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Remove epoxy from metal—turn messy into shiny again

A great DIY project can be ruined with a smear of glue on that shiny metal surface. Learn how to remove epoxy from metal with our handy guide.

An overview of how to remove epoxy glue from metal

Anytime you work with epoxy, there is the potential for some type of accident—even with the most cautious users. If you should get epoxy on a metal surface, don’t worry. You can bring back that shiny metal finish quickly if you use the right products and have the know-how. 

How to remove epoxy glue from metal step by step

Tools/Products you will need:

  • Rubbing alcohol or acetone
  • Paper towels
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scraper of some type, a chisel, or a razor blade
  • Small pot
  • Steamer basket
  • Tongs


Safety first:

Wear a face mask and ideally work in a well-ventilated area. You also want to protect your face and hands with gloves and safety goggles.


Method 1:

  1. Soak the metal with the epoxy glue on it in a container of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) or an acetone-based nail polish remover. Cover with a lid to prevent evaporation.
    • If the object is larger and a bowl is impractical, wrap the object in paper towels and soak the towel with the remover. 
    • Acetone will work after soaking for 15–30 minutes and rubbing alcohol will take longer.
  2. Unwrap the item and scrape off the loosened epoxy with a scraper. 
  3. If you notice a bit of a haze is left after cleaning, wipe it away with paint thinner and a rag.
  4. Finally, wash the metal item with soap and water and then pat dry.


Method 2:

  1. Put the object in a steamer basket and use steam to loosen the epoxy.  The water level should be about 1 inch below the basket.
  2. Steam for 30 minutes then remove the metal piece with tongs.
  3. Use your scraper and work quickly to remove epoxy. Repeat the process if needed.

Remove epoxy from metal, then complete your project

If you have been working with metal and epoxy, you must have a repair project or upgrade underway. What is the best type of adhesive to use? 

Loctite Epoxy Metal/Concrete is a two-part system consisting of an epoxy resin and a hardener. The resin and hardener are combined to create a durable, high-strength bond that dries in minutes and can be used for repairing, filling, and rebuilding all metal and concrete surfaces. It comes in a convenient syringe dispenser, so it’s easy to mix and produces a tough, rigid bond in 5 to 12 minutes. 

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