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Thread: Mineral Spirits and Naphtha Storage

  1. #1
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    Mineral Spirits and Naphtha Storage

    Question about storage of unopened Mineral Spirits and Naphtha...
    Does any evaporation take place over time, say up to a year?
    I know Acetone will evaporate... takes a while but it is highly volatile so I've noticed a little bit of loss.
    Anyone know if unopened Mineral Spirits or Naphtha will evaporate if stored in the recommended "cool, dry place"
    Thanks (and I don't know if this is the right forum for this question)
    "What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
    It also depends on what sort of person you are.

  2. #2
    Never had an issue in attached garage at home or outdoor shed at the cottage.

  3. #3
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    In metal or glass no problem. Some plastics may not be impervious to some chemicals. Metal cans my rust and leak.
    Bill D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    In metal or glass no problem. Some plastics may not be impervious to some chemicals. Metal cans my rust and leak.
    Bill D
    Kleen Strip sells its mineral spirits in both the metal can and the plastic jug.
    I have bought it at Walmart which sells it in the jug... Blue Box and Orange box sell it in the can.
    I'v never paid much attention to how fast it or even if it evaporates but I have an opportunity to pick up several gallons of it below typical market price.
    It would be no bargain if there was substantial evaporation over 2 years... a little bit would be OK.
    Naphtha is more volatile, nor have I ever seen it sold in a plastic container.
    Just wondering if it's worth it to buy a few gallons now (offsetting price increases).
    "What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
    It also depends on what sort of person you are.

  5. #5
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    Vapor pressure of Acetone is about 185 torr. Naptha is .75-2.25 torr depending on exact composition, and mineral spirits is .75-10, again depending on exact composition.

    In PSI, probably more familiar to most here: Acetone: 3.7PSI, Naptha: .015-.045, MS: .015-.15

    These are all at 20 degrees C, roughly room temperature.

    Bottom line: it doesn't take much of a seal to prevent any of these from leaking vapor from a sealed container unless the temperature is elevated, but of the three, acetone is the most likely to evaporate from a container that has been opened and not resealed tightly.
    --I had my patience tested. I'm negative--

  6. #6
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    Store them unopened and standing up straight.
    Do not store them anywhere there's a pilot light - like in the vicinity of a gas water heater - the fumes are heavier than air and there's a slim chance they can accumulate.

    I have cans that are, easy, a dozen years old.
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for the answers/ advice.
    Going to pick up a several cans each of Naphtha, MS and also (I've now decided) Acetone.
    "What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
    It also depends on what sort of person you are.

  8. #8
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    I think I would accept under 5% evap rate yearly. If it was worse than that I would look at transfering to better containers. But I have cans of naptha/paint thinner/acetone/denatured alcohol/mineral spirits/brush cleaner I havent noticed any loss in the blue cans. I have noticed when you leave it open on the bench and come back a few days later they are considerably lighter though.

  9. #9
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    If you start to store any significant amount (more than a couple gallons) of flammable organic solvents a flammable storage cabinet becomes a reasonable investment against really accelerating a fire in your shop/house. You can sometimes find a used one at a reasonable price. Cheaper, and ultimately safer, is to store only the minimum you need on site at any given time--if you're worried about evaporation rates over a period of years just get rid of the stuff and buy small containers when you actually need it. Improperly stored solvents make for really impressive fires.

  10. #10
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    OK... will check out a storage cabinet.
    I need the stuff all the time.... Naphtha and Acetone are my go-to degreasers.
    Didn't someone post [somehwere] about using a cast-off file cabinet as a flam cabinet?....
    "What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
    It also depends on what sort of person you are.

  11. #11
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    Old file cabinets or even old cast off bar refrigerators make good solvent cabinets.
    You can line a metal file cabinet with drywall for a little extra protection.

    PS - I thought about this thread just yesterday! I had some duct tape goo on my router plate and alcohol didn't do anything to it. I found, what had to be a 40 year old can of lighter fluid in a cabinet. There was still a little bit in the can. It worked like a champ!
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

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    If you're subject to OSHA or to local fire codes that require NFPA 30 compliant storage it's unlikely that a fridge or file cabinet will cut it. An insulated fire-safe file cabinet probably has sufficient thermal insulation but may not be sealed at the bottom to prevent liquid from ruptured containers to escape. If you use such a cabinet adding secondary containers, like stainless steel dish pans, would be prudent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    Old file cabinets or even old cast off bar refrigerators make good solvent cabinets.
    You can line a metal file cabinet with drywall for a little extra protection.

    PS - I thought about this thread just yesterday! I had some duct tape goo on my router plate and alcohol didn't do anything to it. I found, what had to be a 40 year old can of lighter fluid in a cabinet. There was still a little bit in the can. It worked like a champ!
    I think lighter fluid contains Naphtha.
    Also, if something has a lot of sticky goo on it, I've found it's best to use an oily substance like mineral oil or even butter or mayo to clean off as much goo as possible.
    Then use Naphtha (I know naphtha will work) or acetone (on metal) to clean off the little bit of oily substance. Alcohol may work also.
    Last edited by Patty Hann; 06-20-2024 at 9:26 AM.
    "What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
    It also depends on what sort of person you are.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    If you're subject to OSHA or to local fire codes that require NFPA 30 compliant storage it's unlikely that a fridge or file cabinet will cut it. An insulated fire-safe file cabinet probably has sufficient thermal insulation but may not be sealed at the bottom to prevent liquid from ruptured containers to escape. If you use such a cabinet adding secondary containers, like stainless steel dish pans, would be prudent.
    Not running a business so no OSHA regs
    "What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
    It also depends on what sort of person you are.

  15. #15
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    That's true, Roger. But I believe the OP is hobby focused.

    Patty, I have two large, metal office cabinets that I use for finishes and have used them for many years now. I don't use much in the way of oil based products, but do keep various solvents in their original metal or plastic containers on one shelf inside that cabinet.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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