Three different types and three different grades of white spirit exist. The type refers to whether the solvent has been subjected to hydrodesulfurization (removal of sulfur) alone (type 1), solvent extraction (type 2) or hydrogenation (type 3).
Each type comprises three different grades: low flash grade, regular grade, and high flash grade. The grade is determined by the crude oil used as the starting material and the conditions of distillation.
In addition there is type 0, which is defined as distillation fraction with no further treatment, consisting predominantly of saturated C9 to C12 hydrocarbons with a boiling range of 140–200 °C.
Stoddard solvent is a specific mixture of hydrocarbons, typically > 65% C10 or higher hydrocarbons, developed in 1924 by Atlanta dry cleaner W. J. Stoddard and Lloyd E. Jackson of the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research as a less volatile petroleum-based dry cleaning solvent than the petroleum solvents then in use. Dry cleaners began using the result of their work in 1928 and it soon became the predominant dry cleaning solvent in the United States, until the late 1950s.
Turpentine substitute is generally not made to a standard and can have a wider range of components than products marketed as white spirit, which is made to a standard (in the UK, British Standard BS 245, in Germany, DIN 51632). Turpentine substitute can be used for general cleaning but is not recommended for paint thinning as it may adversely affect drying times due to the less volatile components; while it may be used for brush cleaning its heavier components may leave an oily residue.