Ensuring oil-based paint and latex paint have a smooth consistency helps these paints glide well across your chosen surface. Unfortunately, when these paints sit a while, they tend to clump up and require a little help getting back to their original quality. Using mineral spirits and other paint thinners to thin overly viscous paint is the typical response to this problem, but many commercial paint thinners contain highly toxic compounds.
When you’re looking for a safer way to thin paint, Real Milk Paint Co. can help with products that work great for thinning paint without the baggage of commercial paint thinners. Use this paint thinner comparison — Orange Oil Natural Citrus Solvent vs. Odorless Mineral Spirits vs. paint thinners — to choose the best option for your DIY project that involves thin oil-based paint.
Citrus Solvent, Odorless Mineral Spirits, and Paint Thinner: Know the Difference
While these paint thinners may seem interchangeable, they differ in numerous ways. As such, each product for thinning oil-based paints and latex paints has its own unique properties and use cases.
Odorless Mineral Spirits
While lots of so-called “odor-free mineral spirits” are on the market, Odorless Mineral Spirits by Real Milk Paint Co. actually lives up to its name. Alternative paint thinners like this one also thin finishing oils like tung oil and varnish and help with cleaning up sticky residue left over by oil paints and products. Distilled from petroleum,
Odorless Mineral Spirits make a great choice for cleaning paint brushes thanks to having similar properties to turpentine without the many harmful pollutants or noxious odor. Keep in mind that Odorless Mineral Spirits and pure mineral spirits are different things — the former has undergone lots of filtration to remove the harmful chemicals, whereas the latter hasn’t.
Orange Oil Natural Citrus Solvent
Suitable for use in place of Odorless Mineral Spirits and other paint thinners, Orange Oil Natural Citrus Solvent by Real Milk Paint Co. makes a great alternative when you don’t want to use petroleum distillates in your projects.
This alternative paint thinner contains no surfactants, emulsions, or harmful additives in its 98% pure citrus peel and 2% water formulation, and it also has no chemicals that damage the ozone layer or the atmosphere in general. In addition, to use as a paint thinner, this high-grade natural solvent also doubles as a degreaser, fragrance additive, stain cleaner, and heat transfer medium.
Other Paint Thinners
Most paint thinner products on the market contain various additives that make them potentially dangerous to use, especially in tighter spaces.
When comparing paint thinner to products like Odorless Mineral Spirits and Citrus Solvent, the first difference is that only commercial paint thinner contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — chemicals with the potential to damage the lungs when inhaled — so it must be used in a well-ventilated area to prevent accidents or injuries.
Additionally, many other paint thinners are highly flammable, which makes them dangerous to store should you have many paint thinners left over after projects.
Paint Thinner vs. Citrus Solvent or Odorless Mineral Spirits: Which Is Better?
Paint thinner, Citrus Solvent and Odorless Mineral Spirits all have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your project. Consider the pros and cons of each when choosing the best option for your projects.
Pros and Cons of Natural Citrus Solvent
When you want a paint thinner without noxious fumes, Orange Oil Natural Citrus Solvent is your best bet, with its pleasantly fruity smell and a formula that’s safe for food contact. The slower evaporation rate makes this paint thinner a great choice for projects where you need a longer open working time but a poor one for paint jobs where you need coats to dry quickly.
The other main advantage of using this solvent as a paint thinner is that you do it yourselfers can throw away leftovers without any regulated disposal requirements. Keep in mind, however, that Citrus Solvent may damage delicate water-based paints and films, particularly those on antique or vintage furniture.
Pros and Cons of Odorless Mineral Spirits
Our Odorless Mineral Spirits serve you well when you need a lacquer thinner and something for cleaning latex and oil-based paints out of paint brushes. Unlike pure mineral spirits that have a less refined form,
Odorless Mineral Spirits are heavily refined to remove as many harmful pollutants as possible so the formulation doesn’t negatively affect respiratory health. Additionally, this paint thinner eases the labor-intensive production process by thinning oil-based paint enough for use in a paint sprayer, and it’s a faster evaporating paint thinner than Citrus Solvent for quicker drying times.
Unless you’re using enough product to justify a weekly or monthly trip to the proper disposal spot, getting rid of unused or old mineral spirits can be a pain. To protect the water supply, local regulations often require an arduous disposal process.
You may have to transfer the liquid to a spill-proof container, filter it, mix it with something absorbent such as kitty litter and then either wait for a community disposal event or contact the local landfill to see if they’ll take the waste. In many cases, you’ll have to pay the landfill as well.
Pros and Cons of Other Paint Thinners
Commercial paint thinners offer a fast way to thin paint down for use in a paint sprayer; however, these products almost always contain harmful pollutants and emit very strong fumes. Turpentine simplifies removing dried paint, whereas Odorless Mineral Spirits only take off wet paint, so these options typically have a stronger solvency profile.
Just like with mineral spirits, though, other spirits and paint thinners are tougher to dispose of, requiring a special trip to the landfill and potential payment when you need to throw leftovers away.
Odor of Odorless Mineral Spirits, Paint Thinner and Citrus Solvent
Many commercial paint thinners and paint thinner alternatives come with clear-cut warnings against mixing the products with anything else due to the toxic fumes the combination creates.
Our Citrus Solvent and natural Odorless Mineral Spirits are compatible in terms of both ingredients and intended use, so if you already own one or the other and want to use it up, feel free to combine the paint thinners and use them together.
Real Milk Paint’s Odorless Mineral Spirits Really Are Odorless
We all know what it’s like to work with paint thinners that stink. Those pungent odors tend to linger, even in oil-based paints, and the noxious fumes invade our airspace, traveling from the garage into the house and clinging to our clothes and hair.
Real Milk Paint tackles that problem by highly filtering our Odorless Mineral Spirits. This heavily refined distillation process significantly reduces the presence of toxic chemicals behind the acidic fumes found within pure mineral spirits for fewer odors.
Real Milk Paint Natural Citrus Solvent Smells Just Like Oranges
Go a step beyond Odorless Mineral Spirits and infuse your workspace with the bright, invigorating scent of oranges — the signature addition to our Citrus Solvent. Our formula uses 98% pure citrus peel oil and 2% water, creating plenty of cleaning power and a pleasant aroma.
Use as is or mix Citrus Solvent — just 2%-10% will do the trick — into your Odorless Mineral Spirits to make it easier to track evaporation (when you can’t smell the orange anymore, your project is likely fully dry).
Comparing Citrus Solvent and Odorless Mineral Spirits vs. Paint Thinners
While Citrus Solvent has a pleasant orange smell and Odorless Mineral Spirits have little smell at all, other paint thinners don’t come out as well in this area of comparison due to their potentially toxic fumes.
Many other paint thinners have strong fumes and contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which makes them both unpleasant and potentially dangerous to use and inhale. If you’re working with these other paint thinners, be sure to wear a respirator and work in a well-ventilated area to protect yourself from the unpleasant kerosene-like odor.
Should You Choose Paint Thinner, Mineral Spirits And Citrus Solvent To Thin Oil-Based Paints?
The choice you make between Orange Oil Natural Citrus Solvent vs. Odorless Mineral Spirits vs. paint thinner depends on what you’re using the product for within your projects. Will you be using oil-based paint, water-based paint or a non-toxic paint? Each product has advantages and disadvantages, giving you excellent results for some uses and sub-par results for others.
If your main concern, however, is environmental friendliness and sustainable woodworking, we recommend both mineral spirits and citrus solvent. To learn more about our products and get answers to your questions, contact Real Milk Paint Co. by filling out this form or calling (800) 339-9748.