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How to Remove Contact Adhesive

Updated February 21, 2017

Contact adhesive is a strong liquid adhesive that builders commonly use to attach Formica to a wooden-counter base. It also is used in home-improvement projects. Because contact adhesive is generally very strong, you will need to use a strong chemical solvent if you want to remove it. As such, keep children and pets away from the area to ensure that they don't accidentally ingest the solvent. Wear proper protection when working, and always work in a well-ventilated area.

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  1. Put on gloves and goggles to protect your eyes from irritation and your skin from drying out. Ventilate the room properly by opening doors and windows. If you cannot ventilate the room, wear a dust mask.

  2. Soak a clean cloth in lacquer thinner.

  3. Lay the lacquer thinner-soaked cloth over the contact adhesive.

  4. Let the cloth sit there for at least 20 minutes. This will give it time to loosen the adhesive and its sticky quality.

  5. Remove the cloth. Scrape the contact adhesive off with a plastic paint scraper.

  6. Soak a clean cloth in clear water.

  7. Rub the cloth over the area to rinse away the lacquer thinner and contact-adhesive residue.

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Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Cloths
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Plastic paint scraper

About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.

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