I should have worn gloves but sadly I didn't. Now I have yellow stuff all over my hands. I got most of the stickiness to go away by using WD-40. Is there anything that will get this off without giving me chemical burns?

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    it will naturaly come off- your hands secrease an oil all the time. Even super glue will come off after a few day. Just keep on washing with laods of soap/ mechanics grit degrease / scrubbing(not to blead).. eventually it will come off.. next time wear gloves. – Piotr Kula Aug 16 '11 at 19:21
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    Great Stuff is a sneaky marketing name. Anyone who has had it go somewhere they didn't desire can attest to that, as you can now. Not only do you need gloves, you need somewhere to put the can where it can safely drip (or explode) between uses. – BMitch Aug 16 '11 at 19:30
  • @BMitch: Yep :) I have used it before but this was a messy period. I just found Great Stuff wipes that works to clean up Great Stuff messes. – Brian Aug 16 '11 at 19:35
  • We had some high school volunteers on site that helped with caulking and insulating. Someone had the bright idea to wipe off the excess Great Stuff on our newly painted wall. They weren't invited back. This was also the same group that thought that wearing a fuzzy black glove while wiping away excess caulk would keep their fingers from getting cold. Doh. – BMitch Aug 16 '11 at 20:16
  • Also Gunk covered hand(s) avoidance – Niall C. Aug 16 '11 at 21:48

27 Answers 27


Without looking, I think most of these adhesive foams dissolve with acetone. The first thing I'd try would be nail polish remover, or possibly Goof Off.

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    Polyurethane DOES NOT dissolve with acetone, ask me how I know.... – Matthew Oct 19 '12 at 23:18
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    Natural skin oils working underneath it cause it to start releasing in a day or two. No need to poison yourself trying to get it off. Urethane glue is pretty nasty stuff, foam isn't the only thing out there that's as enduring once it hits your skin. – Fiasco Labs Oct 20 '12 at 1:49
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    I've tried using acetone to clean off Great Stuff, and it works before it dries. After the foam dried, acetone fails. – Pigrew Nov 4 '12 at 6:10
  • Finger nail polish used to be sented acetone, don't know if it still is but my wife and daughters have used it for years. – Ed Beal Jul 4 '18 at 19:56

Once Great Stuff foam hardens, it can only be removed via abrasive means (such as sandpaper). Water causes it to harden. Before it hardens, it can be removed with acetone. Be careful with acetone because it toxic (You can find a copy of the acetone MSDS online for details on its safety).


Wash your hands with Olive Oil! My wife had Great Stuff all over her hands and it removed easily with Olive Oil and then a quick wash with Orange Go-Jo.

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    I tried olive oil right away (because I love olive oil), but it didn't get rid of that sticky feeling. Just an FYI – Steve Nov 27 '16 at 23:08
  • Sticky feeling is easy (you're almost there): use mineral spirits, then soap and water, dry hands. Repeat. Shouldn't take more than two or three times. – Mazura Jan 18 '19 at 9:40

had cured foam on my kitchen counter. tried many, many products and the ONLY thing that removed it ALL was "GOOF OFF" Professional Strength and a fine stiff bristle brush... nothing left! Dow website claims that nothing will remove the cured polyurethane(?) of Great Stuff, but this did!

  • On a counter (as long as it's not corian) Goof off is a great idea. I have not personally tried it with Polyurethane foam, I'm skeptical because I got it stuck on my hands once and just had to wait it out. However if anything can do it, it's probably good off. o-m-p xylene the active ingredient is good at turning any organic compound to goo. This includes your hands. I would avoid this one for getting it off skin. – mreff555 Jul 22 '19 at 4:19

I tried paint thinner, acetone, alcohol, mechanics hand scrub, WD-40, Goo Gone, hand sanitizer, dish soap, course hand wipes, makeup remover, etc. the only thing that got most of mine off after it had cured was soaking in hot water until hands softened, and then scrubbed with a pumice stone. It got most of it off!


Use 150 grit sand paper.

Wait till your hands are dry and sand it off. You'll go through a whole pack because skin wears down paper. It will not only remove Great Stuff but also the stains it leaves.

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    You sand all the way down to the skin? – Niall C. Jun 14 '13 at 22:37
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    Anything that is hard will sand nicely away from the skin. The sand-paper will not bite the skin as much because of its softness. Decades ago, women used sandpaper for hair removal. – Kaz Jun 14 '13 at 23:02

I was wearing flimsy gloves and somehow ended up with it on my hands anyway. What worked for me was a bit of Windex (I used that on my floor when some fell there and nothing else would clean it off), then a soapy handwash in room temperature water followed by a blob (really rubbed in well into my fingers and hands) of my Anti-bacterial Deep Cleansing Hand Sanitizer from Bath & Body Works. It worked! My hands are dry as dust, but I got it off. I did all of this within 15 minutes of it happening so I don't know the results if it sets for a while.


I did the same thing I do in the wintertime to relieve my dry skin. I slathered petroleum jelly (or Albolene facial makeup remover) on my hands and then put on white cotton gloves. I left them on for several hours (or you could sleep in them). The Great Stuff's stickiness was gone.


Olive oil works nicely to remove it.


Olive, pecan or other cooking oil followed with an orange based cleaner/degreaser and the scrubbing side of a dish sponge worked for me. Remember to wear gloves.


This is a harsh product but it works better than most: Lacquer thinner. You can find it at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. Use in a well ventilated area as this is highly flammable.


Yes, I knew better and it happened to me. If it has not cured WD-40 will work, which is what caused the problem for me. I got some on my hands took it off with WD-40, which gave me confidence I could get it off.

