Spray foam is a substance used to seal cavities in floors, ceilings, and walls. It does this so well due to its adhesiveness. However, a significant problem while using spray foam is that some of it get into contact with your skin, especially your hands. There are a lot of potential hazards of having spray foam on your skin. For instance, some people are allergic to isocyanates found in spray foam. Some of the immediate symptoms include asthma, watery eyes, and skin rashes. If nothing is done, the victim may succumb to the allergy. However, in small amounts, it is harmless. The only issue is the substance tends to irritate the skin. Fortunately, you can get rid of the adhesive from your skin. Some people may decide to peel off the adhesive directly from the skin. However, it is not advisable since it will peel off part of your skin. So instead, here are some ways of getting it out of your skin, particularly on your hands.
Wipe it Off With Acetone
At this stage, we are assuming the spray foam is still wet and has yet to dry up. In that case, grab a towel or cloth and soak it with acetone. Acetone can be found in substances like nail polish removers. Before using a nail polish remover, check if it contains acetone since not all nail polish removers contain acetone. After, rub your skin with a soaked towel or cloth. Once the spray foam is wiped off, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. The longer acetone stays on your skin, the more dangerous it is for you. For example, it travels to your bloodstream through your skin and can cause headaches, nausea, and lightheadedness.
Using a Solution of Water and Dish Soap
This method is applicable when the spray foam has dried on your skin. First, you will need a pair of rubber gloves. Fill them halfway with a solution of water and dish soap. Before immersing your hands in the gloves, ensure you wash them first. Next, wear gloves and tape them around your wrists. You can leave them for a few hours, roughly two or three hours. There is no harm if you choose to wear them for a bit longer. After the time has elapsed, you can remove the gloves. By this point, your skin will have softened. The soft skin causes the spray foam on the skin to be loosely attached due to loose bonds. You can then peel off the spray foam from your skin.
Using a Pumice Stone
According to Purewow, another method of removing dried-up spray foam is by using a pumice stone. Use the stone to scrub off as much spray foam as you can. After that, you can wash your hands with warm water and soap. Warm water will further weaken the spray foam’s bonds. Most of the spray foam will be nearly scrubbed off by this point. Your hands will likely be rough due to the scrubbing. To soften them, apply petroleum jelly or lanolin on them. Still, your hands will not be completely soft. Next, cover up the skin with plastic wrap. Leave the hands wrapped for an hour. After that, take off the plastic wrap and wash them with warm water and soap once more. The step is to ensure that all of the adhesives come off. To get your normal skin back, apply petroleum jelly or lanolin.
Using Oil and Baking Soda
You can use olive oil, tea tree oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil. Either oil is instrumental in getting rid of dried-up spray foam. So, to remove the spray foam, cover the affected skin with sufficient oil. Next, mix the oil with baking soda. While mixing, scrub the skin for about three minutes. After that, wash off the mixture. For this method, most of the adhesive will be wiped off. If this method does not work for you, you can always try the other ways we have previously identified.
Using Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is ideal for both wet and dried-up spray foam. However, it is more effective on wet spray foam. Ensure the percentage of rubbing alcohol is 91%. The stronger the alcohol content, the more it easily dissolves the adhesive. If the spray foam has not dried up yet, wet your hands with the alcohol. Rub it all over the skin and then wipe it off with a cloth. However, fill a dish with the rubbing alcohol if the spray foam dried up. After filling up the dish, soak your hands in it for ten minutes. When the time elapses, you can try cleaning it off with a cloth. If there are still spray foam stains on you, scrub it off with a pumice stone. Still, you could repeat the process by soaking them for another ten minutes and try scrubbing off the adhesive.
The Waiting It Out Option
This method is suitable when you do not have so much spray foam on the skin. Some people may wait when they lack scrubbing items like pumice stone or acetone. Others may be unbothered hence patient enough to wait for the adhesive to wear off. Whichever camp you belong to, waiting is also another alternative.
We have seen how troublesome spray foam is. Besides drying quickly, it is a headache to scrub off. Depending on the method, it can take hours or days to remove it. To prevent this outcome, always put on protective gear. Some protective gear to put on include gloves, old clothes, and a face mask. For gloves, preferably go for nitrile gloves. It is better to wear clothes you do not wear anymore when working. Then, if they get stained, you do not need to worry about washing them. A face mask prevents entry of the spray foam in orifices like your nose or mouth.