Resin projects are known for their beauty and durability. You can create beautiful pieces and know that, once they cure, they will last. However, that same durability can make cleaning up a challenge. In this post we are telling you how to remove epoxy resin easily and effectively.
We know that mistakes happen. You accidentally spill some resin while reaching for another tool. Or, you get called away at the end of a project and forget you have resin hardening in your containers. While mixing your resin you get some on your skin. All of these things have happened to us too and, while they can be annoying, they are easily fixable!
How to Remove Epoxy Resin
As with most things in life, being proactive can solve many of your resin clean up problems before they even happen. One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give you is to put down a protective layer on your work space before you start working with Artist Resin or Casting Resin. What you use for this depends on preference and availability. You can use a cheap plastic table cloth, an old sheet, or a painter’s drop cloth for example. Our favorite thing to use is a vinyl shower curtain. Anything that is designed to repel water will also repel your liquid resin. That will make clean up much easier.
When you plan your project, make sure you have enough time to complete it and also clean up afterwards. This, of course, is not always possible because “life happens” at the most inopportune times. But, if you are able to clean your surfaces and tools right after use instead of once the resin has started to cure, the process will go much more smoothly.
Cleaning Resin Tools and Equipment
The most important thing we can tell you about cleaning your tools and equipment is to never ever rinse resin down a drain. We are so used to rinsing off paintbrushes and other art supplies that it may feel instinctual to just rinse out your resin measuring cups and leave them to dry. Rinsing resin down the sink, however, will lead to disaster in your pipes. The resin will harden and cure just as it would in your projects and that will permanently clog and damage your pipes.
When it comes to plastic mixing cups and silicone molds the easiest cleaning method is to “set it and forget it”. Resin left over night in these containers will harden but not cure. You should be able to flex your containers a little bit and the dried resin will pop right out.
For other tools such as spreaders and mixing sticks, first use baby wipes to wipe off as much of the resin as you can. Next, use a solvent such as pure acetone or denatured alcohol with paper towel to remove any remaining product. Then, wash the equipment with soap and water. Finally, let them dry overnight. Remember that any moisture left on your tools will prevent your next resin project from setting correctly so make sure they are totally dry before using them again.
Removing Dried or Cured Epoxy Resin
Removing resin that has dried or cured isn’t as easy as cleaning it in its liquid form but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! If the resin has dried, try to scrape as much off as possible using a putty knife. It should come off in little chunks. Next, use pure acetone or denatured alcohol to break down the resin so that you can wipe it away. Finally, wash with soap and water then leave to dry.
If the resin has cured start by chipping it off with a putty knife like you would when it is dried on. You will need a stronger solvent when the resin has cured though so use paint thinner. Apply the paint thinner to the hardened epoxy resin and allow it time to work. Wipe away the resin and then wash the item with soap and water and let it dry.
Any time you use solvents you should work in a well ventilated area and follow any directions on the container. Wearing a protective mask and gloves will also be necessary depending on the strength of the solvent you are using.
How to Remove Epoxy Resin from Skin
If you get resin on your skin there are a couple of options you can use to help you remove it. Usually a baby wipe is all you need. But if that doesn’t do the trick, try using vinegar on the area to help loosen the resin. You can use a cotton ball or a clean cloth to apply. If that doesn’t work you can upgrade to acetone. Once the resin has been removed from your skin, wash thoroughly with soap and water.
We hope this information has been helpful! Removing epoxy resin can be simple when you know what products to use and how to use them. When you can spend less time cleaning you get to spend more time creating!
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