How Do I Get Polyurethane Off of My Hands?

Always use chemical resistant gloves when working with polyurethane. If you do get some of the sticky substance on your hands, mineral spirits, followed by moisturizing lotion, baby oil, soap or peanut butter, can be used to remove it. Using acetone or paint thinner is a last resort.

  1. Apply mineral spirits

    Over an empty sink, in a ventilated area and away from open flame, carefully rub solvent over hands, or use a shop rag with a small amount of spirits to wipe your hands.

  2. Wash your hands

    Immediately wash your hands with soap and warm water. Try a dish soap, such as Dawn, to break down the sticky polyurethane. Rinse your hands and dry them.

  3. Try additional methods

    If you still have some sticky spots on your hands, try rubbing baby oil, moisturizing lotion or peanut butter onto them. Lather them as you would with soap. Rinse again with dish soap and warm water.

  4. Use lotion

    Once polyurethane is removed, your hands may be dried out from excessive washing. Apply some hand lotion to soften the skin.