How to remove small fiberglass splinters?
Cleaning yourself up the right way after you've been working with insulation.
Q: What's the best way to remove fiberglass splinters from clothes?
—DENNY A., ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
A: After an incident a few years ago in which I inadvertently spread fiberglass dust all over the house and onto the clothing of some of my not-too-pleased family members, I developed what I think is the perfect protocol: Once I've finished working with fiberglass, I go outside and shake out my work shirt. Then I walk a few steps away from any floating fiberglass and put my shirt back on. I take a small bench brush and thoroughly clean my hat, work shirt, and pants. I close my eyes and even brush off my face, dust mask, and neck. Then I rinse off my safety glasses and wipe them dry. Next, I wrap a piece of duct tape, sticky side out, around my hand and pat down my chest, sleeves, and pant legs. You can also use heavy-duty masking tape or a lint roller with disposable adhesive sheets. The tape goes directly into a trash can or some secure container. Finally, I knock the fiberglass dust out of the bench brush by banging it against the foundation or some other hard surface, and all my work clothing goes into a plastic bag to keep it separate from other laundry until wash day.
For really big insulation jobs—or something particularly nasty, like in a crawl space—I put on disposable coveralls and a spray sock, the close-fitting hood and neck covering that painters wear when they use paint guns. After I'm done, I fold the spray sock into the overalls and put them both carefully into the trash. All this may sound excessive, but it works. I haven't had a fiberglass itch in years. Neither has my family.
*This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of Popular Mechanics.