How to remove PU Foam – Big Wipes can help

One of the greatest advantage of PU foam, its adherence to both vertical and horizontal surfaces, also means that it is very difficult to remove from the skin and surfaces.  Below we look at the properties and functions of PU foam and how you can use Big Wipes cleaning wipes to help remove any spillages.

How to remove PU foam

What are the advantages of this product?

The first construction foams appeared on building sites in the early 1970s.  PU foam is not only versatile, it also has many names.  You may know it as:

Construction foam, Filling foam, Window foam, Insulating foam, Frame foam, PU in-situ foam, PUR foam, Polyurethane Foam, Assembly foam, Site foam, Well foam, Winter foam, Fire protection foam, Adapter foam, Pistol foam, PU adhesive foam, PUFs.

PU Foam

The most notable benefit of PU foam is its excellent thermal insulation properties. Polyurethane foam is also resistant to relatively high loads, as well as fungi and mould.  Thus, it is undoubtedly an ideal material for any construction and renovation works, such as thermal and acoustic insulation, and — in the case of flexible polyurethane foam — fitting and sealing.

PU foam adheres to almost every surface, even skin!  The high adhesive quality of assembly foams is one of its greatest benefits for permanent insulation of windows and doors or sealing connections.  However, the effect you want on your building is something you need to avoid on your skin!  Even very fresh foam is very sticky and can only be removed from the skin mechanically or with chemicals.

Big Wipes remove PU Foam PU Foam removal

How do I remove uncured PU Foam from hands

The most important piece of advice: the quicker the better! PU foam is stubborn and very difficult to remove.  Construction foam is easiest to remove when it is fresh and has not yet hardened.

If possible, stop working immediately and wipe the fresh PU foam off carefully with Big Wipes cleaning wipes.  The red top Heavy-Duty wipes are the best for this, as they have an abrasive side, which serves to scrub away the foam.  Capture the foam in the wipe to ensure that you do not smear the foam.  Furthermore, the Big Wipes formula contains 4 of the best skin conditioners, aloe vera, vitamin E, glycerine and lanolin.  These all help to nourish and moisturise your skin – something that acetone or other chemical products fail to do.

Big Wipes Heavy Duty
Important! Protect skin and eyes

Like all chemical construction products, you should always avoid contact with skin or eyes and wear protective clothing, such as gloves.  Also, always ensure that the work area is well ventilated.

How do I remove uncured PU Foam from surfaces

CAUTION!  Before removing PU from surfaces, you should always test on a concealed place first to check if the fluid is compatible with the surface.  This is the only way for you to decide what bothers you more: possible discolouration, possible scratches or PU foam residues?

As above, use the scrub side of the Heavy-Duty wipe to rub off the foam and capture the residue in the wipe.  We have had a lot of positive feedback on the successful removal from clothes, carpets and other textiles.

David Hawkins Demo

What to do when the PU Foam has cured?

Strictly speaking, PU foam does not dry, it hardens.  Once the construction foam has hardened, it will be more difficult to remove.  You can try to remove it mechanically or with chemical agents.

Simply cut off large pieces of residues

Cut off as much of the residual material as possible first.  The less construction foam on the surface, the easier it is to remove.  Please be careful when cutting and ensure you do not slip and damage the surface or harm yourself.  The best tools for this work are razors, carpet knives, cutters or any other sharp blades suitable fine work or for using carefully on surfaces.

Mechanical removal of fine PU foam residues

The more critical work steps are conducted once the larger residues have been removed. Primarily, it depends on the surface.

Soft and sensitive surfaces can be treated carefully with a fine steel wool or fine sandpaper. You could also try Heavy-Duty Big Wipes, the Big Wipes Power Spray or a combination thereof.  For example, spray the foam residue with the Big Wipes Power Spray and then use the rough side of the Heavy-Duty wipe (or even a household sponge) to rub off and remove the PU foam residues carefully.

Moderately hard surfaces for instance, plastic windows or window sills, can be sanded with a fine wire brush.  Very hard surfaces can also be treated with a Ceran hob scraper.

PU Foam on the job
Chemical removal of construction foam

An alternative to the mechanical methods for the removal of hardened residues is to treat the stains with a special PU foam remover that removes them chemically. They are available from DIY stores and special retailers. PU foam removers contain solvents and other synthetic substances that can release the construction foam.   However, before you use chemical agents, you should also remove larger residues with a sharp blade first, as described above. Only then should you use a PU remover.

Foam in use

The PU-Schaum centre provide four practical examples for removing construction foam, including from plastic window frames and wooden window frames.  Follow the link here.


PU-Schaum Center, PU Foam Insulates. Seals. Bonds