BY Glenn House Download PDF version of this article
Cleaning tools used for applying epoxy often involves solvents that have strong odors and are flammable. A WEST SYSTEM® user suggested an alternative that does not have these problems: a solution of citrus-based hand cleaner and water. This solution will remove uncured epoxy from tools and can remove epoxy that has started to gel if the tools are allowed to soak for a few hours.
Mix 1 part citrus-based hand cleaner and 2 parts water in a container. Using hot water and liquid hand cleaner (as opposed to cream hand cleaners) will make mixing easier. Keep the tools you are working with in the solution. When you need a tool, rinse it with water and dry with paper towels. Placing a lid on the container will reduce evaporation and allow the solution to be used for many projects. This solution can also be used to remove uncured epoxy from clothing without damaging synthetic fibers.
Although the hand cleaner and water are not harmful, wear gloves to protect your skin from contact with epoxy that dissolve into the solution. The used solution should be properly disposed of according to local regulations.