Do Mineral Spirits Freeze? [Can They Be Stored In The Garage?]

Storing the chemicals you use around the house properly helps keep you safe while prolonging their useful life. Subjecting certain ones to extremely cold temperatures can alter their performance, so knowing which ones are safe to keep in an unheated garage is important. If you ever wondered if mineral spirits could freeze, we can help answer that question. We researched this chemical so that you'll know for sure where it can be safely stored.

Mineral spirits have a freezing point that is -60 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that they can be safely stored inside an unheated garage.

Now that we know that you can keep mineral spirits in the garage, we'll take a look at why this spot is the best place to keep this chemical. You might also be wondering if cleaning supplies can freeze or if you can dump mineral spirits outside. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

One quart of Odorless Mineral Spirits by Klean Strip, used to clean oil based paints.

The best place to keep your mineral spirits stored could be your home garage

The typical home will have several nooks and crannies to store cleaning supplies and work materials.

But just because there is adequate space in a closet or corner shelf doesn't mean that one particular spot is a good option for certain items. And when it comes to mineral spirits, you'll want to exercise some discretion about where you store them.

Mineral spirits are coal-tar based and have a relatively low flash point. This means that this chemical is pretty flammable. Keeping the container of mineral spirits in a garage and away from any heat source is ideal.

A shelf high in the garage will also keep little hands from getting ahold of it and doing harm. Ahead in this post, we'll discuss how toxic mineral spirits are. For now, know that a secure spot in a garage is a much better spot to store them than under your kitchen sink.

Will cleaning supplies freeze?

Cold temperatures can freeze the pipes in your home if you're not careful. The water that flows through them has a freezing point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which is no match for the winter weather in some parts of the country.

And if you're keeping certain cleaning supplies in an unheated garage or shed, you can expect these temperatures to freeze them, too.

Any water-based cleaning supplies will have a freezing point at or just below the water. So those bottles of cleaner you have on a shelf in the garage might well freeze if your garage doesn't get any heat.

While freezing these cleaners won't usually harm them or reduce their effectiveness, there's a great reason to keep them from getting too cold.

Most cleaning chemicals come in plastic containers. These containers can crack or burst as the liquids inside them freeze and expand. When the cleaners thaw, this can create quite a mess.

It's best to store any water-based cleaners in a place that is temperature controlled. Any that are toxic should be locked away from small children.

Partially blurred bottle of beer covered with hoarfrost in snow on dark background.

Can you dump mineral spirits outside?

When you're finished with your project, you will most likely have some mineral spirits that need to be disposed of. But proper disposal of mineral spirits is important. This chemical isn't something that can just be dumped on the ground or poured down the drain.

Mineral spirits are toxic, as we mentioned earlier in this post. Pouring used mineral spirits on the ground or down your sink will lead it to groundwater supplies where it can make wildlife ill. This chemical is very harmful to plant and animal life and needs to be handled and disposed of the right way.

Tossing mineral spirits into the trash is also out. To get rid of unwanted mineral spirits, you'll want to contact your local sanitary landfill. They will have a safe and effective method of collection and disposal of mineral spirits and other chemicals for a small fee.

Person's hand in a yellow rubber glove pours pipe cleaner down the drain of a metal kitchen sink

What should you not use mineral spirits on?

Mineral spirits provide an effective way to clean paint and paintbrushes when you're finished with a project. But it shouldn't be used to clean up after every type of paint. Certain paints are better cleaned up with good old-fashioned water. 

If you are painting with latex or acrylic paints, skip the mineral spirits and use soap and warm water. But if the paint you are working with is oil, then a mineral spirit is the way to go. This chemical also works well with oil-based wood stains. 

Carefully read how to clean up the paint or stain that you are using. The label will give instructions about what to use and what not to use. Follow these recommendations for safe and effective cleanup. 

One quart of Odorless Mineral Spirits by Klean Strip, used to clean oil based paints.

Are mineral spirits toxic?

As we mentioned earlier in this post, mineral spirits are quite toxic. They need to be kept out of reach of small children at all times. The level of toxicity might be more than what you think.

Accidentally ingesting mineral spirits will cause severe burning pain in the ears, nose, and mouth. Your throat will also be in intense pain. If enough is ingested, there will be severe damage to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Vomiting blood might occur.

This chemical should be used in a place that is properly ventilated, as inhaling the fumes is also very dangerous. Whether breathing it in or accidentally swallowing it, poison control should be contacted immediately and their instructions followed.

front view of brown medical glassware with glass cap and the poison sign label on dark background

What are some common uses for mineral spirits?

You're probably aware that mineral spirits are typically used for paint thinner or cleaning up oil-based paints. But this chemical has a host of other uses that you might not know about. Let's take a look at some of them and see if this chemical might come in handy for you in other ways around your home or garage.

Mineral spirits can work well with car and bike parts

The chemical compounds in mineral spirits make it a great way to remove paint. But mineral spirits can also be used to clean up dirty automotive parts. Mineral spirits are a great degreaser and will have these parts looking shiny in no time.

Mineral spirits are also good for parts of your bike that might need some grease or oil removed. An old, sturdy cloth and a few dabs of mineral spirits will get them clean quickly.

Sticky residues can be removed with mineral spirits

The sticky remnants of price tags and other adhesive-backed materials can be a pain to clean. But mineral spirits can make this task a breeze. A few drops of mineral spirits on the affected area and just a little bit of elbow grease will get that pesky residue removed fast.

Mineral spirits will rid your floors of unsightly scuff marks

Mineral spirits are also a great way to get rid of any black scuffs on your wood or linoleum flooring. Test an inconspicuous spot in a corner first to ensure that the finish will not be harmed. If no harm is done after several hours, get to work removing those marks with mineral oil and a rag.

When you're finished, clean any leftover mineral oil residue with warm soapy water and a rag.

Garden tools can be cleaned with this chemical

You can also use mineral spirits to clean the dirt and grime off of your garden tools. The shovels, hoes, trowels, and other implements can be soaked in mineral spirits to get them clean. Just be sure to dispose of the leftover mineral spirits safely and legally.

Final thoughts

Mineral spirits have such a low freezing point that they can be stored in an unheated garage without freezing. This handy solution is great for cleaning up certain projects but will need to be handled with care and disposed of properly. Work with mineral spirits in a well-ventilated area and contact poison control if it is accidentally ingested or inhaled. 

We hope this post on mineral spirits answered all of your questions. For additional information, we recommend reading the following posts:

How Much Paint Thinner To Use for Spray Gun? [Ratio Recommendations]

What Spray Paint Will Stick To Glazed Ceramic? [Do You Need To Prime Before?]

7 Paint Thinner Types And Brands [And What They’re Good For]

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