For years, Dave and I have used acetone to clean uncured or partially cured epoxy and sealants off our hands . . . and legs, faces, goggles, tools and whatever else we’ve managed to get it on. We’re careful, we mask things off, and we wear gloves, but we always seem to get “goop” somewhere we don’t want it.
But acetone is harsh, fairly flammable and relatively expensive.
Last summer, when I wrote about filling in our head thru-hulls, reader Helen Murdoch gave us a great tip.
Vinegar. Cheap white vinegar that I buy by the gallon.
Not only is it cheap, non-toxic and a lot less harsh than acetone, it’s also non-flammable. It may sting a cut slightly, or dry your skin to a minor extent, but it’s nowhere near as hard on you as acetone. And the “stink” is a lot less too.
But here’s the real winner: it works better.
We pour some on our hands or on a rag – just sloshing it on. In fact, I think that’s part of why it works better – since it’s cheap and non-toxic, we use more.
It’s now our number-one clean-up solvent for epoxy, silicone and sealants of any type. The only time we still use acetone is when we need a solvent that dries quickly and completely, as when prepping a surface to apply epoxy or a sealant.