How to Remove Epoxy Adhesives from Clothes

A cartridge of epoxy adhesive ready for use.
What You'll Need
A piece of cardboard
A tub
Warm water
Soap or detergent
Stain remover
De-bonding solution

The strength of epoxy adhesive is what makes it good to use for heavy-duty projects, but accidents happen. Unfortunately, these adhesives are exceptionally difficult to remove if they stick to your clothes or any other fabric. Since epoxy instantly adheres to woven fibers, wiping it away quickly won't be enough to save your clothes, and it will still manage to leave a stain. This stain cannot simply be wiped off either. Removing this adhesive will be a cumbersome job, but following the steps outlined below should make it a little smoother.

Step 1 - Place the Cloth on Cardboard

A stack of cardboard boxes

This should always be the first step when dealing with an epoxy adhesive spill accident. Using a piece of cardboard or a flattened box will ensure that the affected fabric will not accidentally stick to any other object or surface on which it is placed. After placing the clothing, wait for the epoxy adhesive to dry. Otherwise, any object you use for removing the adhesive will stick.

Step 2 - Soak the Fabric in Warm Water

In a tub, mix soap or a detergent in warm water. Submerge the clothing in this tub as soon as the glue is dry. Do not allow the fabric to dry once it is in the tub as it will make the stain more difficult for you to remove.

A red bucket of soapy water

The warm soapy water will make the epoxy adhesive soft, so while the cloth is soaking, take a knife and try to scrape off as much of the glue as possible. There will still be some residue left behind.

Step 3 - Use Acetate

Acetate will help dissolve the epoxy adhesive. Be very careful while using it, however, since it may leave its own stains on the fabric. Only take the affected portion of the cloth and damped it in the acetate solution. Then, dab at the epoxy adhesive until it dissolves. Rub the fabric from both the sides, because if it is not thin enough for the acetate to soak through, the adhesive might not come off completely.

Step 4 - Wash the Cloth

Use a pre-wash stain remover on the area where the epoxy bonded with the cloth. Blot the area afterward with a clean rag and fresh water until you are sure that the stain of the acetate has been removed. Do not let the fabric dry out if the stain is still apparent as it will make it nearly impossible for you to remove. Keep working it with the acetate and stain remover until it is gone.

Step 5 - Let the Fabric Dry

Clothes on a clothesline

Once the stain has been completely removed, hang the cloth and let it air dry. Then, take a good look at the area where the adhesive spilled to ensure that you are satisfied with your work.

Step 6 – Keep a De-bonding Solution Handy

Always keep a de-bonding solution on hand while working with epoxy adhesives. A de-bonding solution will not let the epoxy bond instantly if you accidentally get it on your shirt or pants. This in turn will make it easier for you to remove any glue or stains from future accidents.