Skip to content

How to Clean Up Styrofoam?

Styrofoam is a lightweight and flexible material that is used for various products, such as food containers, packaging, and insulation. Unfortunately, Styrofoam is not biodegradable and can be difficult to clean up. Then, how to clean up Styrofoam?

To clean up Styrofoam, you can start by picking up any large pieces. Then use a vacuum cleaner to remove small pieces and dust. Finally, wipe the surface with a damp cloth and mild detergent to remove any residue.

In this guide, we will discuss the best methods and materials for cleaning up and disposing of Styrofoam.

What Do You need to Know Before Cleaning Up Styrofoam?

When it comes to cleaning up Styrofoam, there are several important things you need to know. Here are the key points to keep in mind before tackling a Styrofoam cleanup project:

What Do You need to Know Before Cleaning Up Styrofoam?

  • Styrofoam is Not Recyclable: Styrofoam, also known as polystyrene foam, is not able to be recycled. Therefore, it must be disposed of properly.
  • Disposal: Since Styrofoam is not recyclable, you should not put it in regular garbage. Instead, you have to take a facility that specializes in disposing of Styrofoam.
  • Avoiding Contamination: When disposing of Styrofoam, ensure it is not contaminated with food or other materials.
  • Cleanup Tips: Use a vacuum or broom to collect the small pieces, when attempting to clean up Styrofoam. While working with a vacuum, you should wear gloves and a face mask to avoid inhaling the small particles.
  • Safety First: When dealing with Styrofoam, remember to always take safety precautions. This includes wearing protective gear and making sure the area is well-ventilated.

How to Clean Up Styrofoam?

Styrofoam is a lightweight, durable, and versatile material that is used in many everyday products. However, it can be difficult to clean up properly due to its porous nature. Here will discuss how to clean up styrofoam safely and effectively.

How to Clean Up Styrofoam?

Safety Precautions

When cleaning up styrofoam, take certain safety precautions. Styrofoam is flammable, so keep away from any open flames or sparks. Additionally, some styrofoam may contain hazardous chemicals, so you have to wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling it.

Tools and Supplies

Before cleaning up styrofoam, gather the necessary tools and supplies. A vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment is the best way to remove loose pieces of styrofoam. For larger pieces, a utility knife can be used to cut them into smaller pieces. A damp cloth and mild detergent can be used to wipe away any dirt or debris.

Removing Loose Pieces

The first step in cleaning up styrofoam is to remove any loose pieces. A vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment is the best way to do this. You should be careful not to damage the styrofoam while vacuuming.

Cutting Larger Pieces

For larger pieces of styrofoam, cut them into smaller pieces. This can be done with a utility knife. However, you have to be careful not to cut yourself while doing this.


Once all the loose pieces and larger pieces have been removed, the styrofoam can be cleaned. A damp cloth and a mild detergent should be used to wipe away any dirt or debris. Once the styrofoam is clean, it should be wiped dry with a clean cloth.


Once the styrofoam has been cleaned, it can then be disposed of properly. Styrofoam should be disposed of in the appropriate receptacle, such as a recycling bin or the trash. Additionally, check with local regulations to ensure that the styrofoam is disposed of properly.

How to Safely Dispose of Styrofoam?

Styrofoam, or polystyrene foam, is a type of plastic that is used in many packaging, insulation, and consumer products. It is a non-biodegradable material that can take hundreds of years to decompose, making it difficult to dispose of safely. Here are some tips for safely disposing of Styrofoam:

How to Safely Dispose of Styrofoam?

  • Reuse: Styrofoam is a lightweight, durable material that can be reused for a variety of purposes. Try using it as a craft material, for insulation, for garden planters, or as a packing material.
  • Recycle: Many cities and towns now offer recycling programs for Styrofoam. Contact your local recycling center to find out if they accept Styrofoam.
  • Dispose: If you are unable to reuse or recycle your Styrofoam, you can dispose of it by taking it to a landfill. Ensure to double-bag the Styrofoam and place it in a sealed garbage bag.
  • Compost: Some types of Styrofoam can be composted. Check with your local composting center to see if they accept Styrofoam.
  • Burn: Burning Styrofoam is not recommended due to the release of dangerous toxins into the air. Burning Styrofoam is also illegal in most areas.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Up Styrofoam

When it comes to cleaning up Styrofoam, there are a few common mistakes that people make that can lead to bigger problems. So, you have to be aware of these mistakes so you can avoid them when cleaning up Styrofoam. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not Using The Right Tools: When it comes to cleaning Styrofoam, you need to ensure you have the right tools. Regular dusters and vacuum cleaners won’t work properly on the material. You’ll need to use a soft brush, a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, or a foam cleaner specifically designed for Styrofoam.
  • Over-saturating the Foam: You should be careful not to over-saturate the foam when applying cleaning chemicals. Too much moisture can seep into the foam and cause it to swell, warp, or even disintegrate.
  • Not Allowing Enough Drying Time: When cleaning Styrofoam, allow enough time for the foam to completely dry before using it again. This will help prevent mold and mildew from forming on the foam.
  • Not Properly Disposing of the Foam: Styrofoam is not biodegradable, so you have to properly dispose of it. Check with your local waste management facility to see what the best disposal method is for your area.

How to Stop Styrofoam from Sticking?

Styrofoam is a lightweight, inexpensive, and effective packaging material commonly used for insulation, food containers, and shipping packaging. However, it can be difficult to remove and is often stuck to other surfaces, making it difficult to clean. Here are some tips on how to stop Styrofoam from sticking:

  1. Use a Lubricant: Applying a lubricant such as cooking oil or vegetable oil to the surface of the Styrofoam will help to reduce the adhesion. Simply apply a small amount of the lubricant and allow it to sit for a few minutes before attempting to remove the Styrofoam.
  2. Use a Hair Dryer: You can apply warm air from a hair dryer to the surface of the Styrofoam, as it can lose the adhesive bond.
  3. Use a Scraper: Using a plastic scraper such as a putty knife, or a credit card can help to remove the Styrofoam without damaging the surface. However, you should clean the card containing any magnetic strip before using it to stop styrofoam from sticking.
  4. Use a Solvent: Applying a solvent like acetone or paint thinner to the surface of the Styrofoam can help to break down the adhesive and make removal of the Styrofoam easier.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning up Styrofoam is a crucial task to ensure the safety of our environment. With the right materials and some patience, you can successfully remove Styrofoam debris from your home or workspace.

By following the steps outlined in this article, “how to clean up Styrofoam?”, you can easily and effectively clean up Styrofoam. With the above knowledge, you can keep Styrofoam out of our environment and protect our planet.