Want to learn how to get super glue off clothes? This post is everything you need! The annoying super glue keeps holding onto your clothes when you accidentally drop some while using super glue to fix things or make some DIY stuff with your kids! How to deal with it?
The super glue stains on garments may sound difficult to remove at first, but with patience and some useful detergents and tools, they may come off easily after a while. It’s not as hard as you think, so read this article and figure out the best ways to fix your problem!
Super Glue In Brief Explanation And Its Usage
Super glue is a type of glue that is usually described as an instant, fast-bonding, super adhesive glue that can be used to bond or connect broken pieces of a subject together. It is famous for its ability to prevent moisture and temperature under various circumstances.
You can use super glue for almost every material, such as metal, stone, wood, ceramic, plastic, glass, paper, rubber, vinyl, leather, and many more substances. It usually shows up in gel or liquid forms. The gel glues are more flexible and controllable than the liquid ones.
The bond made of super glues is almost unbreakable, thanks to the powerful characteristics of cyanoacrylate. However, also because of that chemical, the super glue produces blistered burns on your clothes and skin when you accidentally drop some of it while using. (1)
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Besides fixing things or building up models, some other usages of super glues are to bond the loose shoe soles and fix the frayed hoses or wires. For medical purposes, you can use it to close disinfected scratches and cuts on the skin.
Super glue usually comes in tubes and dries out fast when it is exposed to the air. Therefore, always close the lid of the tube after every use. Also, keep them away from your children and pets. Don’t ever let your kids use it without your observation or guidance!
Unlike water-based glues such as PVA one, super glues are… super hard to remove after getting on your clothes. Because, you know, its bond is unbreakable. Therefore, I’m going to provide you with some specific methods and tricks with a special detergent!
What Is The Enemy Of Super Glue Stains?
In most cases related to super glue, there’s one solution that stands out every single time in the list: acetone. You can always treat a chemical with another chemical! And acetone is called for in this circumstance.
Acetone is the only substance that is proven to make an impact in dissolving super glue, thereby getting rid of its stains on many surfaces and materials. It is colorless like water and flammable with a signature pungent, unpleasant smell to your nose. (2)
The most well-known product that includes acetone is nail polish remover. You can purchase and use it instead of pure acetone to remove unwanted glue stains on your garments. This is also harmful to any direct exposure, so make sure you handle it with care.
In addition, nail polish remover works like bleach so it may discolor the dark-colored or acetate-based clothes and leave white bleach stains on them. Check the label and always do the patch test before using acetone or nail polish remover to ensure that it is safe to use.
The pungent odor of nail polish remover is also awful to inhale and can hurt your lungs and even cause cancer. (3) Therefore, make sure that you are wearing a mask and open all the windows to let the air in while dealing with this acetone source.
You Need To Know This Before Getting Started
There are some important things to keep in mind when you accidentally get the super glue on your clothes. The situation may get worse if you don’t follow this caution before getting into the cleaning process.
First of all, don’t do anything! When the super glue is already there, don’t try to get rid of it immediately by scrubbing or washing it with water. Just gently take off the clothes and let the stain dry naturally. This can help you remove super glue stains easier afterward.
You should not speed up this drying process with any machine dryer. The high temperature can make the super glue stains stick harder on your garments than ever before. Instead, you can soak the clothes in cold water to get the stain fully cured quicker.
You may want to treat your clothing items as soon as possible after they get some dirt or stains on; but in this superglue case, waiting is also an efficient treatment!
Reliable Methods For Getting Super Glue Off Your Clothes
As I mentioned, there are not many detergents to deal with super glue stains. The one that you can trust is acetone or nail polish remover. However, before getting to use this harmful chemical, you should try to do something first to ease the stains.
9 Ways To Remove Super Glue Stains On Clothes Without Acetone
Acetone is not a natural detergent, so it may not be safe to use. You can follow these methods without using acetone first, then if the super glue stains are still there, continue to treat the clothes with an acetone source like nail polish remover.
1. Scraping The Stains Off
This method can be used for polyester clothes, usual cotton fabrics or clothes made of synthetic fibers. If your garment is too delicate or loosely woven with wool, silk, or muslin, you may want to skip this step.
- A spoon/ A blunt removing item
- A cold/iced water in a container (optional)
- Laundry detergent
Step 1: Wait for the super glue stains to dry.
Remember what to do when super glue sticks on your garment? Yes, let it dry out naturally in 15 to 20 minutes, or soak it in iced water to speed the process up. Wait until the stains are completely hard when you touch and not adhesive anymore.
