Typical uses of Solvents

Typical uses of solvents

Solvents are critical to the effectiveness of many products consumers use every day:  They can be used in the following applications:

  • Spray painting – toluene, xylene, mineral spirits
  • Cleaning metal or plastic parts – trichloroethylene, trichloroethane
  • Cleaning tools – acetone, MEK, toluene, xylene, mineral spirits
  • Fiberglass products – acetone
  • Printing presses – a variety of solvents
  • Silk-screening – a variety of solvents
  • Dry cleaning – perchloroethylene
  • Furniture refinishing – methylene chloride
  • Plastics manufacturing – a variety of solvents
  • Electronics – glycol ethers

Solvents also  help washer fluid remove dirt and grime from the  windshield. Isopropyl alcohol is used as a windscreen de-icing and cleaning solvent because it stays in liquid form well below the freezing point of water and therefore helps to remove the ice.