After it cures nothing works. It is no miracle, but it does speed the process up. If it is only a little, it will work well. Lotion, Lotion, Lotion, so much lotion your hands turn to prunes, like I said it is no miracle, but does speed it up.


After my mother picked pieces of her skin off, used olive oil method with commercial degresser, and acetone, hand sanitizer(bath and body works Stress relief HAHAHAHAH), rubbing alcohol, gasoline, and plain soap and water. She accidently came upon orange glo furniture 2 in 1 polish.....it took it off. Like a miracle, still have to pick up goof off but did well.


After foam has dried on hands, hydrate hands in warm to hot water for approximately three to five minutes (simpler done while bathing in tub) use a cheap (dollar store) disposal razor and of course carefully shave (soap not necessary) the foam off--take note this is done by way of feel as in shaving one's face.


Old question I know, but I use the Great Stuff Pro commercial foam gun that takes the inverted cartridge cans. They sell a cleaner for the guns that you mount on the gun just like the foam and spray the cleaner through until it runs clear. The cleaner also comes with a spray cap that you can spray down the outside of the gun. Well.....this stuff literally melts the foam away. It is amazing, and works on hands or anything else. Yes, it is a harsh chemical, but just wash your hands immediately after and put on some lotion. I've done this many times and never had even the slightest bad reaction. https://www.amazon.com/GREAT-STUFF-Dispensing-Cleaner-12oz/dp/B0002YWRG4

  • The MSDS says it's just acetone (and propane). – Mazura Oct 6 '16 at 3:03

Naturally, like everybody else, I was not going to get any on my hands...but ended up with it on my fingers and palms on both hands. I tried various solvents to no avail. I was taking a shower, and I saw this gizmo (looks like a cheese grater) that I think my wife uses on corns and calluses on her feet. I lathered up and started scraping it off. Most of it was removed and no one would notice that I was an idiot.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom Nov 28 '19 at 16:31

A lot of mechanics use Orange-based hand cleaners. Home depot has one:

Heavy Duty Hand Cleaner

Link to Homedepot.com


It says "use gloves" on the can for a reason, as most of us has found out the hard way I think :)

Don't use this on your hands, but I've had luck getting it off a linoleum/vinyl kitchen floor by using tile grout remover (a paste that comes in a tube) and a stiff plastic brush.


Unfortunately I am the type of personality that cant seem to remember that if you don't put the toilet seat up you'll probably get P on the toilet seat. Point being I have gotten the stuff on my skin, sometimes in copious amounts,probably 15 times in my life. Nothing has worked well except for the last few times: semi course sandpaper and soap and water worked surprisingly better compared to solvents. Your probably filling in drywall so you probably have sandpaper around. Note: when you begin to sand your skin, you're done! you have gotten most of it off.


I removed the dry great stuff by applying lots of hand soap and a wet Scotch Green Pad. Might have to rinse your hands and reapply soap few times. I tried different solvents M.E.K. acetone and others, Last 10 years I used noting but Green Pad and soap.


Get a stanley knife,,,,,,, i know this sounds dumb but hear me out!!! When the glue, foam, anything polyuretane will harden.... so if and ONLY if it has dried then scrape it off with a stanley knife... at about 45° angle and it will start cracking off like when you scrape paint off metal.. keep going as desired but NEVER USE JUST A BLADE........ YOU WILL SERIOUSLY INJURE YOURSELF


When I first tried to get it off, I tried dawn and water but it didn't help...so I used a kleenex to stick to my skin so it would at least stop being sticky....after about 30 minutes, it was easy to peel off the parts with the tissue- like a thick bandaid.

However, the tissue didnt stick to ALL the gunk, so as advised on this site, I used 100% pure Olive oil directly on a green scrubby coarse dish scrubby thingie, and, although it took time and lots of scrub scrubbing, it took off most of the great stuff residue gunk and all of the icky sticky feel the great stuff left behind. Finally, i used a hefty helping of Dawn to get the oil off. Best part? My skin was never rubbed raw or red! There is still a bit of residue left on my hands, and my hands are super dry, but lotion will fix that right up!

Conclusion: 1st, use kleenex so it sticks to the sticky parts and it will create a bandaid like substance that is easy to peel off in 30 minutes. 2nd, wait those 30 minutes, and then have fun peeling the kleenex parts off while reminiscing about middle school. 3rd, use 100% olive oil on a scrubby pad and scrub scrub scrub. 4th, use Dawn to wash off the oil. Finally, apply your go to hand lotion until your hands feel moisturized and renewed!


I managed to get alot of great stuff on my hands. This is what works with out chemicals. First, it was fully cured on my hands, dried with I minutes. I soaked and scrubbed hands in warm soapy water using regular hand soap. Got some of it off but it was on thick. Ran to store bought a pumice stone, two sided, course AND medium. Went home, soaked hands again and started to use pumice stone. Got some more off. Let hands dry a few minutes, repeating process several times and almost completely removed great stuff from hand and fingers. Moisturize after or hands will dry up.


Lotion. Like 6 pumps of lotion in my hands. Rub them together, let it sit for an hour or so, take a shower, and it'll peel right off.


I found out the hard way. Had it over both hands; wd40 and other products didn't work. I use a Plastic blade and some home made soap to get it off. It took two days but I removed it. Will use gloves if I touch it again.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. I've edited your post to make it clearer. Please take our tour so you'll know how better to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom May 24 '19 at 18:34

Get it off best you can right away . They wait 24 hrs and with cold water and a sturdy rag scrub it off . Worked for me

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom Jul 22 '19 at 11:22

I tried everything on here and finally got out my orbital sander with some fine sandpaper and went at it. It took a while but it took all the stuff off. As long as you keep moving your fingers around there are no burns or cuts.

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    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Sounds a bit risky... – Daniel Griscom Aug 20 '18 at 1:49

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