Epoxy adhesive is a versatile and durable substance that is frequently used to bind metal surfaces. However, it can be quite difficult to remove, especially if it has been allowed to cure for a long time. Epoxy is available as a resin or as glue.
Even the most cautious users are susceptible to accidents when working with epoxy. Don’t worry if you get epoxy on a metal surface. Even if you make a mistake, you do not have to discard your work. With a few household products, you might be able to remove most, if not all, of the epoxy and start over on your project. There are a few methods for removing epoxy from metal, but none of them are especially simple or enjoyable.
All you need is the correct products and know-how; you can rapidly restore that gleaming metal polish. Here’s how to remove epoxy from metal. Shall we?
How to remove epoxy from metal
Epoxy is a synthetic resin that can be used as a sealant, adhesive, or coating. It’s typically used on metal to form a tough, protective layer. There are instances, however, when epoxy must be removed from the metal. This can be a difficult procedure, but with the correct tools and techniques, it is feasible.
Identifying the type of epoxy used is the first step in removing epoxy from metal. This can be done by examining the epoxy’s physical qualities, such as color, consistency, and odor. After determining the type of epoxy, a suitable removal process can be chosen.
There are different methods that can be used to remove epoxy from your metal. Simply follow this step-by-step process and you’re good to go.
Method 1: Using Acetone or Rubbing Alcohol
You will require the following tools/products:
- Alcohol or acetone for rubbing
- Using paper towels
- Aluminum foil
- A scraper, a chisel, or razor blades are all good options.
- To protect your item, wrap it in paper towels.
Make sure the item is completely covered, particularly any epoxy portions. You could also soak the item in a container. There’s no need to use paper towels if you’re making use of a container for the project. The item must be submerged in the container.
- Soak the paper towels and spray them with rubbing alcohol.
Use the strongest rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) available. An acetone-based nail polish remover is another option. Make sure the paper towels are completely saturated before using. Fill a container with rubbing alcohol or acetone-based nail polish if you’ve placed your item in one. Then use plastic or vinyl gloves for this step if you have a manicure or sensitive skin. Both rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover with acetone can produce fumes. To avoid headaches, work in a well-ventilated place.
- Wrap the paper toweled item with aluminum foil.
As the item “soaks,” the rubbing alcohol or acetone will be prevented from evaporating. Make sure the item is completely covered; this may require many layers of aluminum foil. Then, cover the container with a tight-fitting lid while soaking the item to prevent the solution from evaporating.
- Allow 30 minutes for the process to complete, then overnight.
The solution will weaken the binding between the epoxy and the metal during this period. It may even start to soften and disintegrate depending on the sort of epoxy you used! If you used acetone, wait 15 to 30 minutes before inspecting your item. Because it is stronger than rubbing alcohol, it will work much faster.
- Un-wrap the product.
If the epoxy still adheres to the thing, don’t panic. It will have to be scraped away. Working in a well-ventilated place would be ideal for this. If you were wearing gloves before, you should put them back on immediately. If the object has been soaked, simply open the container and remove the item.
- Remove the epoxy by scraping or peeling it away.
The amount of effort you put into this will be determined by how thick the epoxy was applied initially. You just have to remove the epoxy off with your fingertips if it is already flaking. And if it’s still stuck, try scraping it off with a paint scraper or chisel.
You can also quickly make use of acetone; however, if it dries, the epoxy will be impossible to remove. Pour more of your solution over the affected area if the rubbing alcohol or acetone dries before you finish removing the epoxy.
- If necessary, clean off any leftovers with denatured alcohol or paint thinner.
The epoxy can sometimes leave a fine layer of residue behind that is difficult to remove. If this happens, use a rag soaked in denatured alcohol or paint thinner to wash it down. Denatured alcohol is a form of fuel available at camping supplies shops. Instead of a rag, use a steel wool pad to remove more persistent residual spots.
- Allow to dry after rinsing with dish soap and warm water.
This is extremely crucial especially if you used denatured alcohol or paint thinner to clean the object. Scrub the object with dish soap after it has been wet. Then, rinse it off with more water and dry it with a towel. It’s the same as doing the dishes by hand.
Method 2: Steaming Small Items
Things you’ll need:
- Steamer basket (optional)
- Oven mitt
- Scraper, chisel or flat-head screwdriver
- Heat-safe dish (optional)
- Fill a kettle halfway with water and set it to boil.
Because you’ll be using a steamer basket, the amount of water you use will be determined by the size of the pot and the steamer basket. Once the steamer basket is fitted into the pot, the water should be just below it.
This method works best with epoxy glue and epoxy resin, although other forms of epoxy may also work. You’ll have to place the entire item into the pot if you don’t have a steamer basket. Submerge the item completely in water. However, make sure the pot you’re using isn’t going to be used again for cooking.
- In the pot, put a steamer basket.
Ensure that no water touches the basket’s bottom. If so, drain part of the water. It’s a good idea to add more water if the water level is more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the bottom of the steamer basket so that it doesn’t evaporate while steaming. This step can be skipped if you do not have a steamer basket.
- In the basket, place your metal item.
Be sure that the item does not roll and that the epoxy part is exposed to steam. If necessary, place a small, heat-safe dish in the basket before placing your item. Place the entire thing into the pot if you don’t have a steamer basket. Check to see if it’s totally immersed.
- Wait for about 30 minutes after covering the saucepan with a lid.
You may need to steam the item for longer, but for now, stick to 30 minutes. Extreme temperature variations are one of the simplest ways to loosen connections between two materials.
- Make sure the lid is securely fastened; you don’t want any steam to escape.
- Wait about 5 minutes if you didn’t use a steamer basket.
- With a pair of tongs, pull the thing out. When opening the pot, be cautious because there will be a lot of hot vapor. Pull the object out with a pair of kitchen tongs and place it on a heat-safe surface. Before the object cools, go on to the following stage swiftly.
- Scrape away the epoxy before it hardens.
To keep the item steady, use tongs or a gloved hand. After that, scrape and peel the epoxy away with a sharp instrument. Scrapers, chisels, and even pliers will help in this situation. Although oven mitts will suffice, welding gloves may allow you to maneuver the object more easily. . You could also use a pot holder or a towel.
Working quickly is important because as the epoxy cools, it becomes more difficult to remove. If the epoxy hardens before you can remove it, return it to the pot for another 5 minutes.
You can use a spray refrigerant to spray the epoxy and then scrape it off with a scraper if you have one. It’s also possible to use a chemical adhesive remover. You can find them in stores or order online.
Also Read: Top 5 Best Epoxy for wood slabs
Other tips and tricks for removing epoxy from metal
Here are some pointers on how to remove epoxy from metal:
– Soften the epoxy with a heat gun or hair drier.
– Soak the epoxy in a solvent like acetone, lacquer thinner, or paint thinner.
– Scrape the epoxy from the metal using a scraper or putty knife.
– Grind away the epoxy with a drill bit or rotary tool.
Conclusion: How To Remove Epoxy From Metal
Epoxy has an exceptionally robust bonding strength and weather resistance that makes it excellent for a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications. However, if it is spilled somewhere it isn’t wanted, such as on a clean metal surface, its incredible bond can work against you.
In that case, speed is advantageous. Removing epoxy is simple if you act quickly before it dries. Even if it has hardened, you can still remove it with moderate ease and restore the original appearance of the metal surface. We’ve been able to put you through the necessary steps and we wish you luck on your project.