will get a better understanding of what mineral spirits and paint thinners are.

Once you have this information, you can make the right decision and select the right chemical that suits your needs.

Mineral Spirits vs Paint Thinner
Mineral Spirits vs Paint Thinner

Mineral Spirits vs Paint Thinner – The Difference

The following are the differences between paint thinner and mineral spirits:


Paint thinner is composed of more hydrocarbons as compared to mineral spirits, therefore paint thinner has a stronger smell than mineral spirit. It is much easier to use mineral spirits as it has a lower odour.

It is recommended that you use paint thinner carefully as it can be harmful if you inhale too much. Paint thinner contains various solvents and it is advised to use it in a well-ventilated room. However, you will not have to take many precautions while using mineral spirit.


Another difference between mineral spirit and paint thinner is the cost of the product. Mineral spirit is less harmful than paint thinner and many people choose to use it. This is one of the reasons why the cost of mineral spirit is two times higher than that of paint thinner.

Check the cost of Mineral Spirits here
Check the cost of Paint Thinners here


Both mineral spirits and paint thinners are used to varnish surfaces and remove oil-based paint. However, mineral spirit is widely used by people as it is safer to use and works effectively.

Paint thinner is more corrosive than mineral spirit. While using paint thinner, an individual can deteriorate a painting surface, however you will not encounter such experience using mineral spirit.

Many people prefer mineral spirits as it has the ability to clean quickly and is a more effective solvent to use.


Mineral spirit has lower toxicity and higher purity which makes it more convenient to use than paint thinner.

Mineral spirit is used by construction workers, nail makers, wood workshops and paint artists as it is less toxic to use, whereas, a paint thinner is suitable for the use of spot treatment.

Only paint thinner can be used for removing spray paints and for diluting.

Mineral spirit is stickier than a paint thinner as it contains more of petroleum property than a paint thinner.

Mineral spirit is used for lubricating several things.

Both chemicals have a similar application, but there are some differences between mineral spirit and paint thinner that you should consider when selecting one.

It is highly recommended that you thoroughly understand the differences between them as it will help you make the right choice for any purpose you use.

Accidents Which Can Occur When Using Mineral Spirits And Paint Thinner

Below is the list of some accidents which can occur when we use mineral spirit or paint thinner:

Skin Irritation

As you are well aware, both the types of chemicals are composed of hydrocarbons. While using the chemicals, you might have some redness and irritation. So, it is advisable to use it very carefully.

Difficulty In Breathing

Both the chemicals have a poisonous and strong composition of hydrocarbon, so it might get difficult to breathe. When you inhale a large number of vapours of these chemicals, you can get pain in the throat and stomach.

Ingestion Exposure Effect

Both the chemicals should be used carefully, and if you accidentally swallow these chemicals, you may get muscle twitches, diarrhea, nausea, weakness, unconsciousness or even death.

It is recommended that you read all the instructions on the packaging before use.

Above are some side effects which can happen if mineral spirits and paint thinner are not used carefully. You should take all the safety precautions and use protection methods when using mineral spirits and paint thinner.

Avoid using it in front of children and pregnant women. Don’t forget to use protective tools such as masks, gloves, shoes and glasses.

Both chemicals are used in the industrial sector and have chloroform and benzene.

Mineral spirits and paint thinner can damage internal organs and cause skin allergies if you not used rightly. If any accident occurs or you face any problem, then it is highly suggested that you consult a doctor and take first aid measures or go to the hospital if necessary.

Before disposing of packaging once the chemicals are used up, it will be the right thing to consult with an environment specialist or a local authority.

Alternatively, often these products have disposal directions on the packet which you can follow. 

Where To Buy Mineral Spirits And Paint Thinner

It is very crucial that you consider where to purchase mineral spirits or paint thinner.

It is recommended that you buy from an authorized company or a chemical centre.

By purchasing from an authorised company, you will be advised on how to use the chemicals and the quantity to be used.

You can get the chemicals at most hardware stores near you, but purchasing safe chemicals is important.

You can also purchase Mineral Spirits and Paint Thinner from trusted online retailers such as Amazon.

Mineral Spirits vs Paint Thinner – Conclusion

We hope that after reading this article, you are well aware of the differences between mineral spirits and paint thinner.

All users should understand the benefits and limitations and take all the necessary precautions. Both mineral spirits and paint thinners are effective solvents and are used widely by people.

I would suggest that you buy mineral spirits as it is more effective and safer to use than paint thinner.

It is proven to be less harmful compared to paint thinner.

However, it is still recommended that you consider all factors and see what suits your need the best.

Just ensure that when working with mineral spirit or paint thinner you take utmost caution.

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