Cleaning grout off hands

Adam Goldstone, technical consultant

When you call Prime Resins with a question or a problem, chances are good that you’ll talk with me. In addition to fielding calls during normal business hours, I am part of the 24/7 technical support team at Prime Resins.

After “I’ve got a crack…” one of the most popular calls I get is, “How do I get grout off my hands?”

Don’t worry, I won’t laugh at you. Well, probably not anyway. I, too, in my contracting days spent plenty of time trying to scrub chemical grout off just about any exposed surface, so I feel for you. This is a common problem.

Here is my advice.

Rule #1:  Cover. Always wear protective gloves, sleeves, headgear, and face shield or some sort of eye protection when you are injecting chemical grouts or epoxy. This is a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Cover everything you don’t want touched with chemical grout. We’ve heard some horror stories (hair, nostrils, truck bed…).

No matter how careful you are, at some point you will likely get grout on you. If that’s the case:

Rule #2:  Wash. If you ignored Rule #1 as most of us have done at some point, try to wash off the chemical grout or epoxy with soap and water immediately after it gets on you, before it cures and permanently bonds to your skin. “Permanently” in this case means a few days or a week.

Rule #3:  Scrub. If you ignored Rule #1 and Rule #2 was not an option, you’ve got some work ahead of you. Polyurethane is one of the best glues in the world. If it cures on your skin, it’s going to take a lot of work with soap and water to rub it off.

Use a good soap with pumice and warm water, and rub your hands together vigorously. The friction will remove much of the stain with a little elbow grease. Ultimately it might take a few days for you to completely rid yourself of the stain.

Or give me a call and we can talk about other possible options… 800-321-7212.

UPDATE: One of our tech services reps reports that the pink Brillo soap pads will take cured chemical grout off your hands reasonably well. DO NOT scrub with the pad, just gently suds and wipe. Good luck!

3 Responses to “Cleaning grout off hands”

  1. Hubbard says:

    Actually using soap is the wrong thing to do since both soap and grout are alkaline. Instead use acetone. It removes it immediately.

  2. Deb Hammacher says:

    From Adam:
    Thanks, Hubbard, for taking the time to read and comment. But using soap and water is not wrong. It works. While acetone will certainly work much faster, I cannot recommend anyone use a harsh solvent on their skin. Large quantities of acetone used on skin will have adverse health effects–I’ve seen it firsthand with a former colleague.

  3. Mary B says:

    Ladies, I solved my problem. I got some grout on my fingers and nails that dried. Scrubbing may work eventually but my skin is tender. I used nail polish remover. Some rubbing but no scrubbing.
    I never heard of nail polish remover killing anyone.

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