White spirit (UK) or mineral spirits (US), also known as mineral turpentine, turpentine substitute, petroleum spirits, solvent naphtha (petroleum), varsol, Stoddard solvent, or, generically, “paint thinner”, is a petroleum-derived clear, transparent liquid used as a common organic solvent in painting and decorating.
A mixture of aliphatic and alicyclic C7 to C12 hydrocarbons, white spirit is used as an extraction solvent, as a cleaning solvent, as a degreasing solvent and as a solvent in aerosols, paints, wood preservatives, lacquers, varnishes, and asphalt products. In western Europe about 60% of the total white spirit consumption is used in paints, lacquers and varnishes. White spirit is the most widely used solvent in the paint industry. In households, white spirit is commonly used to clean paint brushes after use.