Mineral Spirits vs. Natural Citrus Solvent Frequently Asked Questions
How does Citrus Solvent differ from mineral spirits?
Citrus Solvent is orange peel oil. It is the natural clear liquid that is in the rind of the orange. Citrus Solvent is an organic substance, in contrast to Mineral spirits, which is created through a chemical process called “Oil Cracking”. Mineral spirits is a by-product from the manufacture of gasoline. Citrus Solvent on the other hand is a by-product of the orange juice industry from squeezing oranges. After the orange juice is squeezed the peels are then sent back to be further squeezed to extract the Citrus Solvent from the peels. The liquid is collect for other uses. Citrus Solvent does not cause any ozone depletion or contamination. Even if the orange peels were discarded the Citrus Solvent would be release to the air regardless.
How does Citrus Solvent work? Is it just like regular paint thinner?
Citrus Solvent will evaporate like paint thinner but just a little bit slower. However, the fumes are much safer.
What are the benefits of using Citrus Solvent as odorless mineral spirits?
Citrus Solvent is not odorless but does have an orange smell. Lower quality odorless mineral spirits may be more toxic than Citrus Solvent. Extended long term exposure to any and all solvents are not recommended.
Can Citrus Solvent be used for degreasing, the way mineral spirits can?
Yes, Citrus Solvent makes an excellent degreaser. In many cases it works better than mineral spirits.
Is Citrus Solvent safer to use on antiques than paint thinner?
Citrus Solvent is a good degreaser and works well for de-waxing. Citrus solvent would be safe for almost all finishes except for some delicate water base films.
Do I need to wear a mask and gloves when working with Citrus Solvent as an odorless mineral spirit?
Gloves would be good to wear if you have sensitive skin. Citrus Solvent can dry out the skin. Good ventilation is recommended if you are doing a large project. An organic filter mask is recommended for protection from odorless mineral spirits.
When using Citrus Solvent in place of paint thinner or mineral spirits, is the same amount of product used?
Yes, the exact same amount of Citrus Solvent is required in place of paint thinner or mineral spirits.
How fast does Citrus Solvent evaporate compared to paint thinner and mineral spirits?
Citrus Solvent will dry a bit slower than paint thinner or mineral spirits.
Does Citrus Solvent require as much ventilation during use as mineral spirits or paint thinner?
Ventilation would be recommended for all solvents.
Is Citrus Solvent safer to store than mineral spirits or paint thinner?
Recommended storage for Citrus Solvent would be the same as for mineral spirits and paint thinner.
What are mineral spirits?
Mineral spirits are a low volatility petroleum derivative commonly used as a substitute for turpentine for paint thinning. Originally developed in the late twenties, mineral spirits were first created as a formula for the dry cleaning industry. Today, mineral spirits are used in a number of applications as a cleaner, degreaser, and lubricant. Mineral spirits are created through the combination of various chemicals with hydrocarbons into three basic types. The most commonly used for paint applications is type II odorless mineral spirits. Although mineral spirits are considered safe as cleaner, OSHA, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, warns of “potential acute health effects” including irritation of the skin and eyes, and the hazardous potential of mineral spirits if ingested or inhaled. Furthermore, mineral spirits are toxic to the lungs and nervous system, and “repeated or prolonged exposure” can produce “target organs damage”.
At The Real Milk Paint Company we do our best to provide safe products as well as information. However we can not guarantee that individuals with compromised immune systems or allergies will not have a reaction to our products. We strongly recommend that each person take their own personal responsibility in testing this product for their own personal use.