Acetone: what is it used for? What precautions should I take?

Acetone is a very useful stripping product for certain professionals such as painters and for the home. It loosens and removes a whole load of dirt and hard-to-clean products from any type of surface. However, it is a toxic product that must be handled with care. Discover its characteristics, uses and precautions in this complete file.

What is acetone?

Acetone is a toxic, flammable liquid that looks like water. It was previously extracted from pyroligneous after carbonization of wood, but it is now derived from acetic acid.

This solvent is very frequently used for its dissolving properties. It cleans many objects and surfaces, including varnish-covered nails. It is therefore a kind of miracle product for painters, since it strips paint and glue, but also for grandmothers who tended to use it for cleaning the house. Acetone is indeed effective in getting rid of stains from rubber, glue, varnish, wax, oil, bleach, chewing gum, grease, cement, ink, shoe polish, paint, stain, resin, silicone and modeling clay, among others.

While effective, acetone should be used with caution, as it is toxic and irritating. Also, it has a stubborn odor that is often difficult to get rid of.

What is acetone used for? How to use it ?

Acetone has several uses. Here are the main ones and how to use them.

Removing a stain from a fabric

Acetone is very effective on certain products that stain and are difficult to remove, such as glue, greases, varnishes, oils and rubber.

Be careful, however, because it is a powerful product that may discolor fragile fabric. Test it on an invisible surface to check that it does not remove surface color. If the path is clear, apply it to the stain, dabbing with an impregnated cloth until it disappears. Rinse the fabric immediately to immediately stop the action of the acetone.

Removing chewing gum from a shoe sole

After scraping the surface of the chewing gum to remove as much as possible, rub the remainder with a sponge soaked in acetone. Then rinse with clean water.

Bleaching jeans

If you want to change the look of your jeans by bleaching them, lay them flat on a towel or on a sheet. Wear gloves and soak a clean cloth in acetone. Roll it into a sausage and then rub it on the jeans to remove the color. Repeat the operation several times, changing the cloth to achieve the desired shade. Rinse and let dry before machine washing the jeans.

Clean dirty glass

If your windows are clogged with limestone, paint or marked by a sticker or label, wear gloves and rub the glass surfaces with a cloth soaked in acetone. Finish by rinsing with a clean cloth dampened with water, then dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

Remove sap from vehicle bodies

To remove drops of sap from a windshield or the body of a car, place a few drops of acetone on a microfiber cloth and rub the stain until it disappears. Do not leave on for too long and be sure to rinse quickly.

Clean an iron soleplate

When the soleplate of the iron is dirty and sticky, clean it with a clean cloth dampened with acetone. Then clean with a cloth of clear water and let dry.

Clean a ceramic hob

If your ceramic hob is dirty, wait until it has cooled down completely before wiping the surface with a sponge soaked in acetone. Then rinse with a sponge soaked in water, then dry with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.

What are the precautions for using acetone?

If acetone is effective, it must be used with great care, as it is toxic, flammable and irritating to the skin, mucous membranes, eyes and respiratory system.

Here are the steps to follow to properly use acetone:

  • Be sure to always ventilate your rooms when using acetone (and for several hours afterwards) or working outdoors. If you can’t, wear a mask to properly protect your nasal passages. Never inhale the product directly.
  • Always wear gloves when handling acetone, as it is very irritating to hands and skin in general.
  • Do not smoke near acetone, as it is flammable.
  • When using acetone, keep children and pets out of the affected part.
  • Protect your hair during use, as acetone discolours it very quickly.

Symptoms to watch out for in case of poisoning

If while using or after using acetone you feel dizzy, headache, trouble breathing or speaking, or if your eyes, nose and throat are irritated, you may be intoxicated. to the product.

Leave the room and rest while you regain your senses or consult urgently if your condition does not improve. Rest assured, breathing in a little acetone isn’t that dangerous, but it can be overwhelming depending on the symptoms that manifest.

How to get rid of the smell of acetone?

Acetone gives off a strong odor that is not always easy to get rid of. To get rid of it, sprinkle baking soda on the surface treated with acetone, or place it in cups that you will place in the room. Leave on for up to 24 hours if the smell is too strong.

Then remove the baking soda and throw it away. The smell should be gone.

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