A close up of glue dripping on table.

How to remove super glue stains from clothes

There aren’t many things a bit of super glue can’t fix. A loose shoe sole? No problem. A broken vase? Just put the pieces back together! But all that DIY-ing can leave drops of glue where you least expect them – that’s when you suddenly find yourself wondering how to remove glue stains from clothes. So how do you remove super glue and other strong household adhesives? Let’s check it out. 

 

How to remove super glue from clothes

Since there are many different types of glue, it’s a good idea to look at the ingredients listed on the back of the glue bottle before you start the stain removal process. Ordinary water-based glue (think PVA) can be removed using the gentler method in our craft glue stain guide. If you’re removing super glue from clothes, then the steps below are for you.

Here’s how to remove super glue from clothes:

  1. Let the stain dry. It’s easy to accidently spread wet glue around, so put your feet up for an hour or so and let the glue dry.
  2. Use the back of a spoon to scrape off any excess glue. Be gentle.
  3. Blot with a cotton pad soaked in acetone. Acetone is good at removing super glue – just keep blotting until you feel it loosen up and it disappears. Do make sure that the fabric you’re dealing with responds well to acetone first: read the care label and test the product on a small, inconspicuous area before you tackle that stain.
  4. Apply a pre-treatment. Cover the stained area with a small amount of Surf excel Liquid Detergent and then gently rub it into the fabric. 
  5. Wash at a low temperature. Check the care label for any extra precautions the fabric might need. 
  6. Take the item out of the machine, and check if the stain is still there. If it is, repeat steps 2 to 5. If it isn’t, just leave the item to dry naturally. Avoid the heat of the tumble dryer!

Top tip: Trying to remove super glue from a delicate fabric, like silk or wool? Then it’s probably best to take the item to the dry cleaners for professional advice. 

 

Quick tips on using acetone to remove super glue

Never used acetone before? Not sure what products to buy? Check out our acetone tips before you start removing super glue from clothes: 

  • You only need a little. Acetone helps to dissolve the glue, so it’s pretty potent. Only use as much as you really need.
  • You might have some in the house already. Acetone is often used in home nail polish removers – check the label to be sure.
  • Test it. Acetone can loosen certain kinds of fabric dye, so try it out on an inconspicuous part of the fabric before you start removing super glue. 
  • Dab, pause, rub, repeat. The super glue is likely to come off in layers. After you first apply the acetone, pause for a second and then rub the stain very carefully with a soft (unwanted) toothbrush. Repeat until the stain is gone.

So that’s how you remove super glue stains! And you know what? Glue stains don’t really get any tougher, so getting rid of any other type of glue stain should be simple from now on.

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