However, in the case where the glue stains have hardened way too much, you should submerge your clothes in plain water for half an hour, so that the stains will be softer and easier to remove.
Step 2: Scrape the stains with your tool.
Flatten the item on a hard and dry surface. Try to scrape off the super glue stains as much as possible with your fingernail or the blunt tool. Keep in mind that you should gently scrape across the surface, not dig deeply into the threads.
Step 3: Observe the stained part regularly to decide on the next steps.
If the glue chunks are pretty small and easy to deal with, you can just scrape them off and may stop at this step. However, in most cases, the sizable super glue pieces are still there, and you have to use the laundry detergent.
Step 4: Soak the clothes.
Submerge your clothes in cold water and leave them there overnight.
Step 5: Apply laundry detergent.
Pour some drops of laundry detergent directly onto the glue stain, then rub it with your fingers in circular motions.
Step 6: Wash and dry your garments as you usually do.
Bring the clothes to the washing machine and run a regular wash cycle with warm water. Hanging the items in fresh air and sunlight tends to be better than using a dryer to dry your stained clothes.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a popular all-purpose product, which can be used for various purposes, such as housecleaning, cooking, etc. You can use baking soda to treat the minor glue stains on the item. It may not really work on large pieces of super glue.
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- An old toothbrush
- A container
Step 1: Spread the clothing item on a hard, flat surface to see the stained area clearly.
Step 2: Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda directly on the affected area.
Step 3: Wet the toothbrush’s head with white vinegar, then scrub it on the stain without removing the baking soda.
Repeat step 2 and step 3 until the stained spot is gone.
Step 4: Wash your garments in the washing machine with regular detergent. Finally, air dry them for the best result.
3. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a solvent dissolving a lot of sticky residues like super glue. It is a chemical that is safe for most household cleaning purposes, especially the 70% rubbing alcohol variety. (4) Try this liquid to dispel the super glue stain on your garments!
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton balls
- Regular laundry detergent
Step 1: Wet a cotton ball with some drops of rubbing alcohol.
Step 2: Gently rub the liquid on the super glue stain to slowly get rid of the stubborn mark. Repeat this step if needed.
Step 3: Rinse away the alcohol with warm water, then wash your garments as usual, with regular laundry detergent.
If you don’t know what sandpaper is, just imagine a sheet of paper that has a side covered with abrasive material. You can use it for standing the glue stains off the fabric before applying further detergent.
- Laundry detergent
- Washing machine
Step 1: Place the clothing item on a flat, hard surface to clearly expose the stain.
Step 2: Use the sandpaper to rub on the stained spot. Hold the garment tightly with one hand while rubbing the sandpaper back and forth, until the stain fades away.
Step 3: Rub a little bit of laundry detergent onto the stain for a few minutes, then bring the clothes to wash in the washing machine with the warm setting.
Step 4: Hang your garments outside for air drying.
5. Mineral Oils
A great solvent to try before using acetone is mineral oil. It can absorb into the material, then soften and loosen the strict bond made by super glue.
- Some mineral oils
Step 1: Place your item on a flat surface.
Step 2: Turn the garment inside out, then apply the mineral oil onto the flip side of the affected areas and spread the oil with your finger in circular motions. Massage the glue stain with oil until it comes off the fabric.
6. Loctite Glue Remover
If you can purchase a store-bought remover, it’s highly recommended to bring Loctite glue remover home. You can find it in almost every equipment store.
- Loctite glue remover
- An inox spoon/ A blunt item
Step 1: Apply some drops of the Loctite glue remover onto the glue stains and leave them there for a few minutes.
Step 2: Use the spoon or any blunt item to scrape the excess Loctite glue remover.
Step 3: Wash the garments as usual with regular detergent. Dry them as you wish.
7. Freezing The Clothes
You can make use of your freezer if you don’t have much detergent available. If the super glue stains are frozen, it will be easier for you to scrape them off later on.
- Plastic bag(s)
- A metal spoon
- Freezer/ Refrigerator containing a freezing drawer
Step 1: Fold your clothing items to fit in the prepared plastic bag. Remember to expose the stained spots.
Step 2: Put the bags with clothes into the freezer and wait for several hours.
Step 3: After some hours, take the bags out of the freezer. Pull your garment out and place it on a flat, hard surface.
