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Is Naphtha called "WHITE SPIRITS" over here?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Mr. 'H', Jun 29, 2006.

  1. Can't find any Naphta here

    Is its acronym in Ireland and in the UK "white spirits"?

  2. Andykev

    Andykev I'll Lock Up Bartender

  3. OK, so I am going to leave one of my hats in White Spirites.

    Thanks AK.
  4. Turpentine? Turps? paint brush cleaner?

  5. matei

    matei Practically Family

    Hi Mr. H,

    I think Naptha is more like lighter fluid - "zippo juice". I found white spirit to be more like brush cleaner/turpentine.

    I recently used some to try to remove polish from a pair of shoes. It did a so/so job.

    I switched to straight lighter fluid, and that did the job a lot better. It evaporated quicker as well. The white spirit took longer.
    -30- likes this.
  6. matei

    matei Practically Family

    Okay... maybe I'm wrong! I read the Wikipedia article that Andykev pointed out... [huh]

    I picked up a bottle from the local pound shop... Stinky stuff, Daniela was ready to throw me out of the house for turning the kitchen into a toxic wasteland!
  7. LOL, that's funny!

    Yeh I'm kinda confused about this issue.

    Also we have turpentine AND white spirits here....

    What the blimey is the difference?

    Which is Naphta?

    I'd hate to spoil a 65 year old lid of any description!!!

  8. Sorry - what do you mean...?

    Are you saying that turps IS Naphta as found in US?

  9. According to the wiki:

    White spirit
    Hope that's clear...:rolleyes:
    -30- likes this.
  10. They call white spirit Naptha over there...

    I believe that they are actually two seperate things, although probably interchangeable for clothing, shoe and hat cleaning purposes. You can DEFINITELY use white spirit for 'home dry cleaning'. Napthas are a hydrocarbon group, so the use of the term 'Naptha' is a generic one for the actual stuff, which I'm sure is closer to gasoline. I actually used to fill up my Zippo with premium unleaded, straight form the pump.

    'Brush cleaner' is like laquer thinner/reducer/solvent, a hydrocarbon solvent.
    All those specialised solvents are different articles but I'm making a distinction betwen 'alcohol/meths', 'Turps' and 'solvents'(the nasty solvents- how's that?)

    'Turpentine BP'(British Pharmacopeia, not BP- can be taken internally)is distilled from pine tar- 'Mineral Turpentine' is turpentine substitute, used for example,to thin 'enamel' or alkyd paints(in the good old days at least), as opposed to the 'solvents', used for automotive/spray paint(laquer) and printing inks.
    I use methylated spirit to make shellac, turpentine in shoe polish, white spirit for the DIY dry cleaning, although some of the nasty solvents are probably better but unknown quantities.

    I once used a de-greasing/matting agent called 'Liquid Sandpaper'- that was nasty!

    Happy sniffing!

    -30- likes this.
  11. That's all very accurate gentlemen, I'm sure. And BTW thank you both for taking to time to describe the intracacies of both. :eusa_clap

    So, what I can 'distill' from the above is that I can go ahead and soak my 65 year old Borsolino in a big bowl of white spirits (which is called "naphta" by the Yanks). :rolleyes:

    That's great, as I was being made to feel quite stupid when I asked the assitant in Homebase and Woodies here for naphta. lol

    Also, I take it that turps is something similar but is NOT naphta, and should not be used for hat soakage.

    Am I right or am I right??!! :eek: :eek: :D
    -30- likes this.

  12. Really!?
    Over here we call that gin. :beer: lol
  13. matei

    matei Practically Family

    I tried looking for naptha at the Woodies in Swords back when we were still in Dublin, and they didn't know what was talking about.

    I tried again over here in the UK at B&Q... and they told me it was illegal, at least in the quantity I wanted! [huh]

    I'd be somewhat hesitant to dunk my hats in the white spirit that I have. The smell tends to linger for days. The shoes that I treated with this noxious stuff retained the chemical odour for about a week.

    In my limited experience with naptha, there is no smell afterwards. I used it to spot clean some small stains on a Royal Stetson, and it dried up in minutes, leaving no trace.
    -30- likes this.
  14. Mr. H, surely I'm too late, but reading your question -is "naphta" the same as "white spirit(s)"- immediately shocked me.

    In Belgium, what we call white spirit is what I use to clean paint brushes. It is nasty stuff and leaves an unpleasant smell and is NOT naphta. I would NOT, and I emphasize, NOT use white spirit on a hat, it leaves residuals and I'd think the hat could easily go up in flames under certain (wrong) conditions.

    Due to the fact that, at first, I had a similar problem at obtaining clarification of -what exactly is naphta?- , over here it is called and sold as "washing alcohol".

    Sorry if I scared any one.

  15. Do not use turps under any circumstances and just send your hat to the States (using the Euro for value) to one of the reputable places like Optimo or Worths or some such.
  16. Creeping Past

    Creeping Past One Too Many

  17. galopede

    galopede One of the Regulars

    I think the Brit/Irish/American confusion is in the "white" part!

    I use Coleman "white gas" camping stoves. Coleman sell what they (Americans?) call white gas which is very similar to the lighter fluid such as Zippo and Ronsonol.

    It is certainly not White Spirit, the brush cleaner.

    The white gas/lighter fluid evaporates very quickly with no after smell, unlike white spirit.

    You can get the Coleman fuel in camping shops in the UK but it is fairly expensive. Through a camping forum, I discovered that a lot of British Coleman stove users actually go along to an automotive paints place and get themselves a 5 litre can of what they call PANEL WIPE, which is near enough the same thing but a third of price of the branded Coleman stuff!

    It's used as a degreaser in the car spraying, cleaning the area to be painted.

    Never thought about using it as a cleaner for hats.


  18. AEH

    AEH One of the Regulars

    White Spirit as cleaning agent

    A few years ago I used "white spirit", as in brush cleaner/paint thinner, to clean both an old wool fabric waistcoat and a wool beret. Both garments left a considerable amount of dirt in the tub, and both seemed to take the treatment all rigth. However it took days in the wind to get rid of the smell.
    I suppose that there is a question of getting a higher grade of the "flammable liquid mixtures of hydrocarbons" described in the Wikipedia article. Have anybody tried to get hold of the stuff proffesional dry cleaners use?

    By the way, to add to the confusion: According to my Norwegian encyclopaedia "nafta" (naphta) earlier was used as a synonym for "eter" (ether) here in Norway.
  19. [public service mode: on]

    Having just bought a 5 litre can of Panel Wipe from my local panels and paints shop, a warning to all FLoungers using naphtha:

    Naphtha (naptha [sic]) is indeed as described above; a highly volatile mixture of hydrocarbons. It is such a great organic solvent as it contains many aromatic hydrocarbons (nothing to do with how they smell, but their molecular structure). The msds for my can also notes a certain, unspecified, amount of benzene :eek: . This is not unexpected as it would distill in the same fraction as all the other aromatics. Be aware that this is one of the most carcinogenic substances known, though also one of the greatest of all organic solvents - hence great for removing human-induced muck from hats, or car panels. We cannot buy benzene for the lab because it's so dangerous. This does not pose a problem for me using naphtha - or panel wipe - to clean my hats, as i know how to protect myself. But be very careful with the stuff. And please don't just tip it down your sink when done with it; it's rotten for the environment. Keep very safely out of the reach of children. Do not use anywhere even close to an open flame. Do not use indoors, even in a well-ventilated area.


    [public service mode: off]

  20. Reminds me of a product called "Liquid Sandpaper".
    Paint prep solvent.
    Extremely Nasty.


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