Removing Great Stuff Spray Foam From Hair/Dog Fur.

Having a dog is akin to having a gaggle of small children. You turn your back for one second, and they can manage to ruin more stuff than the Tasmanian Devil.

Enter last weekend, when on a whirlwind (pun intended) of home maintenance, I was using Great Stuff expanding foam to fill in some holes on the exterior of the Storefront and the garage. The garage door had quite a few gaps between the frame and the cinderblock, and I was filling them up with spray foam to keep out any unwanted bugs, creatures, neighbors, as well as prep the garage for insulation.

I had sprayed one whole side of the door, and was up on the ladder spraying the other side when I heard El Granto exclaim “ODIN! What are you doing?!” His voice had an unequivocal edge to it, so I instantly knew it wasn’t a “did you poop in the alleyway” kind of problem. It could only mean an actual, legitimate, serious problem. I looked down and Odin was on the end of his leash, trying to make his way into the alley. He had pressed himself against the garage wall in an effort to see around the corner (and chase squirrels I’d imagine). In his plan of escape he had pressed himself so closely to the wall, that he had in fact rubbed his face, ear and neck into the wet expanding foam.

If you have seen Odin before you will know that his giant velvet soft ears are his crowning glory. His pièce de résistance. His lady killer ears. Those things are so big that Odin is anything but breed standard Vizsla. They are the thing we fell in love with when we met Odin as a puppy.

His right glorious velvet vizsla ear was now covered in molten plastic.

We panicked. Would it burn his skin? Did he eat any? Is his hair going to fall out?

It was a Saturday of the long weekend, rushing him to a vet wasn’t the best option. We needed to figure out how to remove the wet foam before it dried and was (cue dramatic reading) stuck forever.

I ran to the Great Stuff container (cause I’m a direction reader) and low and behold it gives you clear instructions on of what to do if you get it on your skin. I figured dogs are close enough to humans. They have skin and hair errr fur. So good enough! Okay, all we have to do is  “remove with acetone”. Acetone? Why would I have acetone? That’s not part of my standard garage chemicals. I mean I’ve got varsol and paint thinner, but acetone….not in the garage.

BUT wait! Isn’t acetone…nail polish remover?

I ran into the house yelling at El Granto to get the dog in the tub. He yelled back that water speeds the foam curing. I yelled back no water! I grabbed the acetone nail polish remover, and jumped in the tub (fully clothed in my maintenance/painting clothes). We got to work applying acetone to his ears gently with a cotton pad. While this worked, it wasn’t going fast enough. Eventually we just started squirting his fur with the acetone, and working loose the spray foam with our fingers. This worked much better.

We removed the spray foam from Odin’s skin and hair like it was a bad manicure.

After we were finished, we rinsed him off with warm water, and shampooed and conditioned him with his soothing oatmeal boutique dog shampoo. (Yes, yes I know, we’re yuppie dog owners who treat their dog like a child, I’m fine with it.)

By the end of it, there was clumps of dog hair littering the tub, a dog with bits of spray foam still lodged in his hair, and two very unimpressed dog owners. El Granto even had the foresight to snap a pic of the dog & I in the throws of foam removal. You can see the enjoyment in both our faces.

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But Odin was alive, not burned or maimed, or missing an ear. The only evidence of  foamagedden was the few errant bits stuck in his hair. He didn’t break out in a rash, have shortness of breath or do anything else scary enough to warrant a trip to to the 24 hour vet.

Shortly after his bath after everyone had calmed down he was again a happy pup sitting in the sun.

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So there you have it. Use acetone (or acetone nail polish remover) to remove Great Stuff Expanding Foam from your hair or your fur. Hey, we’re not judging, that sweater vest of chest hair you’ve got going on could certainly be considered fur. And yes, I’m a good enough friend to not bring up your mustache or back hair.

Oh and don’t be stupid, call poison control if you get any in your eye, nose, mouth,  or any other hole (again…not judging). Well…maybe a little.

7 Responses

  1. I use spray foam quite often since i'm a door installer and when I'm too lazy to put on gloves and get the foam on my hands, I'll use acetone. However, I was replacing a door in my house today and I ran out to my van and when I got there, my chihuahua was right behind me with a bunch of spray foam on her. I panicked. I knew from an experience 30 years ago when I used acetone to get paint out of my hair, that it burnt my scalp and didn't want my dog to go through it. I grabbed some mineral spirits because it's not as harsh as acetone. It worked great. The trick is you have to move fast before the foam cures.
  2. We were puppy sitting two dogs and one got the sealant on her paw and face. Naturally we panicked! We'll be trying this next. Thank you so much.
  3. Thanks for sharing. Like the others, I googled how to remove Great Stuff from dog fur and your story came up first. Ruger came over to see what I was doing and got a bit on his head and ear. Again thanks. I’m not sure Ruger will appreciate my efforts.
  4. I googled how to get the stuff out of five puppies. Love the story! Now to get to work!
  5. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Great Stuff. First thing on my mind go to the internet and there you all were. You all were a life saver. Cici J. Thank you also
  6. This is too funny only because i googled how to get spray foam out of dog fur and u came up the funny part it my rottie ODIN got into GREAT STUFF SPRAY FOAM two weeks ago on his ear !!! Its still there i cant get it out with a brush im gonna try the nail polish remover now thanks !!!
  7. marie
    Oh my! Poor Odin! Love your description of what happened - esp. the yuppie dog parent bit.

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