How to Get Spray Foam Insulation Off Clothing and Skin

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  • 3-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • $0-40
What You'll Need
Pumice stone
Clean cloths
Petroleum jelly

Spray foam insulation is commonly used for insulating home interiors. It is a great substitute for the conventional fiberglass insulation because it is easier to apply. Spray foam is also considered to be one of the best insulating materials to control against moisture and air; it helps save energy, strengthens homes, and even protects families from airborne pollutants that are harmful.

What Is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray foam insulation comes in different forms, like in spray guns which can fill in gaps and crevices, that can be applied inside your walls. When the liquid chemical has been sprayed into the gaps, the material will begin to expand and will then seal the portion of the gap, making it very efficient. The chemicals used in foam insulation are polymers and a foaming agent. The insulation expands to about 100 times its original size and will dry out when the polymer bubbles.

Spray foam comes in latex and polyurethane varieties as well. Most of the time, latex insulation can be removed from clothing by just using soap and water. However, polyurethane is more difficult to remove since it is the type of spray foam that expands. Here are various practical tips in removing spray foam from clothing.

Note: Always try to remove foam from clothing as soon as possible. The longer it is given to dry and cure, the more difficult it will be to save the fabric.

Using a Pumice Stone

A pumice stone

Scrub at the foam on your clothing with a pumice stone to remove it. Be careful how much force you use when doing this because this may lead to tearing a hole in the fabric.

Using Nail Polish Remover

Find a nail polish remover that has an active acetone ingredient, apply it to the soiled area with a clean cloth, and scrub. This is only effective when the spray foam insulation has not dried up yet, so apply acetone as soon as you can.

Using a Dry Cloth

A dry cloth

Use a dry cloth and wipe the spray foam insulation from the clothing. Again, this is only a good solution to use if the spray foam insulation is still moist or has not cured yet. Avoid using soap and water if the spray foam insulation has dried as soap and water on polyurethane insulation will only make it dry up faster.

A Combination of Pumice, Warm Water, and Soap

If you have accidentally sprayed insulation on your skin, wiping it with a dry cloth may remove it if you do it immediately. However, it may still leave residue behind. Using pumice and warm water with soap can help get this off.

Try Acetone Again

Similar to the treatment for clothing, acetone can help remove spray foam from skin as well. Dampen a cloth with an acetone nail polish remover and apply it on the skin where any residue remains.

TIP: Check your clothing's tag for what kinds of fabrics its composed from before applying acetone. Acetone can make certain fabrics dissolve, which ruins the clothes.

Using Petroleum Jelly

Applying petroleum jelly on the affected area may also remove spray foam insulation from the skin. After you’ve dabbed some Vaseline on the affected area, cover it with a plastic glove for one hour and then scrub with soap and water.