Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Favorite Stripper is Now Soy

In our continuing quest to spruce up Humphrey House in advance of the Green Home Tour, we're finally getting around to attaching the trim in the first-floor bathroom. While we had removed a lot of adhesive off the original porcelain tiles last spring, there was a slight haze in spaces (noticeably, in the grout). So we took one last stab at it with a new product, and I can happily say, I'll never use another stripper again.

Last month at the Illinois Renewable Energy Fair, we ran into a vendor selling Soy-based industrial cleaning products. One in particular that caught my eye was a Soy-based stripper called Soy-Gel, manufactured in Bloomington, IL. Knowing we had a front door we may want to strip the paint off of, we purchased a liter for $20. Not only is it environmentally safe, but it has very low VOC's when compared to other stripping products, meaning it won't burn a hole in your nose when working with it.

After we purchased it, we decided to paint and not strip the front door. So when i was staring at the bathroom floor one day, I realized that may be a perfect place to try out the soy stripper. I brushed a layer of the gel stuff on the entire floor and let it sit for a few hours (Label said: The longer it remains on surface, the better). After a few hours, I couldn't hold it anymore (and neither could the in-laws who were staying with us), and I went to wipe up the jelly stripper.

As soon as I started rubbing a paper towel across the floor, the gel turned yellow, indicating the gel had lifted up residual adhesive glue. And let me tell you, there was a lot of it. Apparently much more than I had thought. It must have been hiding in the grout! In any case, the floor cleaned up very nicely and the old tiles don't look nearly as aged as they did before. Best of all, there was no lingering smell. Once I washed the floor, any traces were eliminated.

I think this is one of my new favorite products, and I still have half a liter left to use! Hmm.. what to strip, what to strip...

(finished floor)


Gene said...

Wow! That's impressive. Good stuff to know about.

jay said...

I tried the soy stripper on our dining room trim to see how it would go through all the layers of paint (and popcorn and glitter) down to the original wood. I left it on overnight, and turns out it left things pretty gooey. Not good enough to take it all the way down all over, but another coating would probably do the trick on that trim. Of course, that project is a long way off, but good to know.

Sandy said...

Very impressive!

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