Cleaning Epoxy Resin Off Application Tools and Surfaces…avoiding a “Sticky Wicket”

Sticky wicket - a Chiefly British Cricket term referring to the playing area between the wickets when it is damp and hence sticky and slow; also used to define a difficult or awkward situation - collinsdictionary.com

The sport of Cricket is the British version of baseball as we Americans tend to think of it. And also where we’ve adopted (or at least heard of), the expression ‘sticky wicket’ which has come to mean that some type of quagmire is upon us. Like dealing with cleaning up epoxy resin perhaps…

Molecular polymers like epoxy resin are designed to create an adhesive that bonds securely to the material to which it is being applied – making it a superior coating for bar and table tops, and in art and marine applications. By its very nature, however, epoxy can be hard to clean and remove. But there are ways…

Cleaning Epoxy Resin from Application Tools

For best results, epoxy should be cleaned from tools before it completely sets, and may be (mostly) wiped off with paper towels at this stage. For a more thorough cleaning, wipe down the tools using a soft cloth lightly dampened with rubbing alcohol (which dissolves epoxy resin) – then wash tools (and hands) with hot water and hand soap.

Cleaning Epoxy Resin on Surfaces

Epoxy may be cleaned off of surfaces by either softening the resin through heat, dissolving through solvents, or chipping, sanding or buffing away. Cleaning and dissolving/removing epoxy resin are two different processes however– and require different tools and procedures. The Epoxy Resin may be cleaned by buffing vigorously with a soft towel, or by using soap and water.

Removing Epoxy Resin

Once the epoxy has hardened, it either needs to be dissolved by solvents, softened by heat to remove – or sanded away as is often done in marine and other large surface applications. In either case, care has to be taken to avoid skin contact with solvents. Plus, epoxy residue and leftover solvents and materials used during the removal process must be disposed of properly. You’ll find more guidelines in ‘8 Ways to Remove Epoxy Adhesive.’

Epoxy Resin is the epitome of a ‘sticky wicket.’ But if one uses the right tools and procedures – it can be a home run (if you’ll pardon the mixed sports metaphor).