Difference Between Acetone and Lacquer Thinner

What is Acetone?

Acetone is an organic compound. The chemical formula, CH3COCH3, IUPAC, name 2-propanone. DirectlyPropylene is directly oxidized to give 2-propionaldehyde, which is further oxidized to give acetone. Earlier, Acetone was obtained by dry distillation of acetate for example calcium acetate by the ketonic decarboxylation method.

Acetone is mixable with water and works as an important organic solvent in different chemical industries and laboratories. Acetone is rare to find and is considered an expensive solvent as compared to other solvents available.

Acetone is a volatile, colorless, and flammable liquid. It is used as a solvent. The evaporation rate of acetone is very high and the boiling point of this liquid is 50 degrees Celsius Acetone has a very strong pungent odor which can irritate your nose, eyes, and other body parts.

Acetone is used for dissolving synthetic fibers and plastic. Being volatile, Acetone is used in many pharmaceutical industries as a helping solvent for increasing the properties of other solvents.

Acetone is also used in cosmetic industry I.e in the form of nail polish remover, super glue remover, etc. In another laboratory, it can be used for cleaning stains of oil grease, and plastic.

What is Lacquer Thinner?

Lacquer Thinner is known as methyl ethyl ketone with the chemical formula C4H8O. Lacquer Thinner is also called cellulose thinner as it can dissolve different reasons for plastic used in modern Lacquer.

In Lacquer Thinner, there is amount of acetone present in it, which makes it flammable liquid. Lacquer thinner smells more toxic than acetone. Lacquer Thinner is obtained by mixing different other chemicals that are used for cleaning stains from fabric and which can dissolve in other materials.

Lacquer Thinner has a boiling point of 153 degrees Celsius and has a low evaporation rate. Lacquer Thinner is used in removing paint stains, ink stains, and other sticky residues. It is also used in spray guns for delicate work like applying lacquer and during varnishing.

 Difference Between Acetone and Lacquer Thinner

  1. The evaporation rate of acetone is higher, whereas the evaporation rate of Lacquer Thinner is lower.
  2. The boiling point of Acetone is 53 degrees on the other hand boiling point of Lacquer Thinner is 153 degrees.
  3. Acetone is rare and hard to find and considered an expensive solvent however Lacquer Thinner is available in abundance and also easily available and not overpriced.
  4. Acetone and Lacquer, both are flammable liquids but Acetone is less volatile it is considered less dangerous as compared to Lacquer Thinner.
  5. Acetone is used in cosmetic industries whereas Lacquer Thinner is mostly used in chemical industries and for cleaning purposes.

Comparison Between Acetone and Lacquer Thinner

Parameters Of Comparison AcetoneLacquer Thinner
Chemical Name Acetone is called 2-propanone or dimethyl ketone. Lacquer Thinner is also called methyl ethyl ketone.
Chemical Formula Chemical Formula for Acetone is CH3COCH3. The chemical formula for Lacquer Thinner is C4H8O.
Evaporation Rate The evaporation rate of acetone is higher. Lacquer Thinner has a low Evaporation rate.
UseAcetone is used for dissolving synthetic fiber and plastic. It is also used in the pharmaceutical industry as a volatile ingredient and in the cosmetic industry. Lacquer Thinner is used in Lacquer-based paints, removing ink stains, and sticky residue and in spray guns.
CostAcetone is considered expensive and difficult to get. Lacquer Thinner is easily available and not overpriced.


  1. https://www.uapinc.com/msds/PDF/FICHES/RCO01-021%20LACQUER%20THINNER%20ANG.pdf
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/0471435139.tox074