by Glenn House — Director of Product Safety and Regulatory Compliance
Removing uncured epoxy from tools used for applying epoxy often involves solvents that have strong odors and are flammable. A WEST SYSTEM® user suggested an alternative that does not have these problems: a solution of citrus-based hand cleaner and water. This solution will remove uncured epoxy from tools and can remove epoxy that has started to gel if the tools are allowed to soak for a few hours.
Here’s how to make a safer solution for removing uncured epoxy from your tools:
Mix 1 part citrus-based hand cleaner and 2 parts water in a container.
Using hot water and liquid, citrus-based hand cleaner (as opposed to cream hand cleaners) will make mixing easier.
In your workshop, keep the tools you are working with soaking in the solution. When you need a tool, rinse it with plain water and dry it off with paper towels.
Placing a lid on the container will reduce evaporation and allow the citrus-based soap and water solution to be reused over the course of many epoxy projects. This cleaning solution can also be used to remove uncured epoxy from your clothing without damaging synthetic fibers.
Although the hand cleaner and water are not harmful, wear gloves to protect your skin from contact with the epoxy that dissolves into the solution. The used solution should be properly disposed of according to local regulations.