Cleaning Uncured FOAM-iT

January, 2017

After making several foam structures with FOAM-iT, I found myself with a clean-up challenge – how to clean the uncured FOAM-iT from the measuring containers.  In my initial attempts, I was using small quantities and was able to use small, disposable measuring cups – easy cleanup.  However, for my larger foam pieces, I needed larger measuring containers.  These required cleanup since they were a bit expensive to be disposable.

I knew that there is a risk of foam creation if I attempt to wash out these containers in a sink.  The A and B parts could eventually find their way together inside my drain and cause a major problem.  So, common sense told me that there must be an alternate clean-up approach.

After searching the Internet and finding nothing, I called the Smooth-on Tech Support and asked them directly how to tackle this problem.  They recommended a 2 step process:

  1.  Use a paper towel to absorb as much stuff inside the measuring container as possible.  Throw the paper towels into the trash.
  2. Use Isopropyl alcahol (aka “rubbing alcahol”) as a cleaning agent and complete the clean up with more paper towels.  Throw the paper towels into the trash.

In my experience, Part B liquid was easily cleaned with just paper towels and needed nothing further.  I had allowed Part A liquid to harden inside the bottom, so it took several rounds of cleaning with the Isopropyl before it was clean enough for reuse.  Isopropyl was mild enough that it did not hurt my plastic measuring containers.

 

Lessons Learned:

  • Don’t delay cleanup.  The sooner you clean after use, the less effort.
  • Consider using something a bit stronger than Isopropyl like Mineral Spirits if needed
  • Be careful with the paper towels in the trashcan.  A & B touching together will still react and cause an exothermic reaction which will melt a plastic bag and could possibly start a fire.
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