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Accidental discovery - using Windex to remove foamboard paper
  • I was striping some Dollar Tree foam today.   I was using a small spray bottle of water to moisten the paper, then I would wait a short time for the water to loosen the paper a bit then peel the paper.   I became distracted and grabbed  a nearby Windex ( the blue glass cleaner ) bottle, and sprayed a piece of foam.  The paper basically fell off.  Amazed, I tried it again, same result.   Peeling now goes much faster for me.   I do rinse the foam to make sure that no potential residue is left to interfere with construction, but I doubt that this is actually necessary.


  • Hey! I'll try that too. My guess is that the effect is about the same as the 70% alcohol I use.

    Carlos
  • I conducted a test yesterday. I cut three equal-sized pieces of foamboard. I sprayed one with Windex, the other with plain tap water, and the third with my 70% rubbing alcohol.

    After about five minutes, the Windex paper came off easily. Maybe too easily. It was beginning to fall apart. I had to remove a lot of tiny pieces instead of one big piece of paper.

    The alcohol-soaked paper was quick to loosen and came off in big pieces. From the peeling point of view, this was the winner.

    I had to wait a little longer before the water-soaked paper came off. But it came off easily and in mostly large pieces.

    I noticed a couple of problems. I had to go outside to spray the Windex. Then I had to clean the tabletop where I had put down the piece of foamboard while it soaked. Then I had to rinse it off afterwards. In other words, it was a lot of extra work.

    After I was all done, I noticed another difference. The Windex foam and the plain paper foam pieces were wet. Remember, I had to use water to rinse the Windex off. The alcohol piece was dry very quickly.

    In my mind, the alcohol was the clear winner. Quick and easy.

    Carlos
  • A very nice experiment with useful info.
  • Thanks! I'm always conducting small experiments like this one. They were too small to write an article about them, but the forums are perfect for information like this.

    Carlos
  • As a frequent builder using $Tree foam I also have done much experimentation.
    The best method I have found is soaking the paper with water and letting it dry completely.  The paper literally falls off the board without leaving any traces that is was ever there.  Letting the paper dry permits it to regain it's strength so it comes off in one clean sheet leaving no residue on the foam.
  • Wow. I had not thought of doing that. I'm going to go and try it out right now. My hunch is that it will take longer than the alcohol method I use now.

    Carlos
  • I conducted a test. I soaked a medium-sized piece of Dollar Tree foamboard under a faucet. I put it aside and came back an hour later. It was still not completely dry, so I waited a few more hours. The paper on one side peeled off in one large piece. Very nice!

    But the paper on the other side ran into problems. As I tried to pull it off, it kept tearing. In the end, I had to give up. There are still pieces of paper that I could not remove. I plan to soak it in alcohol to get them off.

    Carlos

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