Many people who work with epoxy in some capacity will know the pain of getting epoxy stains on your clothes. Whether you’re a crafter who works with epoxy at home or a woodworker who uses epoxy sealants and adhesives, at some point, you’ll probably end up with a glob of the stuff on your clothing.
Do, how do you get epoxy out of clothes? There are two ways to remove epoxy from fabric: using heat to melt the epoxy or using a solvent to dissolve the epoxy. However, the fabric that you have may be damaged or stained if you don’t use the correct method to remove epoxy.
In this article, we’ll talk about various ways that you can remove epoxy from various types of fabrics.
What Removes Epoxy From Fabrics?
There are two things that can remove epoxy from fabric: heat or solvent.
The heat method is pretty self-explanatory since epoxy can melt under high heat, around 200°F. You can use the heat from a hair dryer to soften the epoxy and then gently peel it off your fabric.
However, the heat method doesn’t work with heat-sensitive fabrics like nylon or polyester, and some resins are heat-resistant. These are synthetic materials that can easily melt under high heat, and that’s something you don’t want. For sensitive fabrics, it’s best to use a solvent.
Solvents are chemical substances that can be used to dissolve difficult-to-remove stains and paint. Common solvents that you can find around the house are acetone (commonly known as nail polish remover), denatured alcohol, bleach, or even vinegar.
Again, not all of these solvents will work for every type of fabric. Acetone, for example, is a super harsh chemical substance that can easily poke holes in sensitive fabrics. Because of this, we suggest using an acetone-free nail polish remover when you want to remove epoxy from a sensitive fabric.
In any case, it’s best to go slow and control the heat or solvent you are applying to the fabric so that it doesn’t cause damage beyond repair to your fabric.
If you’re unsure whether the method will work, you can swatch test first on a similar piece of scrap fabric or on the wrong side of your clothes to see if the method will work for your type of fabric.
All of these removal methods also work best when the epoxy stain is still fresh because that’s when the epoxy is not yet completely cured, and you can easily remove it before the epoxy sets on your fabric.
Now that you know the basic principles let’s talk about how to remove epoxy from common types of fabrics below.
How To Remove Epoxy From Cotton & Linen
Cotton and linen are durable natural fabrics that can handle very high heat. If you accidentally get epoxy on your cotton or linen fabric, you can use a hair dryer to heat up the epoxy, which will soften it and make it easy to wipe off.
Use your hair dryer on a high heat setting, and heat up the epoxy. Make sure to keep the hair dryer at least 5 inches away from the fabric so that you don’t accidentally burn it.
If you don’t have a hair dryer, you can also place the stain in a pot with boiling water for a few seconds to soften it.
Make sure not to dip the entire garment in the pot, and don’t keep it inside the pot for too long. Cotton will shrink when it’s exposed to high heat, so you’ll want to keep the heat exposure to a minimum.
After a few minutes, check if the epoxy has become soft. Here, you can easily peel it off with your fingertips to remove it.
If the epoxy is stubborn to remove, you can use a cotton swab and a little bit of acetone-free nail polish remover to peel it off.
Handwash your garment with detergent and warm water. Gently rub the stained area to remove the rest of the epoxy stain.
After your garment is dried, all the stains should be completely gone.
How To Remove Epoxy From Synthetic Fabrics
Certain types of synthetic fabrics, like polyester or nylon, are sensitive to high heat and even some solvents.
To remove epoxy from synthetic fabrics, you’ll want to use an acetone-free nail polish remover. The main ingredient in acetone-free nail polish remover is denatured alcohol, so if you have denatured alcohol at home, you can use that as well.
You’ll want to be very careful using these solvents on fabrics because the solvent can still leave stains or damage the fabric if used in large quantities.
To remove epoxy from synthetic fabric, use a cotton swab to pick up a little bit of nail polish remover or denatured alcohol. Then, rub it over the stained area, and make sure to get underneath the epoxy where it’s attached to the fabric.
After the piece of epoxy is removed, you may see some leftover stains on your clothing. You can use a wet cloth to rub over the area to remove any epoxy residue.
Then, you can wash your garment to remove the remaining stains on your clothes and get rid of any traces of denatured alcohol.
How To Remove Epoxy From White Clothes
Chlorine bleach, which is commonly used to brighten white clothes, can also work to remove epoxy. However, this method will only work with white clothes since chlorine bleach can remove all the colors from your clothes as well.
Here’s how to remove epoxy from white clothes using chlorine bleach.
Step 1: Wear gloves
Bleach can burn your skin, so you’ll want to wear gloves and cover up any exposed skin if you are working with bleach.
Step 2: Mix the bleach solution
Mix the chlorine bleach in water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 3: Apply the bleach to the clothes
There are two ways to apply the bleach to your epoxy-stained clothes. If the stained area is small, you can dab a little bit of the solution over the stained area and gently rub it to remove the epoxy.
If the stained area is a bit bigger, you can soak your white clothing in the bleach solution for a few hours. After some time, the epoxy will start to dissolve, and then you can rub the area to remove any traces of epoxy.
Step 4: Rinse & wash
After the epoxy stain is completely removed from your clothes, you can rinse all the bleach from your clothes. Then, you’ll want to run your clothes through a wash cycle to make sure that any traces of bleach is completely removed before wearing your clothes.
How To Remove Epoxy From Sensitive Fabrics
Some sensitive fabrics like silk, wool, or rayon are quite picky when it comes to using heat or rayon. Fortunately, baking soda or vinegar can also be quite useful as solvents if you want to remove epoxy stains.
Here are two methods for removing epoxy from sensitive fabrics.
Method 1: Baking soda
Baking soda is a common stain-removal solution for most households, and you can definitely use baking soda to remove epoxy from clothes. However, baking soda does tend to bleach your clothes, so you should use this method for light-colored clothing only.
Step 1: Mix the baking soda solution
Mix two parts baking soda with one part of water to make a paste. You don’t want the baking soda to be dissolved completely in the water.
Step 2: Apply the solution
Use a small spoon or a cotton swab to pick up some of the paste and apply it over the epoxy stain area. Spread the paste around evenly until it covers the entire epoxy stain.
Then, you can wait for about half an hour for the baking soda to get to work!
Step 3: Rub
After about 30 minutes, the epoxy should become soft enough to be rubbed off of your clothing.
Step 4: Wash
Then, you can run your clothes through the wash to remove any traces of baking soda and epoxy residue, and all the stains should be completely gone.
Method 2: Vinegar
Vinegar is also a good and mild solvent that you can use on sensitive fabrics. It works similarly to denatured alcohol, without staining or damaging your fabric.
Keep in mind that this method only works when the epoxy is fresh and not completely set. Since vinegar is very mild, it won’t be strong enough to actually remove hardened or cured epoxy.
To remove fresh epoxy stain from fabric using vinegar, you can use a cotton swab to pick up some vinegar and rub it over the epoxy stain. You can go underneath the epoxy to focus on detaching it from the fabric.
After the epoxy is completely removed, you can run the fabric through the wash to wash away any traces of vinegar and epoxy stain, and the stain should be completely removed after the clothes are dry.
Bonus Method: Isopropyl Alcohol
One last way to remove resin from fabric is to use isopropyl alcohol. Watch the tutorial below from ALLCHECKOUT on YouTube.
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