In the US, Australia, and a number of other countries, "white gas" refers to a liquid hydrocarbon mixture similar to gasoline (US) and petrol (Australia), but which is less volatile, consisting of mostly hexanes and heptanes, whereas gasoline has a significant amount of pentanes in it. Also, gasoline sold for use in cars is full of additives not found in white gas. In some countries, "white spirit" means the same thing, but in the UK and also to some extent in New Zealand, that term is used for a type of paint thinner. Coleman fuel is very similar to white gas, and can usually be used where white gas is called for.

A typical use of white gas is in portable stoves for camping and backpacking. White gas also makes a good fuel for fire spinning.