Is Turpentine Flammable? The Truth About Its Flammability

Turpentine is a volatile and highly combustible type of hydrocarbon, widely used in various industrial applications. But is it flammable? In this blog, we will explore turpentine’s flammability and examine its associated risks. Read on to learn more about turpentine and its potential to cause fires.

Yes, turpentine is flammable. It has a flash point of around 100°F (37.8°C) and can ignite easily when exposed to an ignition source. It is highly combustible and should be cautiously handled and stored in a safe, well-ventilated area away from any heat or flame sources.

What Is Turpentine?

Turpentine is a highly flammable, colorless liquid with a strong, pungent odor. It is made from the resin of pine trees and is used in various ways.

What Is Turpentine

The main component of turpentine is pinene, a volatile hydrocarbon compound. When distilled, turpentine produces two types of chemicals, alpha and beta pinenes. Alpha pinenes are the most common and volatile, while beta pinenes are less common.

Turpentine has a strong, pungent odour, and its fumes can cause eye and respiratory irritation. Inhaling too much turpentine can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and even death. For this reason, people should avoid contact with turpentine and take precautions to avoid breathing in the fumes.

Is Turpentine Flammable?

Turpentine is highly flammable. It is considered a Class I flammable liquid and must be stored in approved containers and away from any sources of heat or flame. When exposed to heat or an open flame such as a match or lighter, it can burn quickly and produce a large flame.

Is Turpentine Flammable

Turpentine is a highly flammable substance, and its use and storage must be conducted with extreme caution. Turpentine is a volatile hydrocarbon derived from the distillation of pine resin and is a common solvent used in producing paints, varnishes, and lacquers. It is also used in cleaning and degreasing metal surfaces and as a fuel additive.

FlashPoint Of Turpentine

Turpentine has a flash point of 149°F (65°C). It is lower than the flash point of gasoline, around 200°F (93°C). As such, it is important to be extremely careful when using turpentine, as it is highly flammable.

It is important to remember that the flash point of turpentine is just the temperature at which it will ignite and produce a flash of flame. It does not necessarily mean it will continue to burn after that point.

The temperature at which a material will continue to burn is called its ‘autoignition temperature.’ The autoignition temperature of turpentine is much higher than its flash point, at 550°F (288°C).

When working with turpentine, keeping it away from heat sources, sparks, or flames is important. Storing it in a cool, dry place, away from strong sunlight, is also important.

Is Turpentine Flammable When Dry?

The question of whether turpentine is flammable when it is dry is important, as many people are unaware of the potential hazards of turpentine fumes. As a liquid, turpentine is highly flammable and can easily ignite if it comes into contact with an open flame.

Fortunately, when turpentine has been dried, it can no longer be considered a flammable substance. It has been deprived of the volatile compounds responsible for its flammability. The evaporation of the volatile compounds from the turpentine means that it no longer poses a fire risk.

That being said, it is important to remember that turpentine fumes can still be dangerous. Even when it is dry, the fumes produced by turpentine can be extremely hazardous to humans and animals and cause serious health issues if inhaled.

Does Turpentine Burn Skin?

Turpentine is highly flammable and can ignite when exposed to heat or open flame. If it comes into contact with the skin, it can cause a burning sensation and irritate it. People who work with turpentine should wear protective clothing, including gloves, to protect the skin.

If you are considering using turpentine for a woodworking project, it is important to remember that it can cause skin irritation if it comes into contact with the skin.

Therefore, wearing protective clothing and working in a well-ventilated area is important. Additionally, If you use turpentine on your skin, dilute it with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, to reduce the risk of irritation.

Turpentine Toxicity Symptoms

The most dangerous health concern associated with turpentine toxicity is respiratory failure.

Symptoms of respiratory failure include difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and cyanosis (bluish tint to the skin). If a respiratory failure occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

Ingestion of turpentine can be the most dangerous route of exposure, as it can cause gastrointestinal irritation and ulceration, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

Inhalation of turpentine fumes can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs and cause dizziness, headache, confusion, and breathing difficulties. Skin contact with turpentine can cause redness, itching, and burning sensations.

