Do you have an area that is caked with epoxy? Are you unsure of how to remove epoxy without causing any damage to surfaces? Learning how to remove hardened epoxy isn't as difficult as you may think. Just follow the right steps!
When it comes to the most useful products for DIYers, epoxy resin is high on the list. This handy little adhesive can be used on a variety of materials such as concrete, plastic, and wood; whether it’s for repairs, renovations, and installations.
But why would you need to remove epoxy in the first place? Actually, there are quite a few instances which require removing cured epoxy. Anytime you are separating materials which are adhered to another surface, there may be leftover epoxy. Also, some lower-grade epoxies may lose their integrity over time, which means you’ll need to remove the hardened epoxy and replace it with fresh product.
Did you know that removing uncured epoxy is much simpler than removing hardened epoxy? Ideally, you want to remove it while it is still soft and fresh and hasn’t yet set into place.
The list of epoxy removing tools is short and simple. It all depends on whether the epoxy has cured or not.
For cured epoxy, you will need:
- a soft, clean, dry cloth
- denatured alcohol, paint thinner, or adhesive remover
- a well-ventilated work area
For uncured epoxy, you will need:
- a soft, clean, dry cloth
- isopropyl alcohol or acetone
Additional items you will find helpful when removing cured epoxy or removing uncured epoxy include a knife or scraper tool, leather or rubber gloves to protect your skin, a dish or pot to dispose the epoxy in, and safety goggles to protect your eyes.
Getting unwanted epoxy off is a straight-forward job. The key is to work slowly, keep all the tools and products you need within reach, and ensure that your workspace is well ventilated.
How to remove epoxy from porous materials like wood or concrete:
- For this particular job, use acetone as the solvent. Paint thinners and alcohol can damage wood finishes.
- Soak a clean, soft cloth with acetone and then gently rub it on the areas where epoxy needs to be removed.
- The wood/concrete will then start to soak up the acetone, and the epoxy will loosen.
- Use your knife or scraping tool to gently and slowly scrape off the epoxy resin, being careful not to damage the wood/concrete.
- Acetone will evaporate on its own, so there is no need to worry about any wet areas.
How to remove epoxy from non-porous hard surfaces like metal:
- The solvent you will want is a chemical adhesive remover, as these hard surfaces won't soak up acetone-like substances.
- Make sure to wear a mask, safety glasses, and gloves when working with a chemical solvent. The area needs to be well-ventilated.
- Typically, adhesive removers are sprayed on or dispensed using a rag.
- Chip away the epoxy with a scraping tool. Do not scrape towards yourself.
Now that you’ve removed cured or uncured epoxy, it’s time to move forward with your DIY project. We suggest using a high-quality, two-part epoxy that will get the job done right. Check out Loctite’s Epoxy Instant Mix 1 Minute. In just a few minutes, it forms a tough, high-strength, fully cured bond. This product won’t shrink and is ideal for filling and bonding gaps all while being water resistant.
Loctite also has you covered for those vertical repairs where traditional epoxies are likely to drip. Our Epoxy Gel has been specifically formulated not to drip, saving you cleaning time while providing a surface that can still be drilled or sanded.