How to Remove Construction Adhesive From an Acrylic Tub Surround

Larry Simmons

Installing an acrylic tub surround in your bathroom requires the use of constructive adhesive to bond the acrylic to the wallboard for a permanent hold. Once this heavy-duty glue sets in place, it can be a difficult substance to remove.

Use a razor blade to remove the construction adhesive marring your bathtub surface.

Though difficult, removal is possible with a combination of methods designed to remove the glue in layers, all without damaging the acrylic surface in the process.


Test all chemicals on an unobtrusive portion of the tub surround before use to make certain the chemicals won’t cause any damage to the acrylic. Wear chemical-resistant work gloves during the removal process to avoid damaging your hands. Work only in a well-ventilated area to prevent lung damage from fumes.

  1. Scrape the dried layer of construction adhesive from the surface of the acrylic tub surround using a razor blade. Place the blade onto the acrylic at the edge of the adhesive tilted to a 45-degree angle. Push the blade along the surface of the tub surround so the blade passes beneath the adhesive, cutting it from the acrylic surface without cutting into the acrylic in the process. Remove the adhesive from the razor blade often by wiping the blade on a piece of cloth. Change blades when the one in use begins to dull.

  2. Dip a sponge into rubbing alcohol and use it to swab difficult-to-remove patches of the adhesive. Allow the alcohol to dwell for about five minutes on the adhesive to loosen the bond between the adhesive and the tub surround. Scrape away the loose adhesive using the razor blade.

  3. Remove any adhesive residue left behind after scraping with the razor blade with mineral spirits. Fill a spray bottle with the spirits and spray the surface of the tub surround until the adhesive is visibly wet. Allow the mineral spirits to sit on the tub surround for 15 minutes and then wipe the surface with a clean rag to remove any trace of the adhesive.

  4. Rinse away any remaining mineral spirits with a damp sponge, and allow the tub surround to dry.