Other symptoms of turpentine toxicity can include central nervous system depression, dizziness, coma, seizures, and death. Long-term health effects of turpentine toxicity can include kidney, liver, and central nervous system damage.

Is Turpentine More Flammable Than Gasoline?

Turpentine is a type of paint thinner and solvent derived from the resin of certain coniferous trees. It is highly flammable and can easily ignite when exposed to heat, open flames, and sparks.

Turpentine is used in various industrial applications, including paints, varnishes, and inks.

Gasoline is a volatile hydrocarbon fuel that is derived from petroleum. It can blend with other compounds to produce different fuel types, such as unleaded and diesel. Gasoline is also highly flammable and can ignite when exposed to heat, open flames, and sparks.

In terms of flammability, gasoline has a higher flash point than turpentine. The flash point of gasoline is around -45 degrees Celsius, while that of turpentine is around -25 degrees Celsius. It means gasoline is less likely to ignite at lower temperatures than turpentine.

Crude Sulfate Turpentine Is Flammable At What Concentration

When it comes to flammability, crude sulfate turpentine is highly combustible and can be ignited easily, making it a potential safety hazard. Generally, the concentration at which the substance is flammable depends on the ambient temperature, other volatile or combustible materials, and the container’s size.

For example, crude sulfate turpentine is considered flammable at a concentration of 0.99%. It means that the material can burn in the air when it contains a minimum of 0.99% of the material. If the concentration is higher than that, it could lead to a fire or explosion.

On the other hand, crude sulfate turpentine is not considered a hazardous material, as it has a low flash point of -35 degrees Celsius and does not produce toxic vapours. However, when mixed with other combustible materials, the risk of fire or explosion increases significantly.

How Do You Put Out A Turpentine Fire?


1. Smother the Fire: The best way to put out a turpentine fire is to smother it with a fire blanket or a lid. It will cut off the oxygen supply to the fire, which is the most important element for a fire to burn. Ensure that the blanket or lid completely covers the fire and that no air can reach it.

2. Use a Fire Extinguisher: If you have a fire extinguisher, you can extinguish a turpentine fire. Aim the nozzle and spray the fire while keeping your distance. Fire extinguishers are designed to fight fires, and they can put out a turpentine fire more quickly and safely than a blanket or lid.

3. Cool it Down: Cooling the fire with water is another option. However, this should only be done if the fire is small and contained. Water can cause a reaction with the turpentine, causing the fire to spread even more quickly. It also can cause dangerous steam and scalding burns.

4. Call the Fire Department: If you cannot put out the fire with a fire extinguisher or blanket, or if the fire spreads, call 911 immediately. Firefighters are trained to deal with turpentine fires and will be able to put them out safely and quickly.

Safety Precautions

First and foremost, it’s important to keep turpentine away from any sources of heat or flame, such as a gas stove, cigarette lighter, or match. Never use turpentine near a pilot light or any other open flame, and keep it in a cool, dry place away from any sources of heat or ignition.

When using turpentine, wearing protective clothing, such as long pants, closed-toe shoes, and a long-sleeved shirt, is important. Protective eyewear and gloves should also be worn to protect against splashes and spills.

Additionally, use the product in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors. If using indoors, open windows and doors and turn on the fan to ensure proper airflow.

Finally, it’s important to be aware of the proper disposal and storage of turpentine. Used turpentine should be stored in a tightly sealed container and disposed of properly. Never pour turpentine down the drain or throw it in the trash, as it poses a serious risk of fire and explosion.


In conclusion, turpentine is a highly flammable liquid. It is important to know the risks associated with its use and to take the necessary precautions when using it. It includes storing it in a cool, dry place, away from ignition sources, and using it in a well-ventilated area.

If a fire occurs, it is important to remember to evacuate the area immediately and call emergency services. By taking precautions when using turpentine, you can help to keep yourself and those around you safe.