As the name suggests, contact cement is a type of adhesive, which is mainly used to bond uneven contacts.  Such surfaces include the wooden counter tops. For the adhesive to be effective, it must be applied on both surfaces, allowed to dry slightly before pressing together the surfaces. Within minutes, the contact cement forms a very strong bond, making it ideal for those surfaces that are impossible to clamp. However, this advantage is coincidentally its main disadvantage especially if it happens to fall on unintended surface.

removing contact cement on plastics

How to remove Contact Cement

There are several ways to remove the contact cement, all depending on the type of surface it falls on. The most common surfaces that use this adhesive for bonding are pipes, cloths, wooden floors, concrete and dry walls.

Removing contact cement from cloth

Removing the contact cement from cloth is a little tricky since it not only adheres to the material, but also creates a stain as well. Trying to remove the adhesive when still dry can cause scraping or pulling, which damages the cloth. Softening the adhesive first is necessary. The following simple steps can be followed:

  • Start by removing the dry loose adhesive, taking care not to pull out threads.
  • Mix mineral oil to dry cleaning solvent in the ratio of 1:8 respectively, and apply the solution to paper towels for soaking the contact cement on the fabric
  • The dry cleaning solvent loosens the adhesive facilitating its transfer to the paper towels.
  • After about 15 minutes, remove and replace the paper towels after they get saturated.
  • When the adhesive has been sufficiently removed, use the bleach to remove any remaining stains on the fabric. Cool water is recommended for rinsing, and take care not to leave the stain for more than 2 minutes.
  • Diluted white vinegar is the last thing that you ought to apply to stop the bleaching action. From then on, you can wash the cloth normally.

Note that, the same process, with slight changes, can be used to remove contact cement on fabrics, carpets or curtains.

ways on how to remove contact cement

Removing Contact Cement on hard surfaces

Apart from cloths and carpets, the other surfaces are classified as hard surfaces. They include walls, concrete and pipes. The process of removing undesirable contact cement on these surfaces is more or less the same, with just slight adjustments to fit the immediate context.

  • Start by heating the contact cement with a heat gun to soften the adhesive, and use a damp clothing to wipe away as much glue as possible
  • Using a clean leave, saturate it with the contact cement solvent, and place it over remaining adhesive on the hard surface.
  • While pressing, let the rag stay in that position for a couple of minutes to soften the remaining glue.
  • Once you remove the rag, use a knife to remove the contact cement, but making sure that you maintain level to avoid digging into the surface.
  • Finally, use sudsy water to remove the remnants, and use clean water to rinse the surface.

As an addition, once you know that you have made a mistake, remove the contact cement immediately. The longer you stay, the harder it becomes to remove. When using chemicals such as acetone, make sure that you are well protected as these solutions are highly flammable.