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Thread: Mineral Oil VS Mineral Spirits

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Alaska "The Fish Or Die" State
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    Mineral Oil VS Mineral Spirits

    What is the difference between mineral oil, and mineral spirits. I read in another post that you could mix mineral oil with parafin to get something similar to anchorseal for storing green wood. I can't remember running across mineral oil before, not that I have ever set out to purchase some. I was curious if I could mix Mineral Spirits with parafin and get the same results
    "There is nothing more dangerous than a resourcful idiot".....Dilbert

  2. #2
    Mineral Oil is a food safe oil and is often sold in grocery stores and pharmacies. Used to be used as a laxative actually. Used often on salad bowls and butcher blocks as a finish.

    Mineral Spirits is a type of thinner for finishes-not food safe. You would thin a finish with it or clean up finish it.

  3. #3
    They're both petroleum distillates.

    'Spirits' has a higher molecular weight than 'Oil', though, so spirits is generally used as a gentle solvent and diluent for things like oil based paints and varnishes. It dissolves oil-based things well, and then evaporates quickly.

    Oil doesn't evaporate so well, so it's used in situations where permanent lubricance is desired.

    Some baby oils are mineral oils.

    MIxing paraffin with oil or spirits will make it soft and spreadable. If you use oil, it'll stay soft. If you use spirits, it'll become harder. I'm not sure which is more appropriate.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Alaska "The Fish Or Die" State
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    I went out looking for mineral oil yesterday and no luck. I may try it with some BLO. I may just break down and order some real Anchor seal. Shipping to Alaska is expensive though.
    "There is nothing more dangerous than a resourcful idiot".....Dilbert

  5. #5
    I find mineral oil in the pharmacy section of the grocery store. I was one that thought using a petroleum product wasn't a good idea. When I finally broke down and tried it, I was surprided by how nice a natural finish it gives. Within a few minutes after applying it, it looses the oil feel and smell.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
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    10,472
    There are different mineral oils. Some are food grade, some are not.
    One place to find it may be a well stocked pharmacy or drug store. It is also sold as "block oil" in kitchen supply stores for use on butcher's blocks. Finally, check a furniture store.

    The difference between food grade and non-food grade is in the purity. Food grade items must not contain a whole list of contaminants. It must be processed in equipment approved for food handling. Non-food grade mineral oil may have been processed in equipment that does not meet FDA requirements.

    They would be basically the same oil. Just one is not certified as being safe for use in food handling environments.

    Mineral spirits is, as others have said, paint thinner.

    jim
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 04-10-2009 at 5:54 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Eau claire, Wisconsin
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    Most all the mineral oil you can buy in any store is food safe. There is some that is used by Vets (animal doctor) that say should not be used for humans. Not sure what the difference is. I buy food grade in gallon jugs for about $8-11 a gallon it last a long time if you just wipe it on and so on. I do soak some bowls longer if I know it will be used for moist foods. I melt some bees wax in it to create a paste that I use for my bowl and cutting boards, spoons,honey dippers etc. it works very well! You could melt som carnuba in it also to give it a little harder finish, but will still wear off over time and use.

    Jeff
    To turn or not to turn that is the question: ........Of course the answer is...........TURN ,TURN,TURN!!!!
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Kirk,
    Just melt your paraffin and brush it on to seal log ends. Needs to be hot but not smoking. Can be very hazardous if not done properly. Suggest a bit of research on melting and using it safely.
    Richard in Wimberley

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA
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    30
    I picked up a bottle last week at Rockler that was formulated specifically for salad bowls and cutting boards.
    Don

    Men admire the man who can organize their wishes and thoughts in stone and wood and steel and brass.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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