Cleaning With Mineral Spirits: Clever Household Uses

Published January 20, 2021
cleaning solvent

Cleaning with mineral spirits in your home might sound a bit far fetched. However, mineral spirits can come in handy in some sticky and drippy situations. However, it's important to remember to use precautions when cleaning with mineral spirits.

Are Mineral Spirits Dangerous?

Before you start cleaning with mineral spirits, it comes with some warnings when using it, according to Atlantic Environmental Incorporated. The most significant warning when using mineral spirits is not to drink it or get it in your mouth. This can be deadly. Also, it can:

  • Itritate skin by removing protective oils

  • Cause respiratory irritation in high concentration when inhaled

Therefore, when using mineral spirits, it's essential to wear gloves and be in a well-ventilated area.

Cleaning With Mineral Spirits

If you've ever cleaned with mineral spirits, you know it can come in pretty handy around the house. However, many people confuse mineral spirits and turpentine. While they can be interchangeable, they aren't the same thing. Mineral spirits are made of petroleum distillates and typically have less odor than paint thinner. Mineral spirits can also be a perfect at-home degreaser. Explore some ways you might start cleaning with mineral spirits around your home.

Using Mineral Spirits to Remove Paint

One of the reasons that mineral spirits are confused with turpentine is because they are both paint thinners. Not only will they thin paint, but they can also remove any drips or splatters that ventured where they shouldn't have.

  1. Simply add a bit of mineral spirits to a cloth and rub out the paint spill.

  2. Wash the area with a clean soapy cloth.

  3. Just be sure to test an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn't do harm.

Cleaning Sticker Residue With Mineral Spirits

Sticker residues and glues can be a bugger to get rid of, especially off frames or dishes you got at the thrift store. Well, mineral spirits can get you out of sticky situations.

  1. Add mineral spirits to a clean cloth.

  2. Wipe away the gooey residue.

  3. Wash with soap and water.

Getting Scuff Marks Off Floor

Are your favorite heels leaving scuff marks on your linoleum, wood, or tile floors? Grab the mineral spirits and try this:

  1. Test an area of the floor first.

  2. Add a splash to a rag.

  3. Buff the mark away.

  4. Use a clean soapy cloth to remove the residue.

Restoring Unpainted Wood With Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits work great to bring new life back into dirty and grimy wood. However, it's always essential to test an area first.

  1. Use a mineral spirits dampened cloth in circular motions to breathe new life into your wood.

  2. Wipe with a soapy cloth and buff dry.

Cleaning Paint Brushes and Tools With Mineral Spirits

When you are in the midst of a project, your brushes and tools go to the back of your mind. However, turning clean up, mineral spirits can become your new best friend.

  1. Add mineral spirits to a container.

  2. Submerge the paintbrushes or tools until clean.

  3. Pull them out and wipe them down with a microfiber cloth.

Mineral Spirits to De-Grease Refrigerators

Refrigerators can get caked with greasy handprints, mystery goo, and all other types of foreign smudges. Use a bit of mineral spirits to get it looking new again. Just do a test patch first.

  1. Use mineral spirits to wipe down the stains.

  2. Add a bit of elbow grease for deeper stains.

  3. Use a clean soapy cloth to remove residue.

  4. Buff with a clean microfiber cloth.

Woman Cleaning Refrigerator

Cleaning Window Frames

Windows and window frames can get super dirty, especially the outside ones. When you are having trouble getting rid of grimy residue or sap, try mineral spirits on it. It can even work wonders on paint marks.

  1. Wipe down the area, adding elbow grease as necessary.

  2. Don't forget to rinse the residue away and dry.

Mineral Spirits for Cleaning Wooden Tables & Chairs

While mineral spirits are safe for a clear finish like varnish or lacquer, test a section before trying mineral spirits to remove dust, impurities, and goo. Once you've done a test patch, you can use this method to breathe new life into your wooden tables, chairs, and even bookcases.

  1. Dampen a rag with mineral spirits and work in circular motions over the finished wood areas.

  2. Use a clean microfiber cloth to buff and remove the residue.

  3. Consider adding a protective coating of wax.

Clean Plastic Chairs and Sockets

Mineral spirits are also suitable for cleaning plastics. Therefore, you can use mineral spirits to liven up your outdoor plastic chairs or to get paint, residue, and fingerprints off your wall sockets.

  1. Using a rag, buff your plastic with small circular motions until the grime is gone.

  2. Follow up with a clean soapy damp rag to rinse or use the hose in the case of your outdoor chairs.

  3. Use a clean cloth to dry.

How to Dispose of Mineral Spirits

While mineral spirits are excellent for use around the house, they are considered hazardous household waste. Therefore, you can't just put it down your drain. Instead, you need to properly dispose of them by taking them to a hazardous waste facility when you're done with them. However, remember, you can reuse mineral spirits over and over again. Even when you use it to remove paint, the paint will sink to the bottom, and you can siphon the mineral spirits off. While this might take a bit, it saves you having to buy another can.

Using Mineral Spirits for Cleaning

When you think of mineral spirits, you might just think of paintbrush cleaning or tool de-greasing. However, there are vast ways that mineral spirits can make your home cleaner. But it's always important to remember to take proper precautions and test the area before trying mineral spirits on it.

Cleaning With Mineral Spirits: Clever Household Uses