How to remove dried contact cement

Written by contributing writer
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Contact cement is a semi-liquid adhesive compound used to bond household surfaces to one another. It is more specifically intended for strong bonds with high-sheer resistance, like laminate floors and countertops. Removing dried contact cement from any surface can be rather difficult using traditional cleaning methods. Fortunately, contact cement solvents and thinners are available at home improvement centres and hardware stores. These products can effectively loosen both wet and dry contact cement.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Electric fan
  • Rubber gloves
  • Contact cement solvent or paint thinner
  • Paint scraper or putty knife
  • Steel wool or scouring pad
  • Water
  • Mild soap detergent
  • Dry towels

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  1. 1

    Ventilate your workspace if the affected surface is indoors. Place a fan nearby in addition to opening the windows of the room to help with circulation.

  2. 2

    Protect your hands with solvent-resistant rubber gloves to prevent chemical burns from the solvent. Determine whether you need to apply the contact cement thinner with a rag, paint roller or paint brush according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  3. 3

    Allow the contact cement to soften for the instructed length of time after applying an even coat of the solvent. Paint thinner, or paint stripper, can be used in place of contact cement solvent, but should be used according to its own instructions and precautions.

  4. 4

    Use a paint scraper or putty knife to lift the dissolving adhesive. A long-handled scraper will help you cover a wider surface area when removing contact cement from a flooring foundation. Scrub the stubborn remainder of the adhesive with steel wool or a scouring pad until it is completely loosened. Only apply moderate pressure to avoid damaging the underlying surface.

  5. 5

    Wash away the excess chemicals and contact cement with water and a mild soap or detergent. Dry the surface with clean towels or allow it to air dry.

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