If you’ve ever worked with home improvement in any capacity, as a professional or a DIY enthusiast, you’ve encountered spills and stains. However, spray foam is a unique material- what happens when it gets on your clothes?
Removing spray foam from your clothes is challenging, but applying time and effort can fix it easily. However, try to remove it as soon as possible, as removing spray foam from clothes is far easier when the material is wet.
Can you simply wipe off the spray foam, or does it require more intense treatment? What happens when the spray foam dries?
Read on to learn how to save your clothes from spray foam stains.
What You Will Need?
Removing spray foam from your clothes may be easier than you think. However, it’s not something you can do with your bare hands.
Regardless of which method you choose to remove spray foam from your clothes, you will need materials and tools to help you accomplish your task.
These items may vary depending on which method you use, but as a whole, the complete list is as follows:
- Chemical-resistant gloves
- Acetone (Nail Polish Remover)
- A protective mask or respirator
- Mineral spirits
- Polyurethane stripper
- A nail file
- A putty knife
Most of these materials are items that you should have if you were working with spray foam in the first place. You can easily find the rest at your local home improvement store or supermarket.
What Materials Can You Remove Spray Foam From?
In many cases, different fabrics have different requirements for cleaning and care. For example, you should not wash a fine silk shirt the same way you would wash your favorite pair of denim jeans.
Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about finding different techniques for every form of fabric.
The method you will read about here works for all of the most common forms of fabric, including the following:
How Can You Remove Spray Foam From Your Clothes?
Now that you have your materials, you must enact the process of removing spray foam.
Thankfully, this process is less complex than it may seem as long as you follow the proper safety guidelines.
Prevent Spray Foam Stains From Initially Occurring
The best way to remove spray foam from your clothes is to prevent it from coming into contact with you in the first place.
When you install spray foam, make sure that you wear your protective equipment with old, damageable clothes underneath.
If you keep yourself covered in the first place, you won’t have to worry about spray foam solidifying on your clothes.
However, if your clothes come into contact with spray foam, you must act fast.
Method 1. Remove Spray Foam While Wet
The best way to remove spray foam from your clothes, regardless of the fabric, is to do so before the spray foam dries.
The earlier that you can remove the spray foam from your clothes, the higher the chances are that you can restore your clothing to its previous state.
When spray foam expands and dries, it can embed itself in your clothing and wrap around fibers, making it all but impossible to remove entirely without damaging your clothes.
When spray foam comes into contact with your clothing, take the clothes off immediately and prepare to remove the spray foam.
1. Apply Safety Measures
First, you must apply the proper safety precautions. If you are working with spray foam, you are likely already wearing most of the protective equipment that you will need.
The proper protective equipment, or PPE, for applying spray foam includes a mask or respirator, protective goggles, and gloves.
Ideally, even if you are already wearing all of these safety measures, you should change your gloves. Your gloves may have some liquid spray foam or residue that can come into contact with your clothing as you clean them.
Additionally, you should move to a particularly well-ventilated area, as you will work with more noxious chemicals than before.
2. Wipe Excess Foam Off
One of the most significant steps you can take is to remove most of the spray foam. To do this, use an old rag or torn-up T-shirt, as you will have to discard the article afterward.
Paper towels may work as well. However, paper towels may not be as effective as their cloth counterparts.
Whichever material you elect to use, make sure that you clean off as much material as possible from your clothing. Ideally, no you should not have any visible material remaining so that you can work on removing any stains.
3. Apply Acetone
Next, you should apply acetone to any affected areas. You may use the same rag as earlier for this step as long as the rag has any clean areas.
Dip a clean part of your rag into acetone and firmly dab it into your affected areas.
Acetone is highly effective at removing spray foam from clothes and skin alike, so if any spray foam has come into contact with your body, you can use this material to remove it before it solidifies.
4. Apply Stain Remover And Wash
Your final step is to apply stain removal to the affected area and put your clothes into the washer and dryer for a cycle.
The instructions for stain remover may vary depending on your preferred brand, so ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best possible results.
Typically, you should apply your preferred stain remover to the back side of your stain and allow it to dry. Lightly rinse the affected area before you place it in the washing machine.
Method 2. Polyurethane Stripper
If your spray foam has already dried, you can utilize a polyurethane stripper to help remove it. Apply the stripper to the back of the stain, as polyurethane can dissolve spray foam at the point of contact.
Once the acetone has done its job, utilize your putty knife and nail file to remove as much spray foam as possible. Ensure that you use these tools with the utmost caution, or else you may tear your clothes.
Method 3. Furniture Refinishers
One final, but more extreme, method of spray foam removal is to use a furniture refinisher. The first step in this is to use a putty knife, nail file, or real knife to remove as much spray foam as possible- preferably until only a stain remains.
Next, find a clean rag. Pour your furniture refinisher over the rag and apply it to the stain. Allow the furniture refinisher to sit for a moment before placing it into the washing machine for a typical cycle, and your clothes will look as good as new.
What Can You Do If Foam Is Embedded In The Fibers?
If you have some stubborn foam that you can’t quite remove from the fibers of your clothing, you might not be out of luck.
Try finding a dye that matches the color of your clothes. If you dye the foam and fabric, there will be a minimal, if any, visible difference on your clothes.