How to get polyurethane off hands (2023 Research)

Do you want to know how to get polyurethane off hands? We have researched the processes for you. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to get polyurethane off your hands.

How to get polyurethane off hands

When it comes to woodworking and finishing DIY tasks, polyurethane can be a very useful material, but it’s simple to get it adhered to your palms. It must be removed as soon as possible because if you leave it on for too long, it could damage your epidermis.

Regrettably, using normal soap may not be sufficient to eliminate polyurethane from your palms. What can you do to remove polyurethane from your hands?

This article will cover a variety of topics, including how to remove polyurethane from palms and what materials you can use. Let’s get going!

What is Polyurethane?

An artificial glue made from hydrocarbons is called polyurethane. However, it can also be used for other things like soundproofing, sealants, and glue. It is most frequently used as a timber finish.

According to Wikipedia, it refers to a class of polymers composed of organic units joined by carbamate (urethane) links.

There are various types of polyurethane, such as lacquer, oil, and water-based versions. The sort of polyurethane that is most frequently used for indoor tasks is water-based. The more durable oil-based polyurethane is usually used for exterior tasks. Although it can occasionally be sprayed on, polyurethane is usually spread with a brush.

To avoid extended contact, it’s crucial to apply polyurethane while wearing safety gear such as closed-toe shoes and protective eyewear.

How to get polyurethane off hands (How to remove water-based Polyurethane)

Warm water and detergent are all that is needed to dissolve water-based polyurethane. That is all you need to do to get rid of this kind of polyurethane.

The methods to get clear of water-based polyurethane are as follows:

  • Your palms should be covered in dish detergent and a small amount of water.
  • To remove the material, lather up with soap and use your fingertips.
  • If necessary, warm water can be used to soak your palms in order to dissolve the polyurethane bindings.
  • With warm water, remove the polyurethane from your palms.
  • Dry your hands, remove any tacky polyurethane, and then apply moisturizer.

Any kind of detergent will do, but cleaning soap, like Dawn, is usually more efficient than regular hand soap. Water-based polyurethane is much simpler to remove than its oil-based counterpart.

How to get polyurethane off hands (How to Remove Oil-Based Polyurethane)

The water-based polyurethane version is less complex than the oil-based variety. To get rid of it, you might need mineral spirits or diluted alcohol.

To get rid of the oil-based substance, you will need the following:

  • Mineral spirits (or an alternative)
  • Hand moisturizer
  • Warm water
  • Cloth
  • Soap

Gather your supplies and arrange them in an area with good ventilation. You can start once you have them.

Using the following methods, you can get oil-based polyurethane off your hands:

  • Pick up mineral spirits
  • Apply a small amount of the mineral spirits to your palms
  • Rinsing with warm water
  • If required, repeat
  • Wash once more using dishwashing liquid and water.

Polyurethane can be removed with mineral spirits very successfully, but it can also be dangerous. If you want to attempt something gentler to get rid of the harsh chemicals on your hands than mineral spirits, there are a number of options.

Other Options/Mineral Spirits for Cleaning Your Hands off Polyurethane

Here are other options on how to get polyurethane off your hands.

If you need to remove polyurethane with an oil basis from your epidermis, there are a lot of options to mineral spirits. Although mineral spirits are frequently the most efficient, these can also be less abrasive and occasionally more cheap alternatives. The finest substitutes for mineral spirits that you can use to get polyurethane off your palms are listed below:

1. Peanut Butter

Although peanut butter probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of eliminating a substance like polyurethane, it is an excellent product that can do the job. It is less harsh on the epidermis than mineral spirits because it does not contain the same toxins.

Peanut butter is a better option because it is healthier and might already be in your kitchen pantry. It’s a great way to improve your health without spending any extra money on mineral spirits.

2. Nail Polish Remover

Although nail polish remover is a little stronger than peanut butter and white vinegar for removing polyurethane from palms, it’s still a good idea to avoid mineral spirits.

You might already have nail polish remover in your house if you’re a lady or you live with other women. Because nail polish remover has a potent smell, make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated area. To minimize your exposure to the toxins, you can also place it on a breathable mask.

3. White Vinegar

White vinegar, which you might already have in your pantry, is another great choice for removing polyurethane from your hands. The oil-based polyurethane is loosened up and easily washed away as a result. Vinegar is an efficient and natural alternative to mineral spirits, despite its faint odor.

Polyurethane can be easily scrubbed away with some white vinegar. It won’t break the bank to pick some up at the supermarket if you run out. The leftover vinegar can be put to good use in the kitchen, on salads, and around the house.

4. Rubbing Alcohol

If you want to remove polyurethane from your palms in a more natural way, alcohol is a great solution. Although it is harsher than other materials, it is still healthier for your skin than mineral spirits.

To remove the polyurethane from your palms, wipe them with denatured or rubbing alcohol. When dealing with any type of booze, it can be beneficial to wear a mask to prevent breathing excessive amounts of fumes.

5. Paint Thinner

Another great option for removing polyurethane from palms is paint thinner. It helps to dislodge the polyurethane from your flesh so you can wash it off with ease later. Paint thinner, on the other hand, should only be used as a last option because it is more potent than the other items on this list.

When using paint thinner, make sure the room is well-aired. To prevent breathing in too many toxins, put on a respirator.

6. Vegetable/Baby Oil

For removing polyurethane from palms, vegetable oil or infant oil are effective options. You might already have this soft substance in your house. After sitting on top for a short while, it softens the polyurethane and makes it easy to remove from your palms.

A fantastic option is baby oil because it is mild and won’t damage your skin. It’s a reasonably priced substance that generally works.

7. Soy-Based Polyurethane Stripper

For cleaning polyurethane, there are two types of strippers available: conventional and soy-based. This alternative is bioactive, making it soft and pleasant on the palms. Despite the fact that soy-based polyurethane stripper is mild on the hands, it is still important to cleanse your hands after using it.

Tips for Removing Polyurethane

There are a few suggestions to bear in mind when removing polyurethane:

  • If you’re stopping polyurethane from getting on your hands or removing it from somewhere else, wear gloves at all times.
  • Spills of polyurethane should be cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent stains.
  • To avoid spills, store it in a receptacle that is tightly sealed.
  • Keep mineral spirits on hand at all times to handle issues as soon as they arise.

How to get polyurethane off hands: FAQs & Answers

Is polyurethane harmful to the skin?

Polyurethane can be harmful to the skin if it comes into prolonged contact or exposure. It can cause skin irritation, dryness, and allergic reactions. It is important to wear protective gloves and clothing when handling polyurethane and to wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with it.

Can I use acetone to remove polyurethane from my hands?

Acetone is a strong solvent that can be effective in removing polyurethane from your hands, but it can also be harsh on the skin and may cause irritation or dryness. It is recommended to try gentler methods first before using acetone.

What should I do if I accidentally ingest polyurethane?

Ingesting polyurethane can be harmful and potentially toxic. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you accidentally ingest polyurethane or any other hazardous substance.


Fortunately, there are numerous options available based on the type of polyurethane used if you’re wondering how to get polyurethane off your hands. Water and liquid dish detergent are all that is needed to remove water-based polyurethane. If you want to get oil-based polyurethane off of your palms, you’ll need to use peanut butter, mineral spirits, or even rubbing alcohol.

That is it on how to get polyurethane off hands. We hope you have learned something. Let us know in the comment section below.



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