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Replacing Mineral Spirits with Eco-Friendly Solvent Alternatives

October 24, 2022

Mineral spirits, also called white spirit, are used in woodworking and other industries to remove paint from surfaces, applicators, and other objects. Mineral spirits are also used to degrease tools and other components used at your job site. However, using white spirit can be risky, creating health consequences for workers and potentially harming the environment. Luckily, easy-to-use and eco-friendly solvent substitutes are readily available and provide effective cleaning and paint removal when applied as a mineral spirit alternative.

Volatile Mineral Spirits Can Be Dangerous to Use

Mineral spirits and petroleum spirits were created as an alternative to turpentine and other thinners, delivering comprehensive cleaning and paint removal without the harsh smell associated with other solvents. Despite these capabilities and inoffensive scent, mineral spirit solvents still pose several threats to workers, employees, and individuals, depending on the level of exposure:

  • Low Exposure. Different symptoms, such as skin irritation, mild respiratory issues, or aspiration, can occur depending on if a mineral spirit solvent was touched, inhaled, or ingested.
  • Acute Exposure. Acute exposure will cause a lack of coordination and slowed reactions due to the solvent’s impact on the central nervous system.
  • High Exposure. High exposure to mineral spirits can result in drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and a loss of consciousness. Seek immediate medical attention if high exposure occurs.
  • Long-Term Exposure. Exposure to white spirit over weeks, months, or years can increase the risk of leukemia, cause chronic central nervous system issues, and impact overall memory and concentration while increasing irritability.

Due to the solvent’s high volatility, mineral spirits can cause damage to the environment. If improperly disposed of, white spirit solvents can negatively impact water quality and pose a significant risk to aquatic organisms.

Green Replacements for White Spirit Solvents

AcraStrip green cleaners and Polychem products were designed to replace harmful solvents such as mineral spirits, acetone, MEK, toluene, and many others. Whether you’re looking for a white spirit alternative for your woodworking shop or want a less hazardous solvent substitute to remove varnishes from spray guns, AcraStrip has you covered. Like mineral spirits, our eco-friendly cleaners feature a light, inoffensive smell. Unlike mineral spirits, using AcraStrip in your facility lowers your overall risk rating. Other advantages to AcraStrip green replacements for solvents include:

  • Developed in partnership with the EPA
  • Low VOC and zero HAP content
  • Reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable
  • Non-flammable
  • Generates minimal amounts of non-hazardous waste

How Semi-Aqueous AcraStrip Works as a Substitute Cleaner on Paint Applicators

Cleaning paint applicators using semi-aqueous AcraStrip solvent alternatives can be completed in a few straightforward steps.

  1. In a clean bucket or container, pour enough AcraStrip to submerge your applicator fully.
  2. Place your applicator into the cleaner and swish back and forth. AcraStrip works as a solvent replacement, lifting paint for easy removal.
  3. Clear any remaining residue from your applicator.
  4. Sling your applicator before being put away.

In addition to paint, AcraStrip provides effective cleaning for applicators used with urethanes, grease, adhesives, polyester and vinyl ester resins, gel coats, varnishes, and more.

Contact AcraStrip for Safer Alternatives to Mineral Spirits & Solvents

AcraStrip is dedicated to providing the market’s best solvent replacements for mineral spirits, turpentine, methylated spirits, denatured alcohol, and other harmful volatile organic compounds. Contact us or call 800-431-2072 to learn more about our solvent substitutes and other industrial green cleaning products.