Denatured Alcohol vs. Mineral Spirits: Which is Best for Your Needs?

Denatured Alcohol vs. Mineral Spirits: Which is Best for Your Needs?

Each denatured alcoholic beverages and mineral spirits are used for woodworking and a range of Do-it-yourself tasks. They are equally fantastic if utilised accurately for the right jobs. Even so, it can often be difficult to select the correct one for your wants. Often, a single is greater than the other individuals, and choosing the improper a single can severely mess up your project.

Because picking the appropriate one is so crucial, we have prepared this report to assist you in this job. We’ll go over exactly what every solution is, issues to take into account when using them, and which a single is greatest for which positions. 1 is not always much better than the other all the time it mainly relies upon on what you are doing.

Overview of Denatured Alcohol

Denatured liquor is an ethanol that has additives to make it bad-tasting or nauseating. In other phrases, its alcoholic beverages that has been rendered undrinkable. (Nicely, technically, you could drink it, but it would not be a entertaining expertise.) It is created to discourage consumption. Frequently, it is dyed so that it can be recognized visually – so no one unintentionally drinks it.

Denaturing alcohol, aka producing it taste negative, does not adjust the chemical makeup of the liquor alone. It is utilised just like alcoholic beverages, apart from you simply cannot drink it.

Denatured Alcohol vs. Mineral Spirits: Which is Best for Your Needs?


So, why would any individual go by way of all the trouble to make alcohol style undesirable? Often, it is to get around alcoholic beverages taxes. In numerous nations around the world, additional taxes are additional to alcoholic beverages and related drinks. To keep away from paying out this form of tax, ingredients are included to make it undrinkable. How precisely denatured alcohol is manufactured differs from nation to region, depending on the definition of liquor.

Denatured liquor is frequently employed for non-ingesting needs, for this cause. Often, it is utilized for gasoline, surgical, and laboratory functions. It is less costly than standard liquor because of the absence of the tax. For food and beverage needs, pure ethanol is required. Denatured alcohol can also not be used for chemistry reasons, as the additional chemicals can interfere with the ultimate merchandise.

There is no apparent advantage to employing denatured liquor. It is basically denatured to get all around the taxes.


Different denatured alcohols are created in distinct ways. Some simply taste undesirable, whilst other folks are poisonous. If the alcoholic beverages is made up of methanol, it can trigger blindness and demise. During prohibition, the government essential that methanol be utilised in all lawfully offered alcohols. This led to the loss of life of dozens of individuals in New York City by itself.

Today, methanol is usually not additional. Instead, denatonium is included alternatively. This tends to make it taste fairly bad. Substances these kinds of as pyridine are also included to make it scent disagreeable. Sometimes substances are extra to induce vomiting, like syrup of ipecac.

  • Powerful solvent
  • Inexpensive due to lack of taxes
  • Toxic – or at least not very fun to drink

Overview of Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits are petroleum-derived liquids that are a frequent solvent in paint. There are numerous distinct kinds of mineral spirits, with some currently being used for particular purposes. In most circumstances, they all operate extremely likewise, however. For case in point, odorless mineral spirits are frequently employed for oil portray, as their harmful fragrant compounds have been eliminated. Mineral spirits are also commonly used in paint thinner.

Denatured Alcohol vs. Mineral Spirits: Which is Best for Your Needs?


There are a few main types of mineral spirits, as nicely as three distinct grades. Every single variety is divided into these a few different grades: reduced flash quality, typical quality, and large flash quality. The quality is identified by the crude oil utilized to make the merchandise.

The a few main varieties of mineral spirits are:

  • Type 0: This type of mineral spirits has no further treatment after distillation. It is basically just mineral spirits with nothing added.
  • Stoddard Solvent: This is a specific mixture of hydrocarbons. It was developed in 1924 by a dry cleaner as a less-flammable alternative to the petroleum solvents that were commonly used during that time period. Dry cleaners began using this solvent shortly after it was invented, and it continued to be the predominate dry cleaning solvent until the late 1950s.
  • Turpentine substitute: Turpentine substitute is usually used for cleaning. However, it can not be used for paint thinning, as it can make the paint take forever to dry – or not dry at all. It can be used for brush cleaning, though it can leave behind an oily residue. As you might expect, it is not very common.


