Can I Use Acetone to Remove Adhesive From an Acrylic Shower?
If you’ve wondered if it’s possible for a product to work too well, ask a builder or homeowner who has Super Glue stuck in an unwanted place, and he will tell you for sure. When adhesives get just a little too sticky in just the wrong place, it’s time to reach for the solvents. Acetone is a safe solvent to use on acrylic showers, but it will not dissolve all types of adhesive.
Acetone is the primary solvent suggested for use on strong adhesives such as Super Glue or Krazy Glue. It will work on simple adhesives used for everyday activities such as gluing a soap dish in place in your shower or hanging decorations on the acrylic surface. Saturate the adhesive with acetone, generally on a sponge, rag or brush. Let the acetone work for about five minutes, and then scrape with a scrub brush or a plastic scraper to remove the loosened adhesive. Repeat a few times to get all of the adhesive off.
What It Won't Remove
There are certain types of adhesive that acetone will not remove. For example, tile adhesive, also known as mortar or thinset, dries onto a surface like cement. You will find this adhesive in showers during installation procedures for floor and wall tile, including vinyl and ceramic tiles. Even if you aren’t installing on the shower itself, you can easily experience drips and splashes from other areas. Acetone may slightly soften the mortar, but it will not loosen it fully from the wall like it does with glue.
If you’re dealing with a really tough adhesive on the acrylic shower, turn to professional products designed to soften or loosen your particular type of adhesive. For example, many professional solvents contain citric acid that breaks the bonds between the adhesive and the acrylic. These types of adhesive removers come in pastes or liquids, and will break everything down enough so that you can scrape the adhesive away, just like you did with the acetone on the weaker glues.
Work with acetone and other solvents in a well-ventilated area, since they produce strong fumes and smells. Acetone will discolor fabric and will quickly dry out skin, so use with caution and also apply a moisturizer to your skin after you’ve handled acetone. Read and follow all instructions and warnings on professional solvents, as some may require safety equipment while others may only work in certain temperatures or other conditions.
Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.