Have you ever tried removing Flex Seal and found yourself making more of a mess? You’re not alone. Flex Seal is notorious for being difficult to remove, especially when it’s already on your hands. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Here’s how to remove Flex Seal from almost any surface, including hands, carpets, furniture, and metal. You can use either acetone, mineral spirits, toluene, soap, or degreaser. The solvent or cleaner depends on the material with Flex Seal overspray. Sometimes you’ll want to scrub and other times you’ll need to blot.
So while Flex Seal isn’t easy to remove, it’s actually a good thing. It was made to adhere. Its composition is what makes it last so long.
It’s worth taking a minute before application to put on gloves, lay a dropcloth, and take wind into account. These simple steps can simplify the whole process. And avoid much of the mess.
How to Remove Flex Seal
1. Skin and Hands: Remove Flex Seal
How to get Flex Seal off your skin? The best way to get Flex Seal off your skin is with hot water and soap.
- First, soak the affected area in warm water for a few minutes. This will help to loosen the sealant and make it easier to remove.
- Next, use a mild soap or cleanser to scrub the area gently. Ideally, use a bar of soap that contains cleansing and scrubbing agents to facilitate the process. Milled volcanic glass, coffee grounds, sea salt, or jojoba beads are the type of ingredients to look for.
- If the Flex Seal is still not coming off, you may want to look for coconut oil-based soap. Or maybe orange 10X essential oil which is effective for degreasing and cleansing.
- Finally, rinse with cool water and apply a moisturizer to soothe any dryness or irritation.
With these simple steps, you should be able to remove Flex Seal from your skin quickly.
Here’s a demo of using Grip Clean to remove Flex Seal from your hands.
Warning: Beware of Other Chemicals and Solvents
The warning label on the can (see below) warns: Dangerous Fumes Form When Mixed With Other Products. Do not mix with other chemicals.
Some articles suggest using a potent solvent, such as acetone or nail polish remover. Be careful with this. According to the label, this can generate dangerous fumes and unpredictable results. The risk is amplified if you’re in an enclosed space.
If you choose to try this, be sure to test the solvent on a small skin area first to ensure it won’t irritate. And be outside where there is good ventilation.
2. Wood with Flex Seal Overspray
- To remove Flex Seal from wood, you can use mineral spirits to remove it. This will take some effort – just scrub until it’s gone.
- It’s important to note that mineral spirits can remove the stain or lighten the color of the wood. If you’re concerned, test on an inconspicuous area.
- If you’re having trouble removing the Flex Seal from hard-to-reach places, like crevices or corners, you can use a toothbrush or cotton swab to help get the job done.
Remember to be careful not to damage the wood surface while working. You can easily remove Flex Seal from any wood surface with patience and elbow grease.
I’ve read of others having success with spraying WD-40 on the Flex Seal overspray. You can then take a damp cloth and wipe off the Flex Seal.
Note: You’ll want to avoid acetone (including some nail polish removers) because this can damage the wood.
3. Metal with Flex Seal Spray
Flex seal is an excellent product for sealing up cracks and leaks, but it can be a pain to remove if you need to make repairs later.
The process is pretty simple if you’re trying to remove Flex Seal from metal:
- (Optional) Use a putty knife or razor blade to scrape off as much of the sealant as possible. Depending on the metal texture, the amount of Flex Seal, and how much it has cured, you might go straight for the solvents in step 2.
- Apply a generous amount of mineral spirits or acetone to a cloth and scrub the remaining glue until it comes off. This will take some elbow grease.
- Rinse the area with water and dry it off.
- If you’re still having trouble removing all of the Flex Seal, you can try using a paint stripper or heat gun. Just be careful not to damage the metal surface.
As with all methods in this guide, test first. Be careful not to spill or drip the solvents on other, nearby materials (fabric, wood, etc).
4. Carpet with Flex Seal Overspray
It happens to everyone – you’re trying to seal a leaky pipe or patch up a hole in your boat, and you accidentally get Flex Seal to spray on your carpet. Don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world – but it can be a pain to remove.
Here are a few tips on how to remove Flex Seal from your carpet:
- (Optional) You might choose to try blotting the area with a dry cloth. This may absorb some of the Flex Seal and make removing it easier.
- You’ll want to use mineral spirits and a rag. Apply a small amount to a cloth and dab at the Flex Seal. You may need to repeat this several times.
- Remember to blot instead of scrubbing. Scrubbing can make the stain worse on carpet.
- If mineral oil doesn’t work, you might use something stronger, like toluene. You’ll need just a little to remove the sealant.
As with wood, you’ll want to avoid using acetone (and acetone-based products) on carpet. This can permanently change the color of the carpet.
What happens when it ends up on your clothes? Don’t panic! With a bit of elbow grease and mineral spirits, you can remove Flex Seal from the fabric. These steps apply to clothing, furniture, and curtains.
Here’s how to remove Flex Seal from most fabric.
- Avoid scraping and rubbing. Avoid acetone.
- Use mineral spirits and a clean rag.
- Instead of scrubbing, you’ll want to blot the stain.
- This will be more time-consuming than other stains. But to salvage your stained fabric, patience will be required.
With a little effort, you can remove Flex Seal from the material and make your clothes look good as new.
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6. Car Surface
Have you ever tried to remove Flex Seal from your car surface? If so, you know it can be a real pain. The good news is that a few simple tricks can make the process a lot easier.
- Grab a clean rag and add a little toluene.
- Rub the surface with vigor.
- Beware of toluene, it is basically a paint thinner. If you use too much, it could damage your paint job. It’s a good idea to test a little toluene on an inconspicuous area of your car, to ensure that it won’t damage your finish.
If you are unsure about using toluene on your car, you can try the following method. Note: I haven’t tried this, but have read of others who suggested this method.
- Hairdryer Heat Option: Remove Flex Seal with a hairdryer. Turn the hairdryer to a high setting and hold it close to the affected area. The heat will cause the Flex Seal to soften and peel away from the surface. You may need to repeat this process several times to remove all of the Flex Seal altogether.
- Risky Option: Some blogs recommend using a heat gun instead of a hairdryer. They say that you can point the gun at the Flex Seal and wait for it to soften and peel away. But I’m not sure this is a good idea. I think it might be overkill and might damage the car’s paint job.
Keep reading: Should You Cover Your RV in the Winter? 6 Pros/Cons
Now you know six ways to remove Flex Seal from several materials. How did it go for you? Have a tip or another method to share? I wold love to hear what’s working for you. Getting Flex Seal off can be a real pain, but if you use these tips, you should be able to get it removed from any surface.
- About the Author
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Bryan Haines is a co-founder and blogger on GudGear – and is working to make it the best resource for outdoor gear and guides.
He loves the outdoors and has hiked the Andes, kayaked the Galapagos, and biked and camped around Nova Scotia, Canada.
He is a travel blogger at Storyteller Travel and blogs about photography at Storyteller Tech. He is also co-founder of Storyteller Media, a company he started with his wife, Dena.