If you’ve got kids, chances are they’ll be using a water-based glue in school to complete art projects and so on. This commonly used white glue is typically very safe and non-toxic. However, it is quite runny, and does have a tendency to get everywhere – kids spill it on themselves, dip their elbows in it, and even sit in puddles of it, leaving a nice sticky stain on the back of their trousers. Even adults can struggle to avoid a spill. Whether you have kids with stained clothing, or your own craft projects have left you with an undesirable stain, this article explaining how to remove super glue and water-based glue is for you. It’s very simple!
How to Remove Glue from Fabric: Water-Based Glue
Dry & Scrub
Cold Water Soak
Wash as Normal
Firstly, allow the glue to dry completely (it will go clear when it’s dried), and then use either a stiff-bristled brush or a blunt object like the end of a spoon to scrape off anything you can. You won’t get all the glue off, but you should be able to remove most of the top layers, leaving just the glue that’s attached itself to the fabric. It’s very important you do leave the glue to dry, as scrubbing at it whilst it is wet can just spread the sticky residue.
If there is a still a stain visible, you can try to soak it in cold water. As this type of glue is water-based, it responds very well to the flushing technique – just use water to flush out the sticky substance. Cover it in cold water (warm water can set the glue, making it more challenging to remove), and leave it completely submerged overnight. This should soften the glue enough to make it simple to remove the following day.
Remove the clothing from the cold water, and immediately apply a small amount of neat liquid laundry detergent. It’s best to use a product that has been specially designed to use as a pre-treatment – try Omo Liquid. No matter what product you use, check the label to ensure that it is compatible with your fabric and that you are using it properly. Work the detergent into the remaining glue, gently massaging it to make sure it penetrates deep into the fabric.
Now all you need to do is pop the clothing into the washing machine, preferably on a warm rather than hot setting (30 degrees is about right), and add your laundry detergent. You’ll have clean, non-sticky clothing in a jiffy.
Removing Super Glue from Clothes
If you want to know how to remove superglue from clothes, it’s important to note that the process is slightly different, as the product isn’t water-based. This means that flushing the spill with water isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you’ll need something a little stronger – but take particular care with delicate fabrics. Before attempting to remove super glue, remember to check the care label on your garment for washing guidelines – if in doubt over whether it’s safe to attempt yourself or not, consult a professional dry cleaner first.
Keep acetone away from children
Dry & Scrub
Wash as Normal
Once again, before removing super glue, you’ll want to let it dry. You can then try giving it a little bit of a scrub or scrape, although don’t expect to remove as much as you would when dealing with water-based glue. Don’t scrub delicate fabrics too much – if none of the glue is coming off, move onto the next step rather than wearing out the fabric with friction.
Acetone – found in some nail polish removers – is one of the only chemicals that can eat its way through super glue. It’s effective on fabrics, and has even been used to successfully remove super glue from skin, which is a handy hint if you ever find you’ve accidentally glued your fingers together. Apply the nail polish remover to a piece of cotton wool, and gently wipe your stain. This isn’t a quick process, as the acetone will only remove one layer of the glue at a time, so you’ll need to keep going. The downside of acetone is that it can be harmful to fabric, meaning some delicate materials may be discoloured. Always take care when dealing with acetone – test on an inside seam first! If the acetone does affect the fabric, stop immediately, and consider dry cleaning.
The final stage of removing any stain should always be a cycle in the washing machine with a good quality laundry detergent such as Omo Liquid (or dry cleaning for dry-clean-only fabrics), as this will ensure that any remaining residue is removed, leaving you with fresh and clean clothing. It’s always a good idea to check the stain has been removed before drying – if any glue remains, just pop it back in the washing machine.
Now you know how to remove super glue from clothes with the correct method, it’ll no longer be an ordeal, and likewise, water-based glues will become incredibly simple to shift. So the next time the kids come home with glue covered clothes, just give these tips a try.