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How to remove superglue from hands: a handy guide

Free your hands with these 5 methods of how to remove superglue from your skin using everyday household products.


a person handwashing a piece of clothing

Key Steps

  • Soak your skin in warm, soapy water then rub the superglue away.

  • Use coconut oil or butter to loosen superglue from your skin.

  • Soak your hands in acetone to dissolve the superglue.

  • Rub dried superglue away with a pumice stone.

Superglue is designed to be tough to remove but this can become a bit of a problem if you accidentally get some on your skin. Learn how to remove superglue from hands, fingers, and skin safely using products you probably have at home, such as nail polish remover and even butter.

Fully and thoroughly wash your hands using mild hand soap. This will ensure no irritation is caused by the method of superglue removal you have chosen.

How to remove superglue from skin: 5 step-by-step hacks to try

If you’re wondering how to remove superglue from fingers, hands, or anywhere else, then try one of these five hacks. Each one includes a step-by-step guide so you can learn how to remove superglue from your skin quickly and easily.

1. How to remove fresh superglue from skin with soapy water

This method works best on fresh superglue that is still wet. Treating the superglue straightaway is the best way to make sure cleaning it off your skin is a simple process.

  1. Fill a bowl with warm water.

  2. Add a good quality soap.

  3. Soak your hands, fingers or other affected skin in the water for around 10 minutes.

  4. Once the superglue has been softened, gently rub it off your skin. 

  5. This is also a great way to remove anything which may have become stuck to you with the superglue. Once soaked in the warm soapy water use a spoon handle to gently separate your skin from the item.

  6. If it feels painful or start to tear your skin, try soaking for a little longer.

a man using soap to wash his hands

If the process is too painful and the superglue doesn’t come off then seek medical assistance.

How to remove sticky superglue from skin with butter or oil

Skin still stick with superglue, even after soaking? Then try oils! Butter and natural oils – such as coconut oil – are a great way to get the superglue off your skin.

  1. Follow the steps above to soak your skin in hot, soapy water first.

  2. Rub butter, coconut oil, or avocado oil onto the affected area.

  3. Massage the area until the superglue is removed.

How to remove stubborn superglue from skin with acetone

Do you or a family member love doing your nails? Well, the acetone in nail varnish remover could be the perfect antidote to superglue on your skin. 

  1. Make sure you do not have any broken skin or cuts – this method should not be used if you do.

  2. Rinse your hands thoroughly.

  3. Pour a little acetone into a bowl.

  4. Soak the superglue affected area for 1 minute, until the glue dissolves. If it’s difficult to soak the area without submerging your entire hand then you can soak some cotton wool in acetone and wrap it over the area instead.

  5. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards and moisturise. Follow our guide to washing your hands effectively to ensure you remove all traces of acetone.

How to remove dried superglue from skin with pumice stone

Superglue is much harder to remove once it has dried but for any areas of skin that are easy to reach, you can try buffing the dried glue off with a pumice stone.

  1. Soak your skin in hot, soapy water for around 10 minutes first.

  2. Dip your pumice stone into the warm, soapy water.

  3. Rub the affected skin with the pumice stone. Work in a circular motion.

  4. Be careful not to damage the skin beneath the glue – always stop if it hurts.

How to remove leftover superglue from skin with lemon juice

Still got some dried glue left? Natural acids, like lemon juice, can help breakdown superglue and is particularly useful when learning how to remove superglue from fingers that are stuck together.

  1. Pour lemon juice into a bowl.

  2. Allow the affected skin to soak for around 10 minutes.

  3. Dip a clean, soft toothbrush into the lemon juice.

  4. Using the toothbrush, rub the lemon juice directly onto the affected area.

  5. Use a clean, dry cloth to dry your hands and gently rub away the superglue.

With these easy steps, you now know how to remove superglue from your skin in 5 different ways – but what if you’ve got superglue on more than just your skin? Read our guide to removing glue from clothes next to learn tips on tackling superglue stains on fabrics.

Originally published