Is Citristrip Flammable? (A complete review)

This article will answer the following question: “Is Citristrip Flammable?”. We will also evaluate the risk involved in using all Citristrip® paint removing products, and show some of their labels and material safety data sheets.

Is Citristrip Flammable?

It depends. There are 3 different formulations for Citristrip products, but only the aerosol form is flammable. This is because it contains volatile organic compounds under pressure that can burn easily if a source of ignition is provided. 

What is Citristrip?

Citristrip is a brand of removers that can be used indoors and has a citrus scent.

The brand is from a company named W M Barr & Co Inc, based in Memphis, Tennessee – U.S.

Paint remover, or stripper, is a product created to remove paint, finishes, and coatings, but can also clean the underlying surface.


Paint is a liquid or creamy compound applied to a surface, where the substrate gets converted to a thin and solid film that adheres to the surface.

There are many kinds of paints, and there had been many others.

The overall properties of paint will dictate which paint remover should be applied to it as well. Most paints are water-based or oil-based.

Citristrip remover is indicated for both latex paints and oil-based ones, among others.

Citristrip products and ingredients

According to the manufacturer’s website, Citristrip has three different products. All of them have a citrus scent.

The citrus smell comes from a molecule called d-limonene, a molecule that can be found naturally in citrus fruit peels or be synthesized in a laboratory.

Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel 32 oz

According to the manufacturer, this product must be used to remove dried latex and oil-based paint, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, and shellac from wood, metal, and masonry surfaces.

It removes five layers of dried latex paint in under one hour.

Also, it can stay wet and active for up to 24 hours,  allowing stripping of multiple layers in one step. The product doesn’t contain methylene chloride or NMP.

Citristrip Gel Ingredients

  • Benzenemethanol {Benzyl alcohol}: 30.0-60.0 % 
  • Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether {2-(2-Butoxyethoxy)ethanol {(a glycol ether)}: 5.0 -10.0 %
  • 2-(2-Aminoethoxy) ethanol: 3.0 -7.0 % 
  • Hydrotreated light distillate (petroleum, mineral spirits): 1.0 – 5.0% 
  • Alcohol ethoxylate (Alcohols, C9-11, Ethoxylated): 0.1 – 1.0 %
  • Terpinolene 0.1 -1.0 % 5989-27-5 d-Limonene: 0.1 – 1.0 %

Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel 64 oz

This product is the very same one we just spoke about. The only difference is that this product’s size is doubled. The ingredients are the same, and the safety data sheet is as well.

We will consider “Paint Varnish Stripping Gel” as one thing in this article.

Paint & Varnish Stripping Aerosol

Just like the gel version, this product can stay wet for up to 24h, allowing stripping of multiple layers in one step. In one hour, it can remove 5 layers.

Citristrip products don’t contain methylene chloride or NMP and are safe for indoor use if instructions on the label are followed.

Same as the other products, it can remove multiple layers of dried latex and oil-based paint, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane and shellac from wood, metal, and masonry surfaces

The aerosol version presents different kinds of hazards due to its gaseous nature.

Citristrip Aerosol ingredients

  • Benzenemethanol {Benzyl alcohol}: 30.0 -60.0 %
  • Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether {2-(2-Butoxyethoxy)ethanol {(a glycol ether)}: 10.0 – 30.0 %
  • Butane: 5.0 – 10.0 %
  • 2-(2-Aminoethoxy) ethanol: 1.0 – 5.0 %
  • Propane {Dimethyl methane; Propyl hydride}: 1.0 – 5.0 %
  • Alcohol ethoxylate (Alcohols, C9-11, Ethoxylated): 0.1 – 1.0 %
  •  Terpinolene 0.1 – 1.0 %
  •  d-Limonene 0.1 – 1.0 %

Paint & Varnish Stripping Paste Tub

This product’s usability is no different from the others. It stays wet and active for up to 24 hours allowing stripping of multiple layers of paint and can remove up to five under one hour.

The product removes multiple layers of dried latex and oil-based paint, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane and shellac from wood, metal and masonry surfaces as well.

