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How to Destroy Fiberglass

Steve Smith

Fiberglass is made from glass fibers which are woven into a cloth called fleece. This fleece is then coated with resin which hardens as it dries, creating a solid, clear surface that is very hard, light and strong. It is applied over wood or shaped around molds.

Finerglass can be removed from a hull or surface.

Destroying fiberglass for removal or disposal requires special techniques due to its properties. There are several ways to go about the task, and the most effective involve the least amount of waste.

  1. Apply paint thinner to the surface of the fiberglass with a bare rag. Spread the paint thinner directly over the fiberglass and, if possible, in any cracks or crevices. Get the paint thinner between the fiberglass and wood to dissolve the resin if possible.

  2. Heat the fiberglass with a heat gun, blow torch or iron. Place the heat source close to the fiberglass and move it slowly across the surface. This heats the resin beneath the fiberglass. It breaks down, allowing the fiberglass to be stripped.

  3. Scrape the fiberglass away with a metal scraper to release the glass from the surface. Insert the scraper between the fiberglass and the surface. Chisel it away as you heat the resin beneath it. Pull the fiberglass sheet from the surface.

  4. Cut the fiberglass with a power jig saw or rotary tool into small strips. They should be small enough to bend and break by hand. Dispose of the fiberglass strips and pieces in a dumpster.


Most landfills allow for the disposal of fiberglass. However, check with your town landfill about their policies for fiberglass disposal before you throw it away.


Do not burn fiberglass or throw it into a furnace or incinerator. Fiberglass and resin contain harmful contaminants that will be released into the air when combusted.