Step 4: Hold the metal spoon in one hand and slowly scrape the edge of the glue stain. Use the other hand to pull up the dried glue out of your fabric. Keep repeating the step until every stubborn stain is gone!
8. Distilled White Vinegar And Dish Soap
The mixture of distilled white vinegar and dish soap can be an excellent solvent for some specific glue stains, including super glue on fabrics. Try this combination and you will be totally amazed!
- Distilled white vinegar
- Dish soap
- Warm water
- A blunt remover
- A rag
Step 1: By using the blunt item, scrape as much as excess super glue on your garment. If the stain is too hardened, skip this step.
Step 2: Mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of dish soap, and 1 cup of warm water to make the solution.
Step 3: Dip a rag into the liquid and let it stay on the stain for about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Then, scrub the stained area with the wet rag. Continue to dip the rag in the mixture and scrub, if needed.
You can also add detergent to the mix to enhance the cleaning power!
9. Lighter Fluid
Try lighter fluid if other methods do not really satisfy you. Lighter fluid is a colorless, highly flammable liquid usually used to catch fire for a barbecue griller. It is not a typical method to use in getting rid of super glue stains on your garments.
- Lighter fluid
- Cotton balls
- Laundry detergent
Step 1: Damp the cotton ball with a bit of lighter fluid and gently scrub the stained spot on the fabric. Repeat the step until the stain is gone.
Step 2: Rub a tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent onto the stained spot with your fingers.
Step 3: Set a normal wash cycle with a warm setting, then wash your clothes. Hang them out for drying.
Ridding Super Glue Stains On Your Garments With Acetone
If you have tried all the above methods, but the stubborn glue stains do not go off completely, which is understandable, then it’s time to move on to the next steps with acetone. As I said, the most convenient acetone source you can use is nail polish remover.
- Nail polish remover
- Cotton balls/ cotton pads/ a white cloth
- A spoon/ A blunt removing item
Step 1: Do the patch test.
If you are not so sure that you can apply acetone to your garments, do a small test first. Pour a little bit of nail polish remover in a cotton ball, then dab it to an unnoticeable part of your item. Wait for a few seconds then remove the ball.
If no negative reaction or discoloration happens, you’ve successfully passed the test and can continue to the next steps. If your clothing reacts badly to acetone, then stop what you’re about to do and bring it to a professional.
Step 2: Treat the stains with acetone.
Again, wet another cotton ball or pad or even a white cloth with nail polish remover. Dab it on the super glue stains and press it against the fiber. Be aware that you avoid the other normal areas since the direct chemical may damage them.
Step 3: Be patient and remove the cotton ball or cloth when it’s time.
Observe them closely and frequently. You should be able to feel that the stains are softened and the glue bond starts to break. It may take the stains for quite a while, about 3 to 15 minutes, until they are completely unattached from the fabrics.
When you feel it’s okay, take away the damp cotton ball or the cloth.
Step 4: Scrape the stains off.
Use your fingernails (if you’re not wearing nail polish) or once again, a spoon or blunt item to scrape off the soft stains. The stains may not come off right away, but it’s fine, don’t worry. You can repeat the process if needed. The point here is to treat your clothes with patience.
Just do it over and over again, then you’ll be able to receive a pleasant result after all!
Dealing with acetone is not as complicated as you think!
Washing Garments Treated With Acetone Properly
Let’s move to the washing process. The acetone has done the toughest part, now it’s time to wash the clothes so they can get back to normal.
- Laundry stain remover
- Regular laundry detergent
- Soap, towel (optional)
- Washing machine
Step 1: Use the laundry stain remover.
Continue to apply the stain remover onto the affected areas on your clothing. Make circular motions with the remover so that it can absorb into the fabric. After that, rinse the garments with cold water.
Step 2: Check the label of the clothing items.
You should check the tags of the clothes to identify the highest temperature that your garment can withstand while washing. In most cases, you can wash them with warm or cool water.
Step 3: Run a normal wash cycle.
Place all of them in the washing machine and start a new gentle wash cycle with warm water. If you don’t have enough time to wait for the cycle, you can only wash the stained part with soap and warm water. Rinse away the soap and dry the affected area with a towel.
If the stains are still noticeable after a wash, you may want to start over another wash with the same process. If it’s still there, repeat the acetone process.
Step 4: Air dry your clothing.
When it’s done, hang the garments outdoors to air dry the clothes. Fresh air and sunlight are the best treats ever for smelly or stained clothes! You may also use the dryer, but make sure that the super glue stains are completely gone, or else the stain will stay on your clothes.