Citristrip Past Ingredients

  • Benzenemethanol {Benzyl alcohol}: 30.0 – 60.0 %
  • Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether {2-(2-Butoxyethoxy)ethanol {(a glycol ether)}: 5.0 – 10.0 %
  • 2-(2-Aminoethoxy) ethanol: 3.0 – 7.0 %
  • Hydrotreated light distillate (petroleum, mineral
  • spirits): 1.0 – 5.0 %
  • Alcohol ethoxylate (Alcohols, C9-11, Ethoxylated): 0.1 -1.0 %
  • Terpinolene: 0.1 -1.0 %
  • d-Limonene: 0.1 -1.0 %


We often neglect reading the product’s labels. We may think that it is too easy, that we already know all that information or that already know even more.

The label of any official product is the result of much research, studies, tests, and trials, and is an obligation that regulatory organizations made for companies.

But the companies are also always worried about our safety. After all, if we suffer an accident, it won’t be good for their brand, right?

Reading the label may seem too ordinary, even childish. But think to yourself, how many mistakes could have been avoided if we just knew enough about the incident, before it happens?

Any of Citristrip products shouldn’t be mixed with any other product. All versions have benzyl alcohol as a surfactant.

All these products can be nocive for health. Their vapor should not be inhaled, and nor should they get in contact with skin, eyes, or be swallowed.

Before the next painting, Citristrip must be cleaned from the surface.

Among the Citristrip products (Gel, Aerosol and Paste forms), only the Aerosol presents flammability, according to information provided by the manufacturer. 

The health hazard is bigger for the aerosol product, but all forms are considered to have high acute toxicity, are irritant to the skin and eyes, and are corrosive.

You can check all Citristrip products, labels, and Safety Data Sheets on the Company’s official website.


The paste and gel forms of Citristrip are not flammable, according to information provided by the manufacturer.

They present no fire hazards and are not likely to start a fire under any conditions. Although, some ingredients are combustible and could burn if the material is heated and flames are applied directly to it.

Benzyl alcohol

Benzyl alcohol it’s the majority compound found in Citristrip products. It helps dissolve polymers present in paint and acts like a solvent that allows paint removal.

The compound presents some flammability, but only if it’s heated and there’s a source of ignition very close to it.

Benzyl alcohol is known as a safer choice for solvents because it presents a low level of hazard concern for human health and the environment. But it doesn’t mean that it’s safe to eat, inhale or apply to the skin.

In fact, inhalation of its vapors may irritate the respiratory tract. Prolonged or excessive inhalation may result in headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Respiratory stimulation may lead to respiratory and muscular paralysis, convulsions, narcosis, and death in severe cases. The product is assumed to be safe considering what it’s going to be applied to.

Citristrip aerosol flammability

Unlike the other Citristrip products, the aerosol version is highly flammable.

This is because it has organic liquefied solvents under pressure. When a combustible substance is in the gas form, it is more willing to burn than in liquid or solid form. 

If it’s under pressure, the hazard only grows bigger because there’s a lot of very flammable fuel at one point. 

Aerosol cans should never be pierced. Also, we must never assume that the can is empty, there are always some particles inside. This is because when the button is squeezed, the material only comes out of the can. After all, there’s more pressure inside than outside.

If the can stopped working this means that the pressure inside is equal to the out, but not that there’s nothing inside. If there was no particle inside the can, once we press the button, air would slip inside the can, due to ‘negative pressure’.


Citristrip brand has 3 major paint and varnish stripping products (a gel, an aerosol, and a paste form). Only the aerosol is flammable because it contains flammable ingredients. 

The ingredients in the other formulations are combustible at best, but not flammable in the mixture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS): Is Citristrip Flammable?

is citristrip toxic?

Not particularly. Liquid and paste Citristrip products have a few toxic ingredients, but they are less toxic than other commonly used components.

The Citristrip aerosol version is very toxic due to the organic solvents used.

is citristrip safe?

If the instructions in the label and safety data sheet are followed, it is safe. The compound should never be eaten, inhaled, or get in contact with our skin for too long. Good ventilation in the area where’s being applied is always required.

is citristrip water based?

It does not have water as one of its major ingredients, but it can remove some water-based paints if that’s what you’re asking, especially if it’s latex-based.


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