Does mineral spirits leave residue after evaporating?

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Forum topic by Alan S posted 08-18-2011 07:56 PM 29179 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Alan S

181 posts in 3523 days

08-18-2011 07:56 PM

I was doing some sanding on my baby crib project this weekend and was using mineral spirits to clean off sawdust and find sanding marks. I showed LOML and she asked ‘Is mineral spirits safe?’. Of course I have always considered mineral spirits to be something that evaporates and doesn’t leave anything behind.

Is this accurate? Is there any residue that gets left behind from mineral spirits?


9 replies so far

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2890 days

#1 posted 08-18-2011 08:49 PM

I’ve used it before…never known it to be a problem but it is oil-based and in about 100 years it might kill somebody…my preference for years now has been rubbing alcohol (yeah that $2 bottle you buy at Walmart…dries in seconds and cheaper than acetone.

View pricklypete's profile


1 post in 2679 days

#2 posted 08-18-2011 08:50 PM

Alan, if you look it up under Wikipedia (mineral spirit = white spirit) it’s a petroleum distillate and under “Toxicity” seems like it would be ok well after evaporation HOWEVER why even take chances when you could use a shop vac to clean up dust and a food grade alcohol for non grain raising check of your sanding (or better lighting or light spray of water before a fine/final sanding)? Given you’re talking a baby crib and we all know baby’s gnaw on or gum crib rails I’d avoid any VOC’s or questionable solvents of any non-food grade nature. Those teeth marks will mar up your finish anyway so sanding marks seem a bit obsessive a worry ;-)
Good luck man,

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

181 posts in 3523 days

#3 posted 08-18-2011 09:14 PM

Thanks, guys.
I was only doing this in a small area on the outside of the legs near what will be the bottom of the crib. Inaccessible to any future gnawing teeth. I think you are right that the safer thing to use is some kind of alcohol. This project will definitely keep me on my toes!


View DamnYankee's profile


3312 posts in 2767 days

#4 posted 08-19-2011 12:00 AM

Thanks for the suggestion to use alchohol. Much cheaper than mineral spirits.

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View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3128 days

#5 posted 08-19-2011 02:50 PM

For a crib I think I would use alcohol and shellac.

-- Life is good.

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2898 days

#6 posted 08-19-2011 03:50 PM

^I’m with Howie. You’ve already got the alcohol out for the shellac;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3265 days

#7 posted 08-19-2011 08:12 PM

We people put mineral oil on our skin, its made from crude oil even mineral spirit. I dont see the difference.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3128 days

#8 posted 08-19-2011 10:02 PM

Shellac is considered the most friendly finish for kid furniture. They have a tendency to chew it and it’s not harmful.(I know someone should tell the chinese)

-- Life is good.

View KenBee's profile


109 posts in 2841 days

#9 posted 08-20-2011 06:00 PM

Speaking of mineral spirits I applied some on a piece of walnut and it darkened it and took 3-4 days for the walnut to return to its natural color. Can a shellac finish be applied right after using it or should it be completely evaporated prior to applying the shellac so the wood retains its natural color when finished and does that apply to all species of wood?

-- If it won't fit get a BIGGER hammer.

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