Experience with ... Mineral Spirits??

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Forum topic by xeddog posted 12-22-2016 10:43 PM 961 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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202 posts in 3149 days

12-22-2016 10:43 PM

I was at my local Lowes picking up some supplies the other day, and the last thing on my list was mineral spirits. I picked up a gallon can and started for the registers when I noticed “Substitute” in small letters below the Mineral Spirits title. Mineral Spirits Substitute???? What the Heck?

So I put the gallon can back and bought a quart instead just to try the stuff out. I have only used it a couple of times so my experience with it is limited, but I have to say . . . yuck.

First, it doesn’t seem as effective as the real thing. It still works I guess, but just not as good as the real thing. Next, It doesn’t feel the same. Occasionally I wash my hands with mineral spirits to get some “gunk” or whatever off before using the soap and water. This substitute crap feels a little oilier. And lastly, IT STINKS!!!!!!! Holy cow it stinks.

Needless to say, I will be going somewhere elsewhere to get real mineral spirits. At least until the enviro-nazis ban the real thing and here in California that might be sooner rather than later.

So if you have used this “Substitute” mineral spirits, what do you thing of it?


7 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


6920 posts in 2340 days

#1 posted 12-22-2016 10:51 PM

Stay away from that stuff like the plague... any of the stuff that is labeled as ‘green’.
The first red flag is where it says it’s “non-flammable”!!! (and “Non-Toxic”!)
The next red flag is where it says to “Shake well before using”!!!

While you might be able to find the real stuff at the BORG, it’s much easier just to go to some place like Sherwin Williams and pick up a gallon of the 100% good stuff.

Just for grins… I looked up the MSDS for the 'green' mineral spirits as well as the real stuff.

The green stuff is listed as having between 15%-40% mineral spirits
( CAS# 64742-47-8 Hydrotreated light distillate (petroleum) 15.0 -40.0 % )

The real stuff is listed as 100% mineral spirits
( CAS# 64742-47-8 Hydrotreated light distillate (petroleum) 100.0 % )

I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘green’ stuff is mostly water, but it doesn’t say (it only lists the ‘harmful’ stuff it contains), so who knows. I do know that it doesn’t work well for thinning oil based enamels when spraying, and it’s only marginally effective at cleaning brushes.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View dddddmorgan's profile


87 posts in 1269 days

#2 posted 12-23-2016 02:12 AM

Wayne, you have fallen victim (as have many of us). To the “Green Initiative.”

Run away from these substitutes!

My humble opinion is that I’ve found more “silliness ” at Lowes than some place like my local Ace Hardware store.

Seems to me Lowes caters to the “kook-aid crowd” that thinks we are killing the planet with our mineral spirits.

Just my FWIW.

-- Maintenance Man - I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge...

View xeddog's profile


202 posts in 3149 days

#3 posted 12-23-2016 03:31 AM

MrUnix – While the substitute have have some mineral spirits in it, the rest is pure . . . well . . . the only thing printable is EVIL. Pure EVIL. It sure smells like hell (Not that I have actually been there). A couple of points just for the heck of it. 1. This stuff is still flammable, is still toxic, and doesn’t say to Shake Well. :-) 2. This one is under the “Crown” brand where your MSDSs are for Kleen Strip, but with licensing agreements and what-not I realize it could be the same stuff.

dddddmorgan – I have a few reasons I prefer shopping at Lowes. It’s on my side of the street. It isn’t Butt Ugly like HD. Its less crowded (people and merchandise). No illegal aliens out front. But the biggest reason is the Veterans discount. Home Depot has a Veterans discount too, but it is hit-or-miss about whether I can get it or not because their policy is different. Anyway, if I want real mineral spirits I will go to the Home Depot that is literally across the street. Or Big B or ACE if I am going in the opposite direction.

Thanks for your input,


View Rich's profile (online now)


3645 posts in 731 days

#4 posted 12-23-2016 04:03 AM

Yep. It’s like gluten free mineral spirits. But it makes some folks “feel good.”

I blame it on fracking.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5558 posts in 2550 days

#5 posted 12-23-2016 04:14 AM

I’d compare it to Diet Fat Free Beer. ROFL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3510 days

#6 posted 12-23-2016 06:05 AM

Yep. It s like gluten free mineral spirits. But it makes some folks “feel good.”

I blame it on fracking.

- RichTaylor

That’s it, the stuff is fracking terrible! LMAO

View MrUnix's profile


6920 posts in 2340 days

#7 posted 12-23-2016 06:06 AM

I use Crown brand mineral spirits quite a bit, as that is what they sell over at my local Sherwin Williams store. AFAIK, Crown doesn’t actually make any thing, they just blend and package stuff up with their own label. The umbrella company that it operates under is the Packaging Service Co., Inc. , and they will bottle stuff up under your label as well if you pay them enough :)

So who knows what that ‘substitute’ stuff may be. Lowes also carries the Crown 'Safer' mineral spirits (used to be named low odor mineral spirits NEXT), and makes no attempt to call it a substitute either! The MSDS lists the contents as being mostly water:

According to their web site, Lowes does have the good stuff and I’ve seen it there before. But lesson learned! Next time you go to get some, make sure it says 100% mineral spirits on the container before plunking your money down!


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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