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Mineral spirits (commonly known as white spirits) is a by-product of petroleum which offers a number of advantages when used for some household chores. Wanna clean up paint stains on furniture? Use mineral spirits. Wanna thin out dense paints and other solvents? Use mineral spirits.
Wanna clean paintbrush after use? Again, use mineral spirits!
Isn’t it amazing that one solvent (i.e., mineral spirits) presents a solution to so many of our problems? Guess what? The list of uses of mineral spirits doesn’t end here. In fact, this is just the beginning! So, let’s quickly move on to see what more astounding uses this wonderful solvent has got to offer.
1. Helps De-grease Tools And The Like
Very often, there develops a greasy and oily layer around machines, chains of bicycles, automobile parts, and other metallic tools and equipment. Mineral spirits work magically on those greasy tools and go a long way in helping them de-grease.
A rough piece of cloth can be used to clean these tools by applying a small number of mineral spirits on the said scrap and rubbing it against the greasy part.
You may use another scrap to wipe the equipment (to remove extra amounts of mineral spirits) after it has been defatted.
2. Helpful In Cleaning Gummy Or Glutinous Substances
Last week I bought one plastic and two steel containers and all of them had a sticky label on their surface. When I removed those labels, they left a glutinous surface behind them (on the containers). But whoa! I applied little quantity of mineral spirits on it (the sticky surface) and it vanished as if it was never there.
I’m sure you too have same gummy marks over many of your utensils, containers, glassware, etc. and after reading this, you know how to get rid of them. Right?
3. Cleaning various Equipment
Yet another amazing use of mineral spirits is that it can be used for cleaning not just metallic tools and equipment but also paintbrushes and the like. If the paint on your paintbrush has not dried up completely, you can clean it up by putting in mineral spirits on a piece of cloth and cleaning the paintbrush using the said cloth.
In case the paint on paintbrush has dried and hardened, you can leave the brush in a small tin containing mineral spirits for some time and clean it up with a scrap after the brush softens.
4. Diluting Paint
This is perhaps the most common purpose of using mineral spirits. Sometimes, paints (oil-based) may thicken or get dense in which case mineral spirits acts as an excellent diluting agent.
It is being increasingly used as a substitute to painting thinner for the purpose of diluting as mineral spirits are more purified in comparison to thinner (Thinner is also rejected because of its highly inflammable tendency).
5. Furniture Cleaning
Did you stain the furniture while painting by mistake? No worries. Mineral spirits will take care of it. Not just paint stains, even generally, mineral spirits can be used to clean wood and furniture and make it shimmery again!
P.S. – There are a variety of wooden furniture and mineral spirits may not suit each and every type, therefore, it is advisable that you first try it out on the backside or a very small area of the furniture before using it on the entire furniture.
6. Blemished Floor
The scuff marks left by furniture, dragging heavy materials, etc on the beautiful floor of your house can be done away with by simply cleaning them using a scrap dipped in mineral spirits.
P.S. – Wash and clean the floor thoroughly ( after use of mineral spirits) in case you have small kids or pets at your home since mineral spirits can prove very dangerous if consumed (pets have the habit of licking floor).
7. Helps Cleaning Wooden Floor
Have a wooden floor that’s covered with marks and accumulated dirt patches? Just clean it using a rag soaked in mineral spirits and the marks will disappear immediately. Stunning. Isn’t it?
8. Paint Spills
It is natural for the paint to spill in the process of painting. All is well until the paint spill is fresh but once it dries, it takes great effort to remove it. By using mineral spirits, you can get rid of dried and hardened paint spills quickly (but remember, the more dried it is, the greater the effort it will take to remove).
9. Helps In Getting Rid Of Sap
Pruner blades and other gardening tools will not be able to function to their fullest until the gummy sap is stuck on them. You can always use mineral spirits to clean the sap on gardening tools.
10. Helpful In Cleaning Doors
Mineral spirits can work wonders for wooden doors covered in dust or having old (wall) paint spill marks. You can make your doors look completely new by cleaning them with this wonderful solvent.
11. Bookshelf Cleansing
Don’t forget to use mineral spirits while cleaning your bookshelf. Use of mineral spirits adds shine to the bookshelf (but make sure to test it on a smaller area before applying it to the entire bookshelf).
12. Exterior Of Refrigerators
Dirt & dust, fingerprints, glutinous residues and the like found on refrigerators can be wiped off by utilizing mineral spirits (but be very careful because not all refrigerators are the same so it is advisable to test it first).
13. Adds Luster To Chairs
Mineral spirit works perfectly well for cleaning both plastic and wooden chairs. So, if you want to add luster to your chairs, you should definitely give mineral spirits a try.
14. Switch Sockets
Paint (wall) spills, settled dirt and other impurities may make your socket look dirty and spoil the show of your tidy and beautiful room. Mineral spirits can help in removing these impurities and make your socket look brand new.
15. Window cleaning
It is quite natural for dust and other impurities to settle on windows. Also, many times, there are paint marks, gummy residues and oily substances present on the window frame. Mineral spirits help in removing all these.
Check out these other window cleaning hacks.
16. Helps In Cleaning Study Table
My power of concentration gets affected if my study table looks dirty. I’m sure you too do not feel like studying if your table is covered with dirt patches. Using mineral spirits (dipped in a piece of cloth) can help clean the table and help you concentrate on studies!
With this, we come to an end to the list of uses of mineral spirits around the home. After going through this article, paint spills, dirt, grease, etc. in your house will no longer be able to bother you and now you can knock the living daylights out of them!
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