Polyurethane foam is an extremely versatile material, used in different ways to pad couches and carpets, provide a protective cover for hardwood and insulate refrigerators. For sealing and insulating purposes, installers generally spray the foam into place. While spraying can be effective to install the foam, it can also create a mess on areas that you don't want to insulate. Removing unwanted polyurethane foam can be a hassle; depending on the product, some solvents may dissolve the foam, while others may only come away with intense scraping.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Plastic scraper
Wipe up as much excess polyurethane foam as you can from the surface. You should be able to wipe away any foam that is still wet with a damp cloth or paper towel. Clean as much up as you can before it cures.
Scrape away as much dried foam as you can with a plastic scraper. Be sure to use the flat edge of the scraper, as sharp corners can scratch some surfaces. If you cannot use a scraper, you can use the flat edge of a butter knife or spoon.
Wear protective gloves when working with chemical cleaners. Dampen a cloth with acetone or paint stripper containing methylene chloride and apply the solvent to the foam area. Some companies also produce urethane foam removers that do not use chemicals. These chemicals are potentially toxic, so work in a well-ventilated area.
Allow the solvent to sit on the foam for five minutes; solvents should dissolve or loosen the hold the foam has on the surface. Scrape away loosened foam. Repeat application and scraping as necessary until all foam is removed.
Rinse the surface with a cloth dampened in clean water to remove residual chemicals.
Tips and warnings
- Find solvents and cleaners at hardware and home improvement retailers.
- Some polyurethane foam products are designed to resist all solvents. When you are applying polyurethane foam, do your best to avoid putting it in unneeded areas, as some products may be permanent.
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