When you’ve got through all of the above particular steps, but the stains are so stubborn that they still sit on your garment, bring it to the professional laundry store so they will treat your clothes with more specialized detergents.
Don’t be frustrated! It’s normal to not remove the super glue stains completely since it’s complicated and needs much more effort than usual.
Removing Super Glue Completely From Your Skin
Actually, the most common problem that you may come across when using super glue for some crafting stuff is getting it onto your hands or skin. It usually comes off after a few days, but you’ll feel so unpleasant that you try to get rid of it in many improper ways.
Does acetone or nail polish remover work in this case? Yes, it does, but it may burn or irritate your skin; therefore, please handle it with lots of care.
- Soap/ Lemon juice/ Laundry detergent
- Warm water
Step 1: Use Acetone.
Carefully pour a tiny amount of acetone or nail polish remover onto the stained areas. If possible, try to gently peel off the glue stains on your skin; however, if you feel that you may tear the skin, then don’t push yourself too hard, just stop.
Step 2: Soak Your Hands to a Solution.
Once the adhesive part is over, try these solution options:
- Option 1: Mix soap with warm water, and soak your hand in for about 10 minutes.
- Option 2: Mix lemon juice and warm water with a 1:1 ratio and put your hands in for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Option 3: Mix ¼ cup of laundry detergent with warm water and rub it onto your skin for about 20 to 30 seconds.
You should feel that the glue is coming off while soaking or rubbing the solution onto the skin.
Step 3: Rinse your skin.
Rinse your hands with cool water after soaking or take a bath to remove the glue stains and other odors from the solution completely. You can apply some hand lotion to your skin to avoid dryness.
Tip: Margarine or olive oil may also be a great detergent to get rid of the glue stains that accidentally get on your skin because the oil can effectively loosen the bond from super glue.
Bonus 1: Easy Ways To Take Off Super Glue On Shoes And Bags
How about getting rid of super glue on other forms of fabric besides clothes, such as shoes and bags? The process may maintain the same with scraping technique and acetone, but there’s one milder option for you to choose.
- Nail polish remover/ pure acetone
- Cotton ball or swab
- Soap and warm water
Step 1: Do the patch test on your shoes or bag first to see whether they can endure the chemical or not. If they cannot, stop the process immediately and take them to the professional.
Step 2: If your item passes the test, soak the cotton ball or swab again and apply it to the stained part. Leave it there for a few minutes, then pull it away.
Step 3: Mix the soap with warm water and apply to the glue-stained areas. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub on those spots. Rinse them with cool water after scrubbing.
Step 4: Put the fabric item in somewhere with fresh air to dry it out.
Bonus 2: Eliminate Super Glue Stains From Your Upholstery Furniture
Removing glue stains from clothes is hard, but getting them off the upholstery furniture is triple complicated! If you don’t handle it properly, the stains may stay on your furniture, like, forever and there is nothing you can do about it!
- 100% pure acetone
- Cotton swabs/ cotton pads
- A spoon/ A blunt remover
- A cloth
Step 1: Do a patch test to see if acetone discolors your furniture. If the chemical does, call in the professional because it’s a complex case.
Step 2: If nothing happens on your furniture piece, start to treat it with acetone as usual. Soak the cotton swabs or pads with pure acetone.
Step 3: Dab the prepared cotton products with acetone on the super glue stains and leave them there for a few minutes.
Step 4: Watch it carefully and remove the cotton pads or swabs when it’s done. Use the spoon or a blunt tool to gently scrape off the stains as much as possible. Then wipe down the upholstery with a damp cloth.
Here come the quick questions and answers section! Some of you may still be curious about this problem. Read through this part to see if your concern is here, or leave me some words by commenting below this post if you have some more questions!
Have You Pleased With The Result?
Just apply one of the above methods to your having-glue-stain clothes, and the pleasant result will be there as soon as you wish. Don’t rush! It’s all about patience with a little bit of skill. Your garment will look like a brand new one after all.
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Don’t hesitate to ask me in the comment section. if you have some more concerns on this issue! It’s my pleasure to help you! See you later on the next articles.
- Healthline. 2021. How to Get Super Glue Off the Skin: 5 Steps.
- En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Acetone – Wikipedia.
- U.S Department of Health and Human Services. 2021. Toxicological Profile for Acetone.
- Cleveland Clinic. 2021. 12 Ways to Use Rubbing Alcohol.