Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Acetone and Mineral Spirits

In the decoration and paint industry, there exist several types of solvents as well as thinners. Such is acetone and mineral spirits. Although many people may not know this, there are noticeable differences between the two.


What is Acetone?

Acetone is a colorless, flammable and volatile liquid that is used in the beauty industry as a nail polish remover as well as paint thinner. It is miscible with water hence serves as a solvent, mostly for cleaning purposes. It has a pungent and irritating odor.


Acetone has many uses as listed below;

  • It is used for dissolving superglue and two-part epoxies before they harden
  • Thinning polyester raisins
  • Remove rosin flux by soldering applications which prevent the rusty bolt effect. 
  • Used as a component in some food additives
  • Used in chemical peeling 
  • Used in skin defatting
  • Used in the printing artifacts for vapor polishing


What is Mineral spirits?

This is a solvent derived from petroleum that is basically used for thinning varnishes and paints as well as cleaning. It may also be used as a solvent in products such as wood preservatives, spray paint, aerosols, and vanishes.  It is transparent in appearance and may have an odor similar to that of kerosene. There however exist mineral spirits without an odor in the market. It may be used to clean brushes after a painting job, cleaning grease, a metal of carbon and several other oils that are used in machinery. They are inexpensive, less toxic and also less flammable.


Similarities between acetone and mineral spirits

  • Both are solvents hence are used as thinners.


Differences between acetone and mineral spirits

  1. Uses of acetone vs. mineral spirits

Acetone is mainly used in the beauty industry as a nail polish remover as well as paint thinner. On the other hand, mineral spirits are basically used for thinning varnishes and paints and as a solvent as well as cleaning.

  1. Appearance

While acetone is colorless, mineral spirits are transparent. 

  1. Flammable

Acetone is highly flammable while mineral spirits are less flammable. 

  1. Odor of acetone and mineral spirits

Acetone has a pungent and irritating odor. On the other hand, the mineral spirit can either be odorless or have kerosene like odor.

  1. Use in the beauty industry

While acetone is used in the beauty industry as a nail polish remover, skin defatting, as well as chemical peeling, mineral spirits are not used in the beauty industry. 

Acetone vs. Mineral Spirits: Comparison Table


Summary of Acetone vs. Mineral Spirits

Acetone and mineral spirits may be used for the same purpose such as paint thinning and as solvents. However, several aspects of life such as the beauty industry use acetone, which cannot be replaced by mineral spirits. It is important to differentiate these two so as to avoid mishaps. 


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References :

[0]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pheezy/83658850

[1]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boyntonartstudio/42652067982

[2]Grimmer Anne. Keeping It Clean: Removing Exterior Dirt, Paint, Stains and Graffiti from Historic Masonry Buildings. DIANE Publishing, 1992. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=JmiHY-8ZRhoC&pg=PA31&dq=Difference+between+acetone+and+mineral+spirits&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi8zpuEt4TgAhVD1hoKHTK-CbEQ6AEIOTAD#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20acetone%20and%20mineral%20spirits&f=false

[3]Rushfield R, Stoner J. Conservation of Easel Paintings- Routledge Series in Conservation and Museology. Routledge Publishers, 2013. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=My0sBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA541&dq=Difference+between+acetone+and+mineral+spirits&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi8zpuEt4TgAhVD1hoKHTK-CbEQ6AEINDAC#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20acetone%20and%20mineral%20spirits&f=false

[4]Umney N, Rivers S. Conservation of Furniture. Routledge Publishers, 2007. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=F8GuEM4YJcUC&pg=PA523&dq=Difference+between+acetone+and+mineral+spirits&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi8zpuEt4TgAhVD1hoKHTK-CbEQ6AEILTAB#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20acetone%20and%20mineral%20spirits&f=false

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