Turpenoid Vs Mineral Spirits -Complete Guide

Turpenoid and mineral spirits have their uses in different DIY situations. You might have noticed that you can use either of these two solvents for tasks like cleaning brushes. That might make you wonder about the differences between turpenoid compared to mineral spirits.

Turpenoid and mineral spirits are both oil-based solvents. However, turpenoid is more expensive, evaporates slightly quicker, has less odor, and is generally safer to use than mineral spirits.

In this article, we will have a look at some of the factors that set these two solvents apart and how best to use them in your DIY projects.

Are Turpenoid and Mineral Spirits the Same Thing?

Although both turpenoid and mineral spirits are derived from petroleum, they are different in various ways. Both of these solvents are used by everyday DIY’ers for various projects that include painting and cleaning purposes, but spirits are generally less expensive.

While you might use either turpenoid or spirits to clean painting tools, spirits are ideal for more DIY applications.

Some of the things that you can do with mineral spirits include:

· Thinning Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint produces a glossier and smoother finish than water-based paint. Mineral spirits are oil-based, making them an ideal thinner for oil paints. Thinning paint is arguably the most common use for this solvent.

· Cleaning Painting Tools

Cleaning your tools after using oil-based paint can be a daunting task, but not if you use white spirits. After scraping or wiping off as much paint as possible, you just have to submerge your tools in spirits to get excess paint loose.

· Degreasing Parts

Ask a mechanic and you will learn that degreasing automotive or machinery parts is not a piece of cake. Mineral spirits make that chore a lot easier. Painting sessions are not the only chore made easier with spirits. Small parts can be soaked in a bucket with white spirits to degrease them. You should wipe down larger pieces with a soaked rag.

Old Furniture

· Restoring old furniture

Mineral spirits come in handy when restoring old furniture such as tables and chairs. For example, you can wipe down wood after sanding to eliminate dust particles that would otherwise affect the final finish. Even if you are not going to sand old wood, spirits can revive their shine.

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Common Applications for Turpenoid

Turpenoid is often seen as an odorless substitute for turpentine. This popular solvent is made from petroleum, just like mineral spirits so that you can use it in many similar DIY projects.

Some typical applications for turpenoid include:

· Paint Thinning

Turpenoid is not used as a paint thinner as often as white spirits, but you can use it for this purpose. Artists use turpenoid to thin paint a lot more than general DIY’ers. One of the benefits of thinning paint with odorless turpenoid is that you can also use it to clean brushes.

· Clean Oil and Paint from Fabric

Turpenoid can get stubborn oil and paint off clothing. Apply this solvent to the affected area, follow up by scrubbing with detergent, then let the fabric sit in water overnight. The following day, simply wash the piece of cloth by hand and it should be good as new.


· Fixture Cleaner

Getting stains off fixtures such as toilets and sinks can be a tedious task and even seem impossible. Turpenoid can come to the rescue in this situation. You will have to mix turpenoid with an equal amount of table salt and rub it into the fixture to do away with stains.

Differences between Turpenoid and Mineral Spirits

At first, the differences between turpenoid and white spirits can be confusing since they are both oil-based solvents sometimes used interchangeably. Let’s have a closer look at some of these differences.

Turpenoid Evaporates Faster

When you apply mineral spirits to a surface, the liquid will take a little longer than turpenoid to evaporate, but not much longer. If you wipe down a metal part with spirits to get rid of grease, you can expect the solvent to dissipate in 15–20 minutes.

Turpenoid will take a few minutes less to evaporate than spirits. This might not be significant to most DIY’ers, but it can be a deciding factor for some when choosing between these two solvents.

Mineral Spirits Are More Toxic

Using turpenoid and mineral spirits is not going to kill you, but there are health concerns you need to know about.

Turpenoid can irritate your skin, possibly leading to redness, dryness, and burns. However, it is generally considered to be safer than spirits. Mineral spirits can irritate or burn the skin, induce dermatitis, and even affect vital organs.

It is of utmost importance that you use both of these solvents in a well-ventilated area and protect yourself with gloves, clothing, and goggles.

Turpenoid Is More Expensive

Turpenoid is more expensive than mineral spirits. This should not be a concern if you will only need one of these solvents once in a while.

If you expect to take on a lot of DIY projects that require one of these petroleum distillates, spirits can save you money.

Turpenoid Is Odorless

Turpenoid is often confused with turpentine because of the name and because they can both be  alternatives to spirits.

One of the advantages of turpenoid is that it mostly lacks smell. This is why it is often marketed as “odorless.” DIY’ers who hate the kerosene-like, strong odor of mineral spirits will benefit greatly from this.

Conclusion – Turpenoid vs. Mineral Spirits

Turpenoid and mineral spirits have plenty of uses that DIY’ers can take advantage of. Being aware of the differences and similarities between these two solvents can help you make the right choice. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference.