How to Dissolve PVC Cement

Updated February 21, 2017

PVC cement is used to solvent-weld PVC pipe and fittings together for numerous applications. The cement acts less like a standard glue than a chemical solvent that "melts" the PVC to join it together. PVC cement is typically coloured purple or blue. Once the fittings or pipes are joined, knowing how to dissolve PVC cement to clean up the area becomes important. The colouring of the cement can show through wall paint or tint plaster if left on a surface.

Use a paint scraper to remove any thick layers of the PVC cement. Be careful not to scratch the surface that the cement is on. Removing the thicker layers of the cement first will make it easier to dissolve the rest of it.

Dampen a clean cloth with acetone and blot the PVC cement with the cloth so the cement is completely coated with acetone.

Wipe the PVC cement off with a clean, dry cloth. The acetone dissolves the adhesive agents in the cement. The rest of the cement has to be cleaned off manually. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 as needed until all the cement is gone.


Use caution when cleaning anything with acetone. Wear safety glasses, rubber gloves and a ventilator as needed when cleaning off PVC cement with acetone. The fumes from the acetone can irritate your eyes and nose, and the liquid can burn your skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint scraper
  • Acetone
  • Clean cloths
  • Ventilation mask (optional)
  • Safety glasses (optional)
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
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About the Author

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.