How do you remove epoxy from your hands? Epoxy adhesives and coatings are very strong materials that are generally solvent resistant as well. After all, the strength and resilience of epoxies are some of their most sought after properties for those do-it-yourself projects. What does this mean for epoxy clean up? If epoxy adhesives and coatings come into contact with human skin, they can be quite difficult to remove. With care, planning and a few appropriate removal tools, it is possible to remove epoxy from hands and skin safely and fairly easily.
To remove epoxy from your hands, you will need:
- Exfoliating soap
- Warm water
- Acetone or isopropyl alcohol
- Elbow grease and a willingness to scrub and scrape!
- Begin epoxy removal before the epoxy has dried to the skin. Once the epoxy dries, or cures, it is much more difficult to remove and will require a lot more scrubbing, scraping and potential skin damage. Begin removal as soon as possible once you notice the skin contact.
- Start with a washing of acetone or isopropyl alcohol. If you do not have chemical grade acetone or isopropyl alcohol in your workshop chemical supply, head to the medicine cabinet for some acetone containing nail polish remover or bottle of household rubbing alcohol. Dab the affected areas with the acetone or alcohol solutions to soften the epoxy and move on to the next step immediately.
- Two or three aggressive hand washings with soap and water will be needed to remove the epoxy residue. Look for deep-cleaning hand soap or exfoliating skin soap. Both of these soaps help loosen dead skin cells and clear pores, making them effective in removing any remaining epoxy that was not broken up by the acetone or alcohol solvents. Easy hand washing will likely not remove the epoxy—you will need to throw some weight into it. Try to avoid scratching or tearing the skin, but expect some redness in the scrubbed areas as you will need to apply some force to the washings.
- Dry the skin thoroughly and repeat the process if necessary. Epoxy adhesives and coatings can be quite stubborn to remove. If you find epoxy remaining after this cleaning process, repeat the steps, concentrating on the affected areas.