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How to Remove Epoxy from Skin: 3 effective solutions

June 2024 | Dallin Leach

Getting resin on your skin or hands can be a sticky situation, but there's no need to panic. Here are three approaches to safely remove resin from your skin, along with detailed preventive measures to help prevent it in the future.

Removing Epoxy Resin and Paint from Skin Quickly

It’s crucial to know how to remove epoxy from your skin before it dries. No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen, so having a 3 step process is guaranteed to help if you find yourself in an one of those accidents.

What could happen if I get Epoxy on my skin?

If you get epoxy on your skin, you may experience contact dermatitis or skin inflammation. This is not pleasant, but knowing how to remove epoxy can prevent more serious issues. You will want to remove the epoxy before it cures, as uncured epoxy is much easier to remove.

Crucial Warning:

Refrain from using vinegar or solvent-based cleaners. These substances can break down the resin, leading to a higher risk of your skin absorbing the harmful chemicals instead of removing them. When resin is dissolved by these cleaners, it becomes more likely to penetrate the skin, which can result in significant skin irritation, allergic reactions, or other health issues. Solvent-based cleaners, in particular, contain harsh chemicals that can strip the natural oils from your skin, causing dryness and increasing the permeability of your skin to harmful substances. To ensure your safety and health, always opt for gentler cleaning methods that effectively remove resin without compromising your skin's integrity.

Top 3 Approaches for Removing Epoxy Resin from Skin:

Approach #1: Soap and Warm Water

One of the simplest and most accessible ways to remove resin is by using soap and warm water. Here’s a detailed guide:
  1. Preparation: Wet your hands with warm water. Warm water is more effective as it helps soften the resin, making it easier to remove.
  2. Apply Soap: Generously apply liquid soap to the affected areas. If you have a bar of soap, lather it up in your hands first.
  3. Scrub Gently: Rub your hands together to create a lather, paying extra attention to the areas with resin. If the resin is not coming off easily, use a rag or cloth to gently scrub the resin. The cloth will provide mild abrasion to help lift the resin from your skin.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse your hands with warm water until all the soap and resin are gone. Repeat the process if necessary.
  5. Dry and Moisturize: Pat your hands dry with a clean towel and apply a moisturizing lotion to prevent dryness.
Benefits and Considerations:
  • Availability: Soap and water are readily available in most households, making this method highly convenient.
  • Gentleness: This approach is gentle on the skin, reducing the risk of irritation.
  • Effectiveness: Works well for resin that hasn't fully cured, but might require multiple attempts if the resin has started to harden.
Tip: Ensure you dispose of the rag or cloth properly after use to avoid spreading the resin.

Approach #2: Orange Hand Cleaner

If soap and water aren’t sufficient, an orange hand cleaner is a powerful alternative. These cleaners are citrus-based, solvent-free, and designed specifically for removing tough substances like resin from skin.
  1. Apply the Cleaner: Squeeze a generous amount of orange hand cleaner (such as Fast Orange or Gojo Natural Orange) onto the affected areas.
  2. Rub and Scrub: Gently rub the cleaner into the resin-covered skin, using your hands or a soft brush to work it in.
  3. Rinse: Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
  4. Repeat if Needed: If some resin remains, repeat the process until your skin is clean.
  5. Dry and Moisturize: Dry your hands and apply a moisturizing lotion.

Benefits and Considerations:

  • Effectiveness: Highly effective at removing resin, even if it has started to cure.
  • Skin Safety: Designed to be safe on skin, reducing the risk of chemical exposure.
  • Availability: Can be found in home improvement stores, auto parts retailers, and online.
Where to Buy: You can find orange hand cleaners at home improvement stores, auto parts retailers like Advance Auto Parts and AutoZone, and various online shops.

Approach #3: DIY Sugar Scrub

A sugar scrub is a gentler alternative to a salt scrub and can be just as effective in removing resin.
  • 4 tablespoons sugar 
  • 6 tablespoons carrier oil (e.g., olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil)
    1. Mix Ingredients: Stir the sugar and oil together in a small bowl until well combined.
    2. Apply the Scrub: Rub the mixture onto the resin-affected areas in circular motions for 15-40 seconds to break apart the epoxy.
    3. Rinse and Inspect: Rinse thoroughly with warm water and examine your skin for any remaining resin. Repeat the process if needed.
  • Final Rinse:Use soap and water to remove any additional oily substance.
  1. Dry and Moisturize: Dry your hands and apply a moisturizing lotion.

Benefits and Considerations:

  • Gentleness: Less abrasive than salt, making it suitable for more sensitive skin.
  • Effectiveness: Works well for removing resin while being gentle on the skin.
  • Accessibility: Uses common household ingredients.
Avoid Abrasive Solvents to Remove Epoxy Paint from Skin
Many products used to remove epoxy paint from surfaces, such as methylene chloride stripper or acetone, carry health risks and should be avoided on skin. Similarly, paint thinner and denatured alcohol are effective but not safe for skin contact. Stick with soap and water to remove epoxy paint from your skin.

Substances to Avoid:
Certain substances should be avoided when removing resin from your skin as they can be harmful:
  • Solvent-based Cleaners: These can dissolve the resin, increasing the risk of skin absorption of harmful chemicals.
  • Vinegar and Vinegar-based Cleaners: These can also cause the resin to be absorbed rather than removed.
  • Hand Sanitizers and Disinfectant Wipes: These are not effective against resin and can irritate your skin.
  • Other Solvents: Avoid using mineral spirits, paint thinner, and similar substances as they are harsh and unsafe for skin contact.

How to Prevent Epoxy Resin Contact 

The best way to manage resin exposure is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some detailed preventive measures:
  • Wear Gloves: Use butyl or nitrile gloves, which are resistant to chemicals like epoxy resin. While latex gloves can be used in a pinch, they offer less protection and should not be used for extended periods.
  • Wear Long Sleeves: Protect your arms from spills and splashes by wearing a thick, long-sleeve shirt. Choose clothing that you don’t mind discarding if it gets contaminated with resin.
  • Wear an Apron: An apron can shield both your skin and clothing from resin splashes, much like it does for chefs working with hot substances.
  • Organize Your Workspace: Prepare your workspace before starting your project. Keep all necessary items, including resin components, within reach but away from areas where they might be knocked over.

Being Prepared for Resin Accidents

Accidents can happen, so it’s crucial to be prepared:
  • Keep Supplies Handy: Always have a bottle of orange hand cleaner, soap, and access to running water nearby.
  • Safe Storage: Store your epoxy safely when not in use to prevent accidental spills.
  • Emergency Contacts: Keep the phone number of your local poison control center handy in case of emergencies. Some people may have allergic reactions to resin, and professional health advice is essential in such situations.
Need Assistance?
For further questions or advice on handling resin, feel free to contact us via phone or email. During business hours, you can also chat online with a resin specialist by clicking the Help button at the bottom-right of your screen.
Stay safe and enjoy your projects!
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