Eight Methods for Removing Epoxy
Clean up the toughest messes quickly and completely
The same quality that makes epoxy great as an adhesive makes it a nightmare to remove – it’s very solid. Just a few misplaced drops can leave you with a big cleaning project to tackle. The good news is that removing epoxy is not that difficult just as long as you use the right remover. Below, we have outlined eight options for how to remove epoxy:
Vinegar – This is effective at removing cured or uncured epoxy adhesive when it comes into contact with your skin and you want to avoid harsh chemicals. Put some vinegar on a cloth and, then soak the area with the epoxy. Once it begins to soften, apply abrasion and then wash with soap and water.
Acetone – You probably have acetone in your house right now. It’s the primary ingredient in nail polish remover and paint stripper. Use the same process as vinegar to remove epoxy from your skin. Just be aware that acetone is flammable and should only be used in a well-ventilated space.
Citrus-Based Waterless Cleaner – Unless you’re a mechanic, it’s unlikely you have this on hand. But if you do, it’s effective at removing epoxy from your skin and safer to use then acetone. Simply rub the cleaner onto the affected area, and then wash it thoroughly.
Isopropyl Alcohol – If you have uncured epoxy (not fully set) you need to clean up, just rub or soak the area with Isopropyl alcohol. Acetone is also effective in this same instance.
Adhesive Remover – Cured or dried epoxy requires a harsh chemical in order to soften it up. There are a number of adhesive removers on the market with varying degrees of harshness. Only pursue this method when removing epoxy from surfaces, never from your skin.
Paint Thinner – If you have a particularly tough area to clean up, a mixture of paint thinner and denatured alcohol can probably cut through the dried adhesive. Paint thinner is a volatile material, however, so be sure to only use it with caution.
Denatured Alcohol – Sections of recently cured epoxy often respond to denatured alcohol. If the epoxy in question is older it will probably also take paint thinner to soften it up.
Heat Gun – The toughest jobs will require a heat gun. Heat the area in question to a temperature of 200 degrees F, and then scrape the epoxy off once it has begun to soften. Work in small areas to prevent starting a fire or burning the surface.
Watson Coatings Knows Epoxy
If you made a mess with epoxy, you’re probably going to need to order more. Watson Coatings produces its own formulations and has options to suit a wide range of applications. If you have questions about our epoxy products or how to clean them up, please contact us at your convenience.