A birds-eye view of children using arts and crafts stationary.

How to remove glue from clothes

Glue stains are one sticky situation no parent can escape. After all, whether your kids are creating collages or making paper mache turtles, there’s always that one ingredient holding it all together, keeping the legs from falling off and the googly eyes in place. If you’ve found a glue stain (or five) on your little craft fan’s outfit, don’t worry. Here’s how to remove glue fast, so you can all move on to the next amazing project.


How to remove glue from clothes in four steps

When you’re trying to decide how to remove glue from fabric – which products to use, what steps to take – it’s always a good idea to read the glue packaging to find out what kind of glue it is. The steps below should help you tackle water-based and animal-based craft glues. For heavy-duty glue stains, check out our guide to removing super glue here.

Still with us? Here’s how to remove glue from clothes:  

  1. Let it dry. Wet glue stains are easy to spread around! Be patient: make sure the stain is completely dry before you start to tackle it. Resist the urge to heat the stain to speed up the drying process, as this could set the glue stain permanently.
  2. Scrape it off. Using the back of a spoon, gently scrape off the dried glue. This step removes the upper layers of the glue stain, so that you’re left with nothing more than the glue that’s actually settled into the fabric. 
  3. Apply a pre-treatment, then soak. Using a clean toothbrush, gently scrub a small amount of Surf excel Liquid Detergent into the stained area. Then soak your garment in a bucket of cool water for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Wash at a low temperature. If you’re wondering how to remove glue stains in the wash, the only thing you really need to remember is that it’s better to use cool water and check the care label before you begin. If the stain survives the first wash, simply repeat steps 2 to 4 as needed. If it doesn’t, simply allow the garment to dry naturally!

Top tip: Wondering how to remove glue from the fabric on your furniture, or any other non-washable item? Follow steps 1 through 3 above, then dab the stain with a clean, damp cloth to flush out the detergent. 


That’s all it takes – very simple, right? Plus, now that you know how to remove glue stains, it’ll be that much easier to stay relaxed while your kids are getting into their latest art project. So why not find something new and fun to try in our kids’ activities section?

Cleaning tips for all your housekeeping needs. Whether you're tidying up or tackling stains, click here & find out how to clean almost anything!