Spray foam application can be tricky because if you don’t manage the spray gun’s stream properly, it can lead to a runny and uneven mess. When this happens, removing the foam from metal surfaces can be difficult.

But is there a way to remove spray from metal? How can you do it safely? Let’s find

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Spray Foam From Metal

You might want to remove the foam for a couple of reasons. Maybe you made a mistake during the application process, and the results were less than satisfactory.

It could also be that you’re trying to remove old foam insulation from a metal surface in preparation for new insulation. Whatever the reason, here’s how you can go about it.

1. Cut the Insulation

If spray foam has cured and hardened, it can be hard to remove. In this case, you’ll need to cut away as much insulation as possible with a scraper and then remove spray foam residue with acetone and 91% isopropyl acetone. 

Use a straightedge to score the foam along the line where you want to make the cut. It will help you get a clean, even line.

If you have to remove the spray foam insulation from a cavity, such as the areas around a door, rip it out using a chisel or a hammer. Then, use a shop vac to remove any debris from the cavity.

2. Apply Solvent

After removing as much of the spray foam as possible, it’s time to apply the solvent. You can use various solvents, such as acetone, alcohol, or petroleum jelly.

If you’re unsure which one to use, test the solvent on a small, inconspicuous area of the metal surface to see how it reacts.

Once you’ve selected the solvent, apply it to the foam using a cloth or a brush and let it sit for a few minutes.

3. Scrub the Area

Use a hard-bristles brush or a scrubber to scrub the area where the spray foam was applied. The goal is to remove any residue the solvent might have left behind.

4. Rinse the Area

Finally, rinse the area with clean water to remove any traces of the solvent. Let the area dry completely before applying new insulation.

How to Avoid Damage to Metal Structures When Removing Spray Foam?

The best way to do this is to use a solvent that won’t eat through the metal. Some solvents can be pretty harsh and should be used with caution.

Moreover, be careful when using a knife or a saw to remove the hardened foam. Don’t apply too much pressure, as you might end up damaging the metal surface.

How to Remove Freshly Applied Spray Foam From Metal?

If the spray foam is still wet, remove it using a putty knife or a scraper. Then, simply scrape off the foam and dispose of it properly.

You can also squirt some acetone on a cloth and use it to wipe off the foam. Acetone will dissolve the foam and make it easier to remove.


Evan has decades of experience as a project manager for large-scale commercial renovation home-building projects throughout the US. Currently, Evan runs a successful construction management company in Virginia.

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