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  1. #1
    User richlife's Avatar
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    Storing Mineral Spirits

    Well, after doing some searching, I think I may need the help of a petroleum chemist or a a chemical engineer!

    We have probably all used mineral spirits at one time or another, but I'm having a (relatively) minor problem with storage. I typically buy a gallon at a time. I've kept a quart size metal container that the MS come in for day-to-day use and refill as needed. What I've found is that in a relatively short time (one to two years?), the container will start collecting rust in the bottom -- something I don't want regardless of what I'm trying to work with.

    I'm pretty positive that a glass container would be fine, but for safety reasons I hate to store anything is glass (so far I have succumbed only to using them for small mixes of shellac) -- especially not a pint or quart at a time.

    What I'm trying to find out is what to use for longer term storage of mineral spirits. Some plastics will work for a while, but my experience and what I've seen reported, is that the MS will begin to breakdown the plastic within a few months. The Material Safety Data Sheet doesn't specify materials for storage.

    Does anyone know a FACTUAL answer on what can be used besides metal or glass? Right now I'm waiting to get a suitable glass container. Something coated in plastic would be great. Meanwhile I have a new gallon of MS...

    Rich
    Rich Beaudry - Wood Carver UNC Tar Heel '69, '75 -- "Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections."

  2. #2
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    Re: Storing Mineral Spirits

    Obviously your collecting water vapor in the can, which is the cause of the rust. So you don't just want to replace the can periodically?
    In the laboratory setting, we commonly use 2 types of plastics, polypropylene (PP) and polypropylene copolymer (PPCO); however I cannot speak to their resistance to degradation with solvents like mineral spirits, but thought I'd give you a place to start until someone else chimes in.
    Glass is generally the most suitable solvent container.
    You can't milk a cow with your hands in your pants.

  3. #3
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    Re: Storing Mineral Spirits

    My question is do you see rust starting on the out side or inside of the can? I have seen experienced some rust on the outside but never the inside. In my case I started keeping the can on a wire shelf and the air flow seems to slow down/prevent the problem. I have never had a can rust through.
    Maker of fine saw dust
    Scott

    "Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."
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    Re: Storing Mineral Spirits

    IMHO - If you have a Gallon of MS sitting around for that long you're just not doing enough woodworking, finishing, painting, cleaning, etc.!!!
    Get out in the shop and get to work and forget about rusty cans! You'll use up that MS before the can even gets dusty!!!!!!!!!!


    pete
    I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  5. #5
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    Re: Storing Mineral Spirits

    The "cheaper" brands of "paint thinner" is usually in plastic containers, and the MSDS almost always says it is mineral spirits. I have kept in them for over a year with no leaks, altho the container does seem to be a bit mis-shapen after a summer in the garage heat. However, I have never checked the recycle code to know whether they are polypropylene or polyethylene. (The MS I currently have is in a metal can, and I haven't had a rust problem)

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    Re: Storing Mineral Spirits

    We use a lot of Nalgene plastic containers. Here's a link to their plastic resin technical guide: http://www.nalgenunc.com/pdf/Nalgene...hGuide0209.pdf. Near the end, there is a section giving degradation details for various plastic compounds. Page 54 has mineral spirits.

    Also, you could buy a kerosine can at the hardware store, that should be fine for mineral spirits.

    If you are not going through a gallon per year, it may be a better idea to buy smaller containers.

    -G
    Worm and parcel with the lay. Turn and serve the other way.

  7. #7
    User richlife's Avatar
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    Re: Storing Mineral Spirits

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottM View Post
    My question is do you see rust starting on the out side or inside of the can? I have seen experienced some rust on the outside but never the inside. In my case I started keeping the can on a wire shelf and the air flow seems to slow down/prevent the problem. I have never had a can rust through.
    I actually see rust flakes in the bottom of the can, Scott. Since I typically go through a gallon every two or three months, I wouldn't expect rust. I haven't seen any rust on the screw top either. But it did just occur to me that I haven't looked closely at the gallon can before I disposed it -- just saw this in the bottom of the smaller can. That might be it, but still seems strange as the larger cans just aren't that old and not often opened.

    Pete, you are BAD! But the advice is good.

    Anyway, I started a new 12 oz. glass jar today, so I'll literally see what happens.

    Rich
    Rich Beaudry - Wood Carver UNC Tar Heel '69, '75 -- "Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections."

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    Re: Storing Mineral Spirits

    I live close to a salt water bay and have trouble with rusting containers too.To help with condensation in the metal container I keep them in a plastic bucket with a lid,it seems to help keep the temperature changes less severe so I have not had the inside rust problem lately.I have a dehumidifier in the garage that helps with the other moisture problems at bay.
    Tony
    O The Secret of Joy in work is contained in one word;Excellence.To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.By Pearl Buck

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    Re: Storing Mineral Spirits

    You would normally use Alcohol with Shellac and alcohol will absorb water, which can cause rust. Are you having problems with mineral spirits or alcohol? Your posting is confusing as you talk about mineral spirits, but then talk about shellac which requires alcohol for a thinner.

    Charley

  10. #10
    User richlife's Avatar
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    Re: Storing Mineral Spirits

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lent View Post
    You would normally use Alcohol with Shellac and alcohol will absorb water, which can cause rust. Are you having problems with mineral spirits or alcohol? Your posting is confusing as you talk about mineral spirits, but then talk about shellac which requires alcohol for a thinner.

    Charley
    I've not had any problems at all with the alcohol.

    Sorry about any confusion. I am talking about mineral spirits, but I was discussing the use of glass containers which I don't like to do. However, in the case of shellac, I always use small glass containers. I don't use shellac (or anything else) as much as I use oils and oil mixes.

    Rich
    Rich Beaudry - Wood Carver UNC Tar Heel '69, '75 -- "Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections."

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