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DMSO for Paint Stripping

DMSO being used for paint stripping

Paint stripper is a product designed to remove paint and other finishes from an underlying surface.

Increasingly stringent environmental and consumer safety concerns have led formulators to explore new materials as replacements for paint stripping solvents such as methylene chloride and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). With the need for safer alternatives also comes the inability to sacrifice performance.

Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) offers a unique combination of low toxicity and high solvent strength, making it an ideal solvent for stripping paint from a variety of surfaces. DMSO is the best alternative to solvents rated hazardous such as methylene chloride and NMP (N-methyl pyrrolidone).

Formulating with DMSO

DMSO is compatible with a wide range of co-solvents (ethyl lactate, DBE and alcohols), thickening agents (Klucel®, Methocel®, and Carbopol®), Non-ionic surfactants (Igepal® and Ninol®) and corrosion control performance additives (Cobratec®).


Ethanolamine and DMSO are combined at room temperature, and Methocel® 311 is added with stirring. As the mixture thickens, DBE, EEP and AR150 are added sequentially. Rhodasurf® DA-630 is added last; Final product has a viscosity of ~7000 cPs. Packaged in HDPE.

Manufactured by ExxonMobil Corporation.

Dibasic Ester Blend

Various manufacturers offer these products.

EEP (Ethyl 3-Ethoxypropionate)
METHOCEL® (Thickener)
Ethyl 3-Ethoxypropionate is manufactured by Eastman Chemical.
METHOCEL® is manufactured by Dow Chemical.
RhodaSurf® DA-630

Manufactured by Solvay.

The information in this bulletin is based on information available to us and on our observations and experiences. However, no warranty is expressed or implied regarding the accuracy of this data, the results to be obtained from the use thereof, or that any use will not infringe any patent. Each user must establish appropriate procedures for off-loading, handling, and use of the product(s). Since conditions for use are beyond our control, we will make no guarantee of results, and assume no liability for damages incurred by off-loading, handling, or use of the product(s). Nothing herein constitutes permission, or recommendation to practice any invention covered by any patent without license from the owner of the patent.

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