Mineral solvents are used for all sorts of things. They are frequently utilised as paint thinners, but they can also be employed for cleansing and degreasing machines. They are an low-cost petroleum-dependent item that can change the use of vegetable-primarily based turpentine for a portion of the value. This is the most frequent paint thinner for oil-based paints.

Higher-quality mineral solvents are usually utilized for painting, whilst lower-quality spirits are employed for industrial cleansing purposes. Mineral spirits are the energetic component in numerous various soaps, and are at times use in cures for poison ivy.

Mineral spirits can also be utilised as a gasoline in location of kerosene, though they are not promoted as these kinds of. This is usually since whilst it can be used as a gasoline, it truly isn’t a extremely excellent one.


Mineral spirits are a minor irritant. It is not notably toxic if it is inhaled, touched, or ingested. However, acute publicity to a whole lot of mineral spirits can trigger a lack of coordination. Substantial concentrations in an unventilated room and guide to drowsiness and nausea. Prolonged pores and skin publicity above a period of time of time can lead to irritant dermatitis.

There are lawful limits set for publicity to Stoddard solvent in the workplace. In The united states, OSHA sets this at 500 ppm.

  • Inexpensive
  • Decently non-toxic
  • Many different types available
  • Can leave a greasy residue

Denatured Alcohol vs. Mineral Spirits – The Details


The primary difference in between DA and mineral spirits is that mineral spirits will go away some type of oily residue guiding. This can be removed via indicates you would typically do to eliminate an oily residue – like cleaning soap. Nevertheless, you might not have to thoroughly clean it at all if you are employing some form of oil-based mostly paint later on.

DA will not go away any residue. It is not oil-based mostly, and for that reason does not leave oil driving when the relaxation of it evaporates or is cleaned absent.

Drying Time

Mineral spirits just take an typical time to evaporate and dry. Depending on how significantly you use, you will probably be waiting around around for at the very least an hour for it to dry fully. On the other hand, DA dries decently more rapidly.

Of training course, it depends on the problems both are utilised in, as nicely as the type of each and every solution employed. In almost all instances, DA is likely to dry quicker than mineral spirits.

Even with this, you should not be employed the drying time as the main selecting stage between these two solvents. As an alternative, you should be concentrating on yoru task and what you strategy on utilizing equally solvents for.


There are really a few distinctions amongst these two solvents. Nonetheless, you should be focusing on mainly the uses every solvent is greatest for. They are utilized for broadly diverse needs, even even though they are the two technically solvents.

When it will come to painting, mineral spirits can be utilised for oil-primarily based paints, oil-dependent stain, and oil polyurethane varnish. If you need to have to slim any of these three substances, your greatest guess is to use a mineral spirit – preferably odorless.

At the very same time, you must use denatured alcoholic beverages when thinning shellac, but that’s about it. It is not notably very good at thinning anything at all down, so it actually isn’t used considerably for painting.

If you’re making an attempt to clean one thing, you need to use mineral spirits for grease, brushes, paint sprayers, tools, and metal. Mineral spirits are really excellent at removing grease and paint, which can make them ideal suited for cleaning factors like paint brushes and grease.

Denatured liquor can also be employed for instruments and metallic as nicely. Even so, you can also use it for glass. In simple fact, it is a single of the ideal cleaners for glass.

You can use denatured alcoholic beverages as a gasoline in some situations. Mineral spirits are not especially ideal for fueling anything, except if you are in an crisis predicament.


Whether you require to use denatured liquor or mineral spirits is dependent mainly on what you program to do with them. Each can be employed for thinning paint, but they are ideal for distinct kinds of paint. You can also use each for cleansing, but they are ideal for cleaning diverse surfaces.

Figure out what projects you strategy on utilizing these substances for, and then decide one particular appropriately. While DA can be a little bit more costly than mineral spirits, mineral spirits are not likely to aid you thoroughly clean glass. They the two have very specific uses and must be employed accordingly.