How to Get Super Glue Out of Clothes

If you live with someone who’s crafty or someone who likes to DIY, the sight of a super glue stain on clothes may not be uncommon. With all the goings-on in the household, super glue may be in your arsenal for quick repairs. They dry fast and stick well. However, it’s hard to remove super glue off clothes. You have to pay extra attention to removing super glue stains. Forcing the mark of the cloth may damage certain delicate fabrics.

Superglue is a fast-acting adhesive, and if you are not careful, the glue can get everywhere. If you found yourself in this sticky situation, here’s how to get super glue out of clothes.

What Can You Use To Get Rid Of The Super Glue?

Ordinary glue is usually washable. And there are many solvents that can remove common adhesives like ordinary glue. However, tougher glues like superglue call for stronger solvents. The most effective solvent to remove stubborn super glue is acetone. If you don’t have pure acetone at home, you can always check your nail beautification tools and use your nail polish remover. Some nail polish removers contain acetone which can melt away superglue residues. Acetone is an organic solvent that breaks down sticky residues such as superglue upon contact. 

You can use acetone to remove superglue stains on clothes. But it doesn’t work well with all fabric types. Always check your clothes care tag before using acetone to remove any stains. This harsh chemical can also cause discoloration on some fabrics. It would be best to put some acetone on a cotton ball and dab it on an inconspicuous area at first. It is to check if the chemical would not cause harm to the fabric. If you accidentally spilled super glue on delicate fabrics such as wool or silk, it would be best to seek help from a professional dry cleaner. 

The Easy Way To Remove Super Glue from Clothes

The stain may look intimidating, but it’s not tough to remove super glue from fabric. Here are steps you can take to remove super glue on clothes.

Scrape the Dried Glue Off the Garment

The first thing you should do is to let the glue dry completely. If you are unsure if the glue stain is completely dry, you may wet the stained area with cold water. It takes around 15 minutes before this glue stain dries. Using cold water can hasten the drying process. A dried super glue feels hard to the touch and is no longer tacky. 

After you let the glue dry, the next step is to gently scrape the glue off the fabric. You can do this using a blunt material like the back of the spoon. Before doing this, make sure that you are working with everyday cotton or polyester blend fabrics. You should not pull delicate fabrics such as wool or silk. 

Apply Acetone for Stubborn Super Glue Stains

bottle of acetone against brown background

You can dab some acetone or nail polish remover to remove the dried glue stain on clothes. This solvent weakens the chemical bond between the fabric and the glue. It makes dried glue easier to remove. Make sure that you are not wearing any nail polish. The same solvent is the main component of nail polish removers that can melt color. 

Before using acetone on clothes, make sure that you read your clothes’ care tag. If the stained garment is made of delicate fabrics, it would be best to take it to a professional dry cleaner. You should also test the solvent on a part of your clothing that is not usually visible. You want to make sure that the acetone will not cause discoloration on an obvious part of the garment. 

You may use acetone on the affected fabric once you are sure that it is safe to use. To use acetone to get super glue off clothes, soak a cotton ball with the solvent. Then you can dab it on the remaining glue on the cloth. You may also use a white fabric instead of a cotton ball. Make sure you don’t use colored or patterned fabric as a substitute for the cotton ball or white cloth. This is to avoid potential color bleeding from the patterned or colored piece of cloth. Then you can gently scrub off the remaining glue using the back of the spoon. You can also use your fingernails to scrape off the excess as long as you’re not wearing nail polish while you’re doing this. You may have to repeat these steps until the stained area feels soft to the touch.

Once you soften the super glue-stained area, you can now use your typical laundry pretreatment stain remover to remove any stubborn stains. Work your way by gently massaging the stain remover on the affected area. Then you can rinse the garment in cold water.

Wash the Garment As Normal

Once you have pre-treated the super glue stain, you’re ready to wash the garment. Follow the care tag of your clothes before tossing them in the washing machine. Take out your clothes from the washer but don’t use the dryer to dry your glue-stained garment! The heat from the dryer can completely set any remaining super glue on the clothing. It’s best to air dry the garment first. 

No Acetone? Here Are Alternative Ways To Remove Dried Super Glue

Acetone may not always be available in every household. Here are a few alternatives you can use to remove super glue off clothes:

Glue Remover

There are glue removers available in the market nowadays. To use a glue remover to remove pesky super glue on clothes, apply a drop on the stained area. Then wait for a couple of minutes to let the glue remover work its magic. Then using the back of a spoon, gently scrape off the remaining glue. Then you can wash the garment as usual. 

Rubbing Alcohol 

You may use rubbing alcohol the same way you used acetone to remove super glue on clothes. Just test the solvent on an inconspicuous area of the garment first. Check if the colors don’t bleed with alcohol. Then you can proceed to soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and dab it on the stained area. 

Mineral Oil

You can also use mineral oil to soften super glue stains on clothes. You may also soak a cotton ball or white cloth with mineral oil and dab it on the fabric. The oil can help remove flaky super glue residues.

In Conclusion

Super glue stains may seem intimidating at first, but they are fairly easy to remove. With the right products and patience, you can get out of this sticky mess in no time! Don’t forget to follow us on our social media accounts for more cleaning and laundry tips!

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About Sonia Peters

Sonia Peters is a communications specialist and a freelance writer. As a mother of a young boy, she's a self-declared expert on dealing with stains and grimes after a fun day with her child.