How to remove polyurethane from wood

Removing PU foam - 11 remedies against assembly foam

Construction foam is practical and easy to use. The mass is supplied in compact spray bottles and only gains volume when it comes into contact with the air before it hardens very quickly. What is an advantage for the assembly is disadvantageous if the foam has to be removed. If you can't do this right away, it will cost more to remove.

Effective removal of construction foam

The versatility of window foam means that it is used very often. It is primarily used to seal windows and doors. After installation there are joints and leaks. The foam has a thick consistency when sprayed on. It hardens immediately in the air. It is not always possible to spray the foam exactly into the joints and then remove the remains immediately. The overflowing foam is only removed after it has hardened. Frame foam also often has to be removed during renovation work. Either way, it will be easier if you aim to get rid of it while the foam is still soft. However, since you do not have much time to do this, it is important for you to know how to remove the cured foam. In any case, you should arrange for the foam to be removed as soon as possible during the construction work.

Good to know: Window foam has a soft consistency immediately after use. Removal is easiest at this point.

Be careful when working with assembly foam

In principle, you can remove the foam even if it has already hardened completely. Even while working with the assembly foam, it is possible to limit the later effort for the removal through caution and attentiveness. Also note that the construction foam cannot only spread in the joints. It may also have to be removed from the skin or clothing because it stubbornly sticks to them. For this reason, it is important that you do not wear quality clothing while working. Opt for work clothes or older clothes that you don't wear as often. The stubborn foam is very difficult to remove from clothing. The same applies to the skin, which is why it is recommended that you wear gloves and long clothing while working. This is especially true if you are not very well versed in working with the foam. Careful work ensures that you do not have as much effort later with a possible removal and that you can finish your measures more quickly.

Good to know: PU foam can only be removed from clothing and skin with great effort. Therefore, work with the necessary caution.

Ways to get rid of the window foam

You will not always be able to prevent the stubborn frame foam from sticking in a place where it is not wanted. If removal is necessary, you have several options. You can opt for mechanical removal or you can resort to a chemical remover. However, there are home remedies that are very effective when it comes to getting rid of PU foam. Which means you choose depends on the size of the foam to be removed, but also on your personal preferences. For example, chemical removal is very effective, but sometimes you may not want to use such detergents at all. Home remedies and the mechanical variant require more effort, depending on the consistency of the foam. Ultimately, however, you will achieve a successful result by all means.

Tip: Sometimes it may be necessary to try several methods. This depends on the soiled surface, but also on the consistency and degree of hardening of the construction foam.

Mechanical removal of the construction foam

The mechanical removal of frame foam conceals the manual scraping of the soiled surfaces. You will need a spatula or a very sharp knife that you can use to loosen the foam from the surface. During mechanical removal, it is important that the surface on which the foam has settled is not damaged. Removing plastic surfaces is easier with this method than removing it from wood, because the surface of the natural material is softer and can be scratched more easily. On the other hand, however, you have the option of processing the wood after the construction foam has been mechanically removed. This can be achieved with a new coat of paint or a coat of paint. Plastic windows and doors, on the other hand, can retain scratches as residues.
Thats how it works:

Use the following tools:
  • spatula
  • razor blade
  • box cutter
  • Ceran field scraper
  • Wire brush
  • Steel wool
For larger amounts of construction foam, take the carpet knife and use it to remove the foam. This is very easy thanks to the airy consistency of the foam. After that, there will usually be a residue that adheres firmly to the surface. How you remove this depends on the type of surface and the amount of foam. The wire bust and steel wool can do a good job here, for example when it comes to uneven window joints. Use a spatula or a sharp razor blade on the frame.

How to use a PU foam remover

A chemical window foam remover has the advantage of being simple and quite problem-free to use. However, you need to be ready to use a chemical agent. In addition, you should ensure that the mounting foam remover does not attack the surface. With the classic surfaces made of wood or plastic, from which the windows are usually made, there is usually no danger, as the remover is tailored to these materials. You can get remover for the window foam in hardware stores and building materials stores. When buying, make sure that the area to be processed, which is indicated on the bottle, is sufficient for your needs and, if necessary, add a small amount to be on the safe side. You can get the foam remover from various manufacturers. The individual products are very similar in use.

Thats how it works:
First start with the mechanical removal of the construction foam as described. Try to remove as much of the foam as possible this way. You should only use the chemical cleaner on the residue that stubbornly sticks to the surface.

1. Spray the cleaner onto the areas where the construction foam has stuck after mechanical removal.

2. Allow about 30 minutes to take effect.

3. The residues are softened and can be easily removed with a spatula or wooden spatula.

4. Clean the surface in the traditional way with water and a mild detergent.

If the first measure was unsuccessful, repeat the steps described one or two more times. If you are still unsuccessful, take another measure.

Home remedies for removing frame foam

As an alternative to mechanical and chemical cleaning, you can use home remedies. The effectiveness is surprisingly good, but ultimately depends on the consistency of the foam.
You can use these home remedies to remove window foam:
  • nail polish remover
  • Isopropanol
  • Mix the same amount of coffee powder and detergent together (skin-friendly)
If you made use of isopropanol, ask at the pharmacy. With home remedies, it is important that the surface to which the construction foam adheres is not damaged by the remedies. This is especially true when using nail polish remover or isopropropanol. Therefore, before using it, test how the home remedy behaves on the surface in an inconspicuous place. If there are no concerns, you can start removing. Proceed in the same way as when using the chemical PU foam remover and spray or dab the solution onto the solid construction foam. Wait up to ten minutes when using nail polish remover or isopropanol. When using a mixture of coffee powder and washing-up liquid, the waiting time is around 30 minutes. After that, use a wire brush to remove the residue.

Good to know: Sometimes it helps to use two of the home remedies in a row if the residue is particularly stubborn.

Remove assembly foam from skin and clothing

While working with the frame foam, despite the greatest care, it can happen that residues remain on clothing or on the skin. If you've been wearing old clothes or a work combination and you can't get rid of it, it doesn't matter. However, you should remove the residue from the skin as soon as possible.

Elimination of clothes
Not all fabrics can be removed. It is therefore an advantage if you wear clothes made of a smooth fabric while working with the window foam. The mounting foam can be removed with nail polish remover or a razor blade.

Danger: Detergents have no effect and cannot detach the PU foam from the fibers of the clothing.

Removal from the skin
Use a cream with a very high fat content or a washing paste. Apply the cream or paste to the skin as quickly as possible so that the foam can dissolve before the skin becomes too irritated. Let the active ingredient soak into the skin for some time. Any remaining residue can be removed with a soft brush.

Tip: Wear work gloves or rubber gloves when working with the construction foam, and make sure the gloves cover your forearm.