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Mineral Spirits/Paint Thinner Difference.

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Mineral Spirits/Paint Thinner Difference.

Old 06-09-12, 07:46 PM
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Jed19
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Mineral Spirits/Paint Thinner Difference.

I have always used odorless mineral spirits in cleaning my chains. I am now thinking about buying another gallon, but was wondering what the difference between mineral spirits and paint thinner is in terms of being effective as chain cleaner. I know, for example, that kerosene can also do the job, but I read a long time ago that kerosene leaves a thin dry film on evaporation, and that is why I don't use kerosene.

What I like about mineral spirits are the total evaporation and the decantering that allows re-use. I wonder if paint thinner can be used like odorless mineral spirits in cleaning chains.

Can I use paint thinner, decant it, re-use and still get the kind of cleaning mineral spirits provides? And no films on evaporation?

Thanks for all responses.
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Old 06-09-12, 08:39 PM
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"Paint thinner" covers a wide variety of solvents so you have to be more specific what's in the one you are asking about. Here is Wikipedia's listing of the solvents ued in various paint thinners:

"Products used as paint thinners include:

Mineral spirits
Acetone
Mineral turpentine (turps)
True turpentine
Naphtha
White spirit
Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)
Dimethylformamide (DMF)
2-Butoxyethanol, or any of the other glycol ethers"
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Old 06-09-12, 09:25 PM
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Jed here is a comparison I found here https://www.doityourself.com/stry/3-a...-paint-thinner
They are my preferred chain cleaner - I get whichever I can get cheaper. For chain cleaning they are close enough to being the same that you likely will not notice the difference. Both are petroleum distillates. Odorless mineral spirits is not as strong as Mineral spitits (paint thinner).

Mineral spirits are a type of solvent typically used for cleaning tools and machinery that tend to build up grease and grime. They will also thin oil-based materials, such as paints and varnishes. There are several advantages of using mineral spirits over traditional paint thinner, though the differences are fairly subtle. Paint thinner is mineral spirits, in a less refined form and contains other types of solvents. “Washed” mineral spirits generally costs a good deal more, but are preferable depending on their use.
[h=4]The Odor of Mineral Spirits[/h]Paint thinner is noxious stuff. The vapors are enough to lay you out. Indeed, you need to take care not in inhale too much, as it can cause all manner of nasty side effects, including death. Because paint thinner contains various solvents, this gives it more extreme noxiousness. "Washed" mineral spirits have a much lower odor factor, and are much easier to use for many people due to this.
TIP: Doityourself’s painting consultant Pam Estabrooke, of ProTect Painters, reminds you, “It is very important to always use solvents in a well ventilated room. If you begin to feel light headed or develop a headache, immediately remove yourself from the room and get some fresh air.”
[h=4]Cost of Paint Thinner vs. Mineral Spirits[/h]Usually, paint thinner is cheaper to purchase by a pretty good amount. Mineral spirits can be up to double the cost. The reason for this is mineral spirits receives more thorough refinement. This cleaning of the material also is what makes it less noxious to use. The bottom line is that it takes more work to produce mineral spirits than paint thinner, and you get what you pay for.
[h=4]Effectiveness of Paint Thinner vs. Mineral Spirits[/h]Mineral spirits tends to be more effective in terms of solvent properties and cleaning capabilities. This is due to the fact that it is a much more purified form than paint thinner. Many artists prefer mineral spirits due to the substance's ability to quickly clean about any painting utensil they might use. It is also a more effective solvent, and is the preferable thinning fluid. Because it is more effective overall, that can make up for the difference in cost compared to paint thinner.
TIP: Pam says, “Use a non-reactive container to clean brushes in (glass or stainless steel). Always store leftover solvent in a tightly closed container. Do not pour used product down a drain or dump it out onto the ground. Seek out a reputable recycling center to dispose of waste.”



Read more: https://www.doityourself.com/stry/3-a...#ixzz1xMC4cRRS
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Old 06-09-12, 09:27 PM
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A lot of times they are essentially interchangeable. However, you could google the material safety data sheet (MSDS) for the brand and product you were considering buying. The MSDS should have a list of ingredients in that particular solvent (although they may be listed as ranges).

Edit: Personally, I prefer low-odor mineral spirits. That's what I definitely use when I work indoors, but I have a big can of paint thinner I will use outdoors (when it's nice enough to work outside). I got the paint thinner for free (it was an extra someone was getting rid of), and I'm just trying to use it up. Then I'll go back to low-odor. It's worth the extra cost, IMO.

Last edited by Spld cyclist; 06-09-12 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 06-09-12, 09:44 PM
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Thanks guys for the prompt response. The cost, as Bill pointed out in his post, was what was gonna make me consider paint thinner. I guess I'll stick with odorless mineral spirits then.
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Old 06-09-12, 10:24 PM
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Another consideration when using chemicals should always be the flashpoint, or the minimum temperature they will burn. Directly related to flashpoint is vaporization; IOW the lower the flashpoint the more vapors your going to get at ambient temperatures. Paint thinner generally has a flashpoint of 32 deg F. The flash point of mineral spirits is about 120 deg (similar to Kerosene). As an example the flash point of gasoline is -50 deg F. So go for the mineral spirits and stay alive..

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Old 06-10-12, 05:38 AM
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I've been using spirits my self , then I recently read about some amazing new concoction , hot H2O and Dawn dishwashing soap as recommended
by my lube manufacturer (Dumonde) , scrub the chain 'bout every 300 miles or so blow dry with compressor chain looks like new

Edit : I also wipe the chain with a rag after/before evey ride
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Old 06-10-12, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by VELOGLOCK View Post
I've been using spirits my self , then I recently read about some amazing new concoction , hot H2O and Dawn dishwashing soap as recommended
by my lube manufacturer (Dumonde) , scrub the chain 'bout every 300 miles or so blow dry with compressor chain looks like new

Edit : I also wipe the chain with a rag after/before evey ride
I also have read about Dawn, hot water and compressor drying. My issue with that is the fact that I just don't like water as bike wash agent, and I don't have a compressor to blow out all water molecules. Odorless mineral spirits in a little air-tight jar with my chains and some agitation does very well (thank you Sheldon Brown). And I have it so perfected now, that I can do it all in less than five minutes. Of course, I use KMC missing links on my chains.
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