White spirit (UK) or mineral spirits (US, Canada), also known as mineral turpentine (AU/NZ), turpentine substitute, and petroleum spirits, is a petroleum-derived clear liquid used as a common organic solvent in painting.
Mineral Turpentine is one of the most widely used hydrocarbon solvents as it combines good solvency with controlled evaporation. Mineral Turpentine is used for thinning paints, linseed oil, waxes and polishes, metal cleaning and clean-up of brushes and equipment after painting.
Turpentine which is also called spirit of turpentine, oil of turpentine, wood turpentine, and (colloquially), turps, is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin harvested from living trees, mainly pines. It is mainly used as a solvent, and as a source of material for organic syntheses.
It is mainly used as paint thinner, mineral spirits—an inexpensive petroleum distillate—is also a versatile cleaner. While you might not reach for it as often as a disinfectant spray, it’s highly effective at tackling some of the toughest home, yard, and garage messes.
Turpentine has more solvency than mineral spirits. Most painters prefer it as a paint thinner because it costs less, is not so sticky and has a less offensive odor than turpentine. However, mineral spirits do have an odor that some people may find unpleasant. They may prefer to use odorless paint thinner.