The powerful dissolving properties of water have long been exploited in all kinds of water soluble paints and inks (such as water color, gouache, or block printing ink), but for centuries the stereotypical notion of ‘oil and water don’t mix’ prevented further development. Due to this notion, whenever oils needed dissolving hydrocarbon agents such as turpentine or mineral spirits were employed, not water.
Safe Stripping and Cleaning with Orange Zest Solvents
There is a growing number of citrus-based solvents on the market. The key ingredient, D-Limonene, also known as orange oil, the safe and innovative solvent extracted from orange peel, can be purchased directly from the citrus industry. For example, see www.citrusdepot.net. This solvent is more powerful than mineral spirits, strong enough to dissolve hardened acrylics, oil paint, printing ink, (and even some plastics) with ease, yet medical studies have found no carcinogenic or neurotoxin hazards comparable to the petrochemical solvents. Users should, nevertheless, still handle the solvent with care: ensure good ventilation and take fire precautions when using the new orange oil solvents. Unlike oil-based products, orange oil is considered biodegradable.
"This truly revolutionary solvent was formulated as an alternative to petroleum-based turpentines and thinners. It is made from 100% renewable agricultural resources of soy, corn, and citrus, and is non-polluting, non-carcinogenic, and bio-degradable. Less than a teaspoon will thoroughly clean a large plate. DSolve will even strip dried ink from etched lines." Dick Blick
SAFETY NOTE: NEVER INHALE CONCENTRATED VOC's!
concentrated VOCs when inhaled (including plant-derived VOCs) may cause lung damage or even death by asphyxiation
The active ingredient in orange oil, D-Limonene is a natural yet very powerful solvent. In concentrated form and vaporized it may present a significant inhalation hazard; also it is highly flammable. If using substantial amounts of pure orange oil and over prolonged periods, work in a well ventilated area, and ideally also use an organic vapor mask. Most citrus based solvents utilize the power of this natural paint thinner in aqueous solutions, and accompanied by other ingredients such as soy oil and corn oil and detergents.
Leading Research into Nontoxic Bio Solvents
The bio solvent industry is leading research into safe solvent, paint and ink alternatives
Two companies supplying ingredients for bio-solvents and volume supplies for industrial use (for instance in the printing industry) are Citrus Depot and Vertec Biosolvents. Both of these firms conduct leading research and development into nontoxic solvent technologies.
Vertec claim to be 'the world's most innovative supplier of sustainable biobased solvents derived from corn, soybeans, citrus fruits and other renewable feedstocks', and the company also pursue a carbon-neutral policy. The company just announced a new product - its 'DLR blend', a cheaper and environmentally friendly alternative to d-limonene, which is set to have many uses and applications in painting and printing.
The new company D&S offer nontoxic solvents and laquers for lithography etching
'BioLaq: 'Superior Replacement for Asphaltum and Plate Lacquers'.
Excellent hard ground for etching' ('no hazmat': Graphic Chemical Co)