Alternatives To Acetone

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Removing old paint from the boat.

Acetone is used as a solvent to dissolve resin, remove adhesive, clean tools, degrease and remove paint. However, it is a significant groundwater containment and is rated as a hazardous material (hazmat). If you buy acetone online you will have to pay extra for hazmat shipping. Anything with a hazmat rating has to be disposed of properly. You can eliminate some of the hassle of proper disposal and the harsh chemicals by using an alternative to acetone.



Surfasolve is a 100 percent biodegradable acetone replacement that removes adhesives, degreases tools and works as a resin solvent. Surfasolve is a non-regulated product.


Bio-Solv is an acetone replacement that is 100 percent biodegradable. It is not deemed a hazmat, so shipping will not cost you more. This acetone alternative is not listed on California Proposition 65, a law passed in 1986 to keep substances that cause cancer and birth defects out of drinking water. Nevertheless, you want to use Bio-Solv in a well-ventilated area because of an unpleasant odor. It is not, however, a hazardous air pollutant. Bio-Solv is not petroleum based.



Replacetone is another acetone alternative. It is nonflammable and nonvolatile. It can be used as an acetone or MEK (methyl ethyl ketone, an industrial solvent) replacement that is biodegradable. Both Replacetone and Bio-Solv are referred to as green acetone.

Methyl Acetate

Methyl acetate is offered as an acetone replacement. Manufactured by the Eastman Chemical Company, it is utilized in industrial applications. It is biodegradable, volatile organic compound exempt and non-HAP (hazardous air pollutant).


references & resources

Lisa Campbell

Lisa Campbell has been writing green-living and boating articles since 2005. She has been published in "Healing Garden Journal" and "Water Life," as well as several websites. Campbell studied English literature at the University of South Florida.