Solvents & Cleaners

What is the difference between Lacquer Thinner and Paint Thinner? Can they both be used for thinning oil coatings?

Lacquer Thinner is required for thinning lacquers and automotive paints while Paint Thinner is optimal for thinning oil-based paints and coatings. Although the products are both solvents, Lacquer Thinner is not recommended for architectural oil-based paints and is much more flammable than Paint Thinner.

What is the difference between Mineral Spirits and Paint Thinner? What other names is it known by?

Mineral Spirits has fewer aromatic solvents while other similar Products – Paint Thinner, Varsol® Paint Thinner – contain higher concentrations. Both are petroleum distillates and are generally interchangeable.

I can’t notice a difference between the odour of your regular Paint Thinner and your Low Odour Paint Thinner. What is the difference between the two products?

Recordsol Paint Thinner does have a stronger odour than the Low Odour Paint Thinner because of its composition. There are more aromatics present in regular paint thinner which gives a stronger smell. The composition of the Low Odour Paint Thinner has less aromatics, therefore very little odour.

Is Paint Thinner incompatible with some materials, like plastics?

Paint Thinner is safe for use on wood, metals, and concrete and is not recommended for use on some plastics, foam, and coatings (i.e. paint), as it may cause damage. Paint Thinner tends to soften rubber and plastics.

Can I use Paint Thinner indoors? Are the fumes toxic?

Yes. Paint thinner is most often used indoors. Because paint thinner is a volatile material and will evaporate into the air much faster than water, it is recommended that good ventilation – open windows, fans – be maintained while using to prevent buildup of the vapours. To avoid breathing in the fumes, wear a vapour mask. Under normal use and good ventilation, the level of fumes will not be high enough to be toxic. Only if fumes are allowed to concentrate and become excessive can they become harmful. Toxicity is all about degrees and concentrations.

I’m looking for an MSDS for Paint thinner on your website but I get many different records for the same product. Which MSDS do I use?

All MSDS for Paint thinner are the same. The difference is the “Associated Product’s Item Code” number. In general the last number indicates the size of the container of the product. For example, the MSDS for Paint thinner 13-321 is for a 1L bottle; 13-324 is for the 4L Paint thinner. The rest of the information on both MSDSs is identical.

What is Varsol* Paint Thinner, and what can it do?

Varsol* Paint Thinner is the registered trademark of a premium solvent and is guaranteed for its quality. Uses include thinning paints, cleaning surfaces and paintbrushes, and as an all-purpose degreaser. Its medium to fast evaporation rate makes it preferable for indoor use in a well-ventilated area.

What is the difference between Varsol* Paint Thinner and regular Paint Thinner?

Paint Thinner is a “generic” type of thinner, while Varsol* Paint Thinner carries a guarantee of purity. Its consistent quality makes Varsol* Paint Thinner the choice of leading paint manufacturers. Regular paint thinner is usually less expensive than Varsol* Paint Thinner but it can be used for the same applications.

Can I use Varsol* Paint Thinner as a degreaser?

Varsol* Paint Thinner is an excellent degreaser for use on most metals, including automotive and industrial, and as a pre-treatment for gluing.

Can Varsol* Paint Thinner be used to clean furniture?

Yes. Varsol* Paint Thinner, in addition to its many other applications, is safe to use on most wooden surfaces. Because furniture has many different finishes, from antique polishes to modern plastic coatings, it is a good idea to pre-test in a hidden area first.

Is there a difference between Methyl Hydrate, Methanol, and Wood Alcohol?

There is no difference between these products; it is just a different name for the same thing.

Is there a difference between Denatured Alcohol and Methanol, or are they the same?

They are not the same, but in most workshop applications either one can be used. Otherwise, Denatured Alcohol is an ethanol-based product and is considered less toxic than Methanol. Check to see if the manufacturer specifies one in particular and follow the recommendation.

Where can I use Methyl Hydrate?

Methyl Hydrate, also known as Methanol and Wood Alcohol, is used as a fondue fuel, shellac thinner, gas line antifreeze, and, when mixed with water, as a powerful window cleaner.

What can I use Acetone for?

Acetone is useful to remove nail polish, thin certain coatings, remove and thin epoxies, glue, and fibreglass. Acetone is highly flammable and is not for use in the presence of open flames or sparks. Smoking during use is dangerous.

Can I use Acetone in place of Methyl Hydrate?

No, the substitution of Acetone for Methyl Hydrate is not recommended, as Acetone is highly flammable. Acetone should never be used as a fuel.

What is the difference between Paint & Varnish Remover and Methylene Chloride Free Paint & Varnish Remover, and which one works better?

Paint & Varnish Remover works faster to reduce working time and is safe to use with heat because it is not flammable. Methylene Chloride Free Paint & Varnish Remover will require more effort to remove the coating and cannot be heated, due to its flammability. The vapours are free of Methylene Chloride.

Are Paint & Varnish Remover and Methylene Chloride Free Paint & Varnish Remover acid or base catalysed?

Both of these products are pH neutral.

Is TSP environmentally friendly?

Yes. TSP is an inorganic phosphate salt that is soluble in water and does not harm the environment when used as directed.

Where can I use TSP?

TSP is safe for use on most hard surfaces as an all-purpose cleaner and degreaser and is especially effective in preparing surfaces for painting. Also use TSP to clean grease and wax stains, and in the garage to remove oil spots and prepare for driveway sealing. It is safe for indoor and outdoor use and in septic systems. Please refer to the package for mixing directions.

Does TSP clean algae and mildew?

Although scrubbing with TSP will remove the algae and mildew, it does not prevent re-growth.

Will TSP hurt my driveway? How much water should I add?

No and it may actually prevent harmful damage. A paste of TSP and water applied to stubborn oil stains can remove oil before it erodes the driveway. It is the oil that will erode the asphalt, not the TSP. Please refer to the directions on the package for mixing instructions.

What will happen if I get TSP on my skin?

TSP is a mild skin irritant that will not harm your skin if it is removed quickly with soap and water. However, gloves are recommended whenever working with TSP for extended periods.

Can I clean painted or wallpapered walls with TSP?

When properly mixed, TSP helps remove oils and grease without affecting paint or wallpaper adhesives. Check the package for mixing instructions, or try Liquid TSP, which is already premixed and ready to use.