How To Remove Epoxy Resin From Wood, Concrete, and More

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Epoxy is high on the list of the most used adhesives in the woodworking industry, and you’ve probably accidentally spilled it, or you’ve noticed an excessive amount after it has cured already. 

So, save yourself from elbow grease, here are the ways how to remove epoxy.  

Why Remove Epoxy?

Regardless of how careful you are in completing your project, mishaps such as accidentally spilling adhesives are inevitable. But why would you want to remove epoxy in the first place?

One is to replace poor-grade adhesive with a higher-grade epoxy, and another is removing cured epoxy simply because it got stuck in the wrong place.  You’ll want to remove cured epoxy right away to avoid making an unnecessary stain on your project or where it got stuck too. 

How to Safely Eliminate Epoxy

Knowing the correct removal method varies depending on the material affected. Applying the right solvent is vital to avoid further damage to the stained surface. Here, we’ll discuss the perfect pairs and chemical adhesive remover to remove epoxy.  

Tools & Materials Needed

tools and materials

You’ll need all the tools and materials if you want to remove cured or hardened epoxy in a flash. Also, prepare a well-ventilated area to ensure you won’t inhale highly flammable fumes. 

What to Do to Remove Epoxy from Skin

Remove epoxy resin from your hands or skin before it hardens, or it will be more difficult to remove. It’s also recommended to wear gloves. 

wear gloves

The best way to clean such a surface is to use a vinegar-soaked soft cloth and gently rub on the wet areas until the adhesive is soft to peel off or until the epoxy softens. 

Acetone and Citrus-based waterless hand cleaners can also be great alternatives. Also, always wash your hands or part of your skin with warm water after you’ve removed the epoxy. 

Steps to Remove Epoxy from Glass or Plastics

Epoxy resins are water resistant and efficient in fixing broken glass or plastic, but so will it be tedious to remove. To remove such, soak a paper towel in rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol until the epoxy loosens from the surfaces. 

Stubborn epoxies will need stronger solvents like paint thinners and a scraper tool. 

Removing Epoxy from Wood or Concrete

Epoxy is one of the most common wood finishes used on wood and concrete, however, it can get into places it’s not supposed to. To fix this problem, soak the porous materials with acetone to peel epoxy easier. 


If you’re not fond of acetone, heat is another alternative to soften the epoxy. Still, you must be more careful and wear leather gloves to prevent burns since you’ll have to set the temperature to 200 degrees if you use this method. 

Removing Epoxy from Metal & Hard Surfaces

To clean epoxy resin from metal or non-porous surfaces, opt for an aerosol can of spray refrigerant and always do it in a well-ventilated area. This removal method freezes the epoxy making it brittle and easier to scrape from the metal surface. 

How to Get Rid of Epoxy from Fabrics

Turns out, you can remove epoxy on fabric without completely ruining the surface. Forget acetone and paint thinner, as the safest way to peel epoxy is to apply heat, such as dipping it into boiling water. 

Remove Epoxy Resin Only

Opt for a more aggressive solvent, specifically MIBK (Methyl Isobutyl Ketone) [1] based, when removing epoxy resin alone. Don’t pour any solvent directly on your skin. Instead, dampen a paper towel to wipe the spot before washing it with soapy water. 

Remove Epoxy Hardener Only

While it’s easier to remove, the epoxy hardener is extremely flammable and hazardous, and you shouldn’t dispose of such, especially in a liquid state. Some solvents won’t work. It’s better to stick with water and dish soap instead. 

mixing soap and water

Remove Mixed Epoxy Resin & Hardener

Don’t let epoxy cure on the fabric, or it will cause a hole in your clothes. If this can’t be avoided, place a piece of plywood on the other side of the stained area and dab waterless skin cleanser to make it easier to scrape the surface with a coin.

Removing Uncured Epoxy Off the Surfaces

It’s easier to remove uncured epoxy because it’s more convenient wiping wet paint than remove one that has dried already. Grab a paper towel and wipe the unwanted epoxy, until you’ve covered the whole area. 

This may be an easy job with smooth surfaces but not with absorbent surfaces or textured ones. It will take a little more effort since the epoxy will snip onto the corners and layers. 

Mild Solvent

Vinegar is among the mild solvents you can use to brush off stubborn epoxy residue. The only setback is that you’ll apply more of this solution since it’s not the strongest solvent. This only works best if you’re cleaning residue off small projects only. 

white vinegar

Strong Solvents

There are instances where you’ll want a stronger solvent, either due to heavy epoxy or simply because you just want to remove it quickly. More commonly, stronger solvents are offered in concentrates so the user can adjust the concentration they want on their solution. 

Removing Cured Epoxy Off the Surfaces

The methods to remove cured epoxy resin are challenging, so if you accidentally get adhesive on areas it shouldn’t be and you missed it, here are a couple of fixes you can make. 

By Sanding or Grinding

The best way to remove hard epoxy is by grinding or sanding it. Similar to how you prepare for bonding, sanding epoxy resin is a typical process, so this shouldn’t be difficult for you. 

By Prying or Chipping

For epoxy cured accidentally on smooth or dirty surfaces, gently pry or chip it off to remove the adhesive. Typically, smooth surfaces such as plastics and glass don’t need sanding as it adheres easily, but it’s better than letting unnecessary adhesive cure on them. 

removing epoxy

By Heating

Heat can easily soften epoxy. Once you’ve set the temperature above 180°F, start blowing its steam on the area, and once softened, slowly scrape the epoxy off the material. Just be careful to avoid burns on your hand, and wear leather gloves. 

More about epoxy here: 


Once you know how to remove epoxy, you’ll feel confident and at ease to tackle your next DIY project. 

Knowing how to handle unexpected mishaps is a skill you’d want to have, and you can refer to this guide packed with practical tips and useful techniques to keep you well-prepared for your wood projects.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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