What Is White Spirit Used For?

Keith Williamson/CC-BY-2.0

White spirit is a very potent cleansing agent. It is a prized solution for its versatility and effectiveness. The substance is so strong, it can even be used as a solvent to erase mistakes while painting or dissolve gum or resins stuck to clothing or carpets. White spirit is also commonly used in the automobile industry, where it serves as a cleaning agent for car parts or heavy machinery.

White spirit eats away at even the toughest grease and chemical stains. Even dried paint, which thickens, can be dissolved and easily removed with white spirit. Additionally, white spirit can cleanse and polish wooden furniture or floors. When combined with cutting oil, white spirit is also an effective lubricant for cutting threads.

White spirit is a mixture of paraffins, cycloparaffins and aromatic hydrocarbons. It is a clear-white liquid that is noncorrosive and chemically stable. White spirit can be hazardous to one’s health if handled irresponsibly. If inhaled, it can cause breathing difficulties, dizziness and nausea. If exposed to the skin, white spirit can cause burns and irritating rashes. If large amounts fall on the skin, it can burn through tissue and leave scars. Always wear gloves and observe safety protocols when handling white spirit.