• Mineral spirits are a solvent most often used for cleaning up tough to clean substances such as oil paints and ink.


  • Mineral spirits are derived from distilled petroleum and can also be referred to as petroleum distillate.5


  • The sourcing of petroleum used to make this product contributes to fossil fuel extraction.4 Mineral spirits are not proven to be toxic to water ecosystems. However, they are acutely toxic to humans and animals and may be absorbed in sediment, causing toxic effects in aquatic organisms.4,5,6

Human Health

  • Mineral spirits are not a proven carcinogen but are toxic to lungs and nervous system through chronic exposure to inhalation.6 Prolonged exposure may also cause damage to targeted organs.4 This material is classified by OSHA as hazardous.6

Safe Use and Exposure

  • Ensure proper ventilation. Wear protective clothing, goggles, and respirator.1 Avoid chronic exposure as this may lead to serious nerve damage.

Proper disposal

  • Dispose of in designated toxic waste bins. Be sure to fully latch closed.

Safe Alternatives

  • Odorless mineral spirits such as Gamsol are the safest kind and are used as an alternative to more much toxic substances such as turpentine. Where applicable, water may also be used as a non-toxic solvent to clean tools and surfaces.2


  1. Mineral Spirits MSDS,
  2. “Safe Solvents” Nontoxic Print,
  3. “Using Solvents: Rules for Handling and Disposal”, Professional Artist,
  4. Gamsol MSDS,
  5. “The Dangerous Chemicals in PAint Removers”, The Natural Handyman,
  6. Klean Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits MSDS,
  7. Odorless Mineral Spirits MSDS,