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How to Get Dried Spray Foam Off Your Hands (Tips That Work!)

expanding foam on hands

How to Get Dried Spray Foam Off Your Hands

Getting dried spray foam off your hands and skin after home maintenance, repairs and other handyman work is not as difficult as most assume.  In fact, there are several different methods to remove the dried spray foam from your hands and skin.  So don’t feel bad if you end up with some spray foam dried on your skin.  The foam will stick to your hands and arms yet it probably won’t cause considerable harm as long as you remove it in a timely manner.  Here’s how to do it.

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Act Quickly With a Disposable Cloth or Paper Towel

Wipe away the spray foam insulation from your skin as soon as possible.  Ideally, you will start wiping the foam away while it is wet.  You can wipe the foam away with either a disposable cloth or a paper towel.  Discard the cloth or towel after using it.  The next step is to apply acetone to the affected area.  You likely have acetone in your home in the form of a nail polish remover.  However, be sure to take a close look at the nail polish ingredients to ensure it actually contains acetone. 

The acetone begins to melt into liquid when it touches the wet foam, making it easier to wipe it away from the skin.  However, acetone will zap the oils from the skin, causing cracking and irritation unless you moisturize.  The next step is to thoroughly wash your hands with water and soap.  Don’t forget to rub a dab of hand lotion on your hands or other skin to mix in the oils lost as a result of applying the acetone.

Pumice Stone Will Also do the Job

If you have pumice stone on-hand, it will help remove the dried spray foam from your skin.  Rub the pumice stone along the dried foam to wear away as much foam as you can.  This is similar to the process of rubbing pumice on heel callouses.  Wash your hands with warm water and soap.  Add petroleum jelly or lanolin to the area in question.  Cover the skin with plastic cling film for an hour.  Once an hour passes, take off the plastic covering.  Wash the affected skin with warm water and soap, add the petroleum jelly/lanolin and your skin will look normal.

What if the Spray Foam Dries on the Skin?

If you wait too long, the spray foam will eventually dry on the skin.  The foam will form into a hard blob.  However, it is possible to remove the foam after it hardens on the skin.  You can pull the hardened foam off your skin though this approach will bring some hairs with it.  If an abundance of hair is embedded within the dried spray foam, break it apart into smaller pieces or shave the hair away.  However, if spray foam still remains after these efforts, go ahead and apply some petroleum jelly to the area, give it an hour to sink in and wash it with hot water and soap.

Use an Exfoliating Soap

The use of an exfoliating soap will facilitate the removal of pumice stone from the hands or skin.  Exfoliating soaps are those with exfoliating beads similar to sand that are embedded within.  This variety of soap will scrub away the dead skin along the upper surface including foam residue.

What About Oil and Baking Soda?

Some handymen report the use of baking soda and oil works.  To be more specific, canola or vegetable oil will help remove the dried spray foam from your hands or skin.  Cover the affected portion of the skin with the oil.  Add baking soda and rub the area with the oil and baking soda for three minutes straight.  Wash off this mixture and you will find most, if not all of the dried spray foam is removed.

The Glove Method

If you have a set of vinyl or rubber gloves in the house, they will prove quite helpful in removing spray foam from your hands or skin.  Fill the gloves halfway with warm water.  Add some dish soap.  Clean off your hands.  Leave your hands wet and glide them into the water and dish soap-filled gloves. 

Add tape to the gloves at the point of the wrists.  The tape should be tight to the point that it does not permit leaking but loose to the point that circulation is not cut off from your wrists.  Keep the gloves on your hands for at least an hour.  Once an hour passes, remove the gloves and wash your hands once again.  Your hands will look like prunes yet the dried spray foam should be removed.

There is Always the Option of Waiting

If you do not have any of the products mentioned above, you have the option of simply waiting it out.  The waiting technique requires patience yet it should work.  Simply wait until the point when the insulation wears away on its own.  Though this approach chews up your time and will not prove easy, it does not cost anything and should work after a couple days pass.  Give the dried spray foam a few days to naturally fall off your skin and you will be good to go.

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