Denatured Alcohol VS Mineral Spirits: Which One’s the Best?

Hi. When we are into woodworking, denatured alcohol vs mineral spirits often pops up from the blue. There is no doubt both of these cleaning agents have great potential. Now, you must be thinking, which one is better?

Well, the easy answer is, it depends on your working surface.

The effects on the stained surfaces matter crucially when you will be judging these two. We can’t just pick mineral spirits instead of denatured alcohol and vice versa.

Are you excited to know which one owns the crown and which one slacks? Stick with us for the hallmarks these two solvents have. Let us begin.

Denatured Alcohol VS Mineral Spirits

Chart of Comparison

FeaturesDenatured alcoholMineral spirits 
AdditivesMethanol, methyl ethyl ketone, isopropyl alcoholPetroleum
Water compatibilityMixes with waterDoes not mix with water
Cleaning agentBest for cleaning glasses and floorsBest for cleaning paint brushes and metallic surfaces
ToxicitiesHas toxic elementsHas no toxic elements
Skin applianceNot good for skinNot good for skin

Denatured Alcohol: What is it?

Usually, denatured alcohols are a mixture of ethanol and chemicals with killing potential.

Have you ever thought, why? The actual meaning of denaturing alcohol is to eliminate some of its properties.

One thing you must keep in mind always is, not to consume the methanol. They may lead to permanent health damage, or even death.

Places to use Denatured Alcohol

You will be glad to know that a denatured alcohol adapts in multiple uses smoothly. Let us know what they are.

Glass Cleaner 

Are you fed up with the regular cleaning of your windows? Then denatured alcohol can be your best friend for that purpose. Because, this solvent dilutes properly and works great as a glass shiner.

General cleaner and sanitizer

Denatured alcohols generally assist in cleaning and sanitizing of hard surfaces, like- sinks, kitchens, stalls, bathrooms, toilets, etc.

Remove ink stains

Ink stains are a common grudge in office settings. But that will not be a barrier to your regular stuff anymore. The reason is, denatured alcohols assist in a great part to remove stains from curtains, clothes, upholstery, etc.

Remove mildew and mold

You may know that mildew and mold are a nuisance to industrial and commercial buildings. This topic often makes us susceptible to the high levels of humidity. We usually see such displays in the underground basements, commercial and industrial facilities near water, like- lakes, oceans and other high humidity areas.

Cleaning metal parts

What can be more overwhelming than getting a flawless solvent, which cleans metal parts in a click? Here, denatured alcohols serve outstanding because of its quick evaporation. And don’t stress about the damage. All this solvent does is clean and sanitize gently. So, if you have any kind of steel appliances, then you must give a trial of denatured alcohol for cleaning.


There are uncountable benefits that are relevant in a denatured alcohol. They are

  • Its antibacterial properties help remove the microbes when it comes in contact with methanol and ethanol.
  • It works faster than any average commercial degreaser or detergent and gives desired results in a very short time.
  • Here, the quick evaporation cleans the porous surfaces diligently. Such as moisture sensitive and wood metals.

Moreover, you can clean your glasses and windows easily without even a streak.


  • Its distillation process is harmful for the environment
  • Gives certain spikes in food prices
  • Water gets high affinity due to pure ethanol
  • Costs more.

Mineral Spirits: What is it?

Mineral spirits are a kind of petroleum and so you can use them on mechanics, painters, and cleaners. It is a powerful degreasing and cleaning agent for hard surfaces and machines. So, what else can be better than this solvent to clean chemical grease and oil?

And if you are not able to wash away dirt and grime from your metallic parts then a mineral spirit is all that you need.

Using a little amount of it can help to polish and clean furniture. Furthermore, if your tiles are in a bad condition mineral spirits will work wonders.

Places to use Mineral Spirits

Cleaning equipment

Mineral spirits not only cleans paint brushes, but also various equipment and metallic tools. Most of the time, the paintbrushes dry after we keep them idle after painting. In that situation, nothing but mineral spirits will help massively to clean those paints out.

Diluting paint

Sometimes, the oil-based paints become dense or get thickened. For that problem, mineral spirits are the best potential to help. Also, you can paint thinner every day for diluting and cleaning purposes.

Blemishes in floor

There is doubt that our floors often get blemishes because of dragging furniture frequently. But that will not be a grudge for you can simply clean those blemishes by dipping a scrap in mineral spirits.

Cleans glutinous or gummy substances

Do you find any kind of sticky labels on steel containers and plastics? That is obvious to have. But after you remove the labels that gummy substances annoy so much that nothing works to remove them out. As a chief solution to this problem, I will suggest you use mineral spirits on the sticky surfaces. You see the magic of budging away those substances in a click.


  • Cleans the scuff marks from floors.
  • A fine alternative for cleaning paint brushes and paint tools.
  • Make sure to degrease the automotive parts.
  • Can remove difficult to difficult paint spills
  • Helps to restore and clean wood furniture


  • Is a flammable solvent.
  • Mild irritants are highly dangerous.
  • Causes brain ailments for prolonged exposure.
  • Releases harmful vapor.

Mineral Spirits vs Denatured Alcohol: Best for cleaning

Both denatured alcohol and mineral spirits are epic solvents for their unique benefits. But finding the best one for you is key to perfection.

The majority of painters use mineral spirits because of its convenience and versatility. And what’s more effective is its affordability and non-sticky mixture.

Are you thinking about bad odors? Even that is not so offensive when it comes to a relevant mineral spirit.

Coming to the denatured alcohols, they work excellent for cleaning paint brushes and wooden surfaces. With a beyond question, this solvent deserves an applause as the best cleaning agent. But, be careful when you will be buying it. Because denatured alcohols are mostly toxic and cause severe destruction to human health.

If you are going to the right supplier, he will surely give you the right environmental accreditations. So, it will be better if you depend on an error and trial at prior.

End Note

So, got your best solvent yet? Well, the inevitable fact is denatured alcohols are extremely poisonous. So, if you have kids in your home that can be a huge risk for them as well. On the other hand, mineral spirits are another face of petroleum.

But where it lacks is improper water mixing.

Nowadays, most people prefer denatured alcohols for not comprising the water mixture. So if you can use it wisely and be sure about the risks then denatured alcohol can be a better choice. Or else, mineral spirits can be your second option.

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