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Getting construction adhesive off hands?

kcooke's picture

I've been building some torsion box catwalks for access to mechanicals in an institutional ceiling space.  Steel studs, fire resistant plywood, and PL Polyurethane Construction Adhesive.  Lovely suff.  Anyone know how to get it off your hands?  and arms? and clothes (they're a lost cause).  PL Customer service won't say (we live in a litigeous society) and their referral to the poison control people came up with "Rub it with baby oil.  It will take about two hours."  Sheesh.

(post #81186, reply #1 of 41)

Once dry yer toast!!!

Abrasive rubbing!!!!

For skin??? TIME!!!

"No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it's only a question of degree." - W.C. Fields

(post #81186, reply #2 of 41)


(post #81186, reply #4 of 41)


Last time I had it all over my hands, I waited a couple of days then in a hot shower, I took a pummis stone to them. Got most of it off that way.

Better to use gloves next time ;-)

"No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it's only a question of degree." - W.C. Fields

(post #81186, reply #29 of 41)

WD-40 will take most adhesive off of anything... I had 2 idiot trim carpenters leave it all over a vinyl floor in a condo and i didn't find it until about 3 mos. later. It took a little work but it all came up.

(post #81186, reply #3 of 41)

peel, rinse, repeat as necessary...good luck

Changing the carbon footprint of America one home at a time.

(post #81186, reply #5 of 41)

If it's PL Premium and you can catch it before it totally sets up on your skin, a rag with gasoline on it will do the trick.  After that you have let nature take over.  We humans molt our skin on our hands every three days or so.

(post #81186, reply #6 of 41)

What about us non-humans on BT?



when you are up to yur knees in gators, make gatorade     

(post #81186, reply #7 of 41)

Moooo-OINK OINK-Bark-winny-squeeeel!!!!!

"No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it's only a question of degree." - W.C. Fields

(post #81186, reply #10 of 41)

remember, personal attacks will get ya booted...



when you are up to yur knees in gators, make gatorade     

(post #81186, reply #8 of 41)

Lava stone.


    Trust in God, but row away from the rocks.


    Small wheel turn by the fire and rod, big wheel turn by the grace of god.

(post #81186, reply #9 of 41)

Tetra-hydrazine, same stuff that puddles under an SR-71 Blackbird.

Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

"Success is not spontaneous combustion, you have to set yourself on Fire"  

(post #81186, reply #11 of 41)

We use sonneborne adhesive quite a bit at work and I've found
orange wipes or big orange made by zep work great before it cures.

(post #81186, reply #12 of 41)

Thanks, all.  I had on those thin rubber gloves, but they tear really fast.  Then I leaned against the catwalk with my (hairy) arm, and everything went south fast.  Next time I'll just shrink-wrap myself.

(post #81186, reply #19 of 41)

"Next time I'll just shrink-wrap myself."


Well, there's an idea for Valentines Day...


(post #81186, reply #20 of 41)

If you walk into a psychiatrist's office wearing nothing but shrink-wrap, don't be surprised if he says "I can clearly see you're nuts".

(post #81186, reply #21 of 41)

I second the wd 40 suggestion. That will soften and remove lots of stuff.

I might try mineral oil soak too. Put some in gloves and sleep.

Mainly, I used to let the stuff dry and peel. I've worn gloves for the last 15 years and take care of my hands. They don't hurt any more and they are soft as a babys skin. Mineral oil does wonders for them.

Bob's next test date: 12/10/07

(post #81186, reply #13 of 41)


    Try WD40. I know it sounds wierd but I got some lovely ar goop out of my hair with it when I thought nothing shiort of a complete hair cut would be successful..

(post #81186, reply #14 of 41)

Orange peel, from an actual orange.  Squeeze it and rub it around and get the juices going.  Rub that rind like a rag.  Not sure if it works for construction adhesive, but it has unbelievable mojo.

(post #81186, reply #15 of 41)

Never use it before the weekend. Three days to remove on average. Tried hand cleaner once and just ended up with an even coating over my hands. Three days later, all OK.


(post #81186, reply #16 of 41)

a combo of beer and vodka.

You have to mix them in the correct amounts to forget about the glue on your hands and not throw up.  It is very tricky.

(post #81186, reply #17 of 41)

Ive heard baby oil works

(post #81186, reply #18 of 41)

I've been using the same PL Poly glue in the quart size guns...

Use Acetone BEFORE it dries....

  After it drys, get a lotion or super moistureizer and rub it in....and let it set during the nights while you sleep.  The oil gets into the skin and weakens the glue bond so when you shower, you can rub your hands together to get the stuff rolling up into little twigs.....

   It usually takes 3 to 5 days for all of it to be gone...


(post #81186, reply #22 of 41)

I have good luck using Skin so Soft. It works on lots of things and leaves your hands in good condition also. Really good for tar.

(post #81186, reply #23 of 41)

When wet mineral spirts or I third the WD40 which might be easier you can keep a small can in your tool belt or pocket. Up grade the gloves to a quality beyond standard latex just be sure the gloves do not react to the adhesive nytril maybe.
Long sleave shirt for those hairy arms?


(post #81186, reply #24 of 41)

Find a place that supplies Great Stuff gun foam.  Their yellow can of gun foam cleaner is basicly a spray can of acetone.  Very convienient.

Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA

Also a CRX fanatic!

If your hair looks funny, it's because God likes to scratch his nuts.  You nut, you.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!


(post #81186, reply #25 of 41)

Acetone is not good for your skin. I would avoid that at all costs.

Bob's next test date: 12/10/07

(post #81186, reply #26 of 41)


    It's terrible on skin but it's worse on your liver!  It's quickly absorbed by your skin and gets to your liver and please remember you can't live without your liver.

   On the other hand women have been using acetone based fingernail polish remover forever and few women die of liver disease..

 I suspect that occasional use isn't that harmfull.  but I'm not a doctor. 

(post #81186, reply #27 of 41)

If it's still wet these work great, though they ain't cheap. (German) EZ Wipes

If it's tacked up but still gummy, and helpful even if dry (Also German).........Cupran Special. It Works.

These are the finest hand cleaners I have ever found and I keep both in the truck always. It helps if you have to meet a client and can shake their hand without sticking to it!!!!!Or scratching them if its dry. If I was going to pick aone it would be Stoko Cupran Special. It works on everytnig from lacquer to epoxy to gorilla glue and I have even used it on carpet.


(post #81186, reply #28 of 41)

In all my years, I've never had carpet stuck to my hands.



when you are up to yur knees in gators, make gatorade     

(post #81186, reply #30 of 41)

Once it has cured you're SOL. Most polyurethane adhesives are undergoing a chemical reaction to become something that is not very soluble. That's part of what makes a good multi-purpose glue. You might soften it a bit with mineral spirits or acetone (both of which are relatively low exposure hazards), but you're still basically scrubbing the solid off.

The old mechanic's trick might help: rub your hands and arms down real good with a moisturizing lotion before you start work. The lotion keeps the glue from adhering to your skin quite as well. This is the basis of the "Gloves in a Bottle" stuff. You could get the same effect with bacon grease or bear fat if that's your thing... The hair on your arms, though, that's the real killer.

I use "butyl" rubber gloves when I'm working with nasty stuff in the lab or pilot plant. Unlike the latex or nitrile gloves, they're more tear resistant. What's nice is that they're reusable, and the thin ones (13mil) aren't quite as awkward to work with.