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How to get super glue off skin

Whether you're fixing something or doing arts and crafts you can end up in a sticky mess! Read on for our simple tips to help you easily remove super glue from skin.

Updated Reading Time: 5 minutesBy Cleanipedia Team

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Doing a bit of DIY, starting a craft project or introducing your kids to model aeroplanes all seem like great ideas at the time. However, these activities can quickly become much less fun if (or when) you end up dripping super glue onto your skin. Thankfully, gluing your fingers together with this particular adhesive need not ruin the day. Read on to discover our tips on getting super glue off skin, which may well solve your problem!

What do you need to get super glue off skin?

It is always useful to own some specialist super glue remover, readily available in many stores. There are a few things you should bear in mind when using these products.

  • Always read the instructions to be sure that they are suitable for use on skin as well as other surfaces.

  • If you don't have a specialist remover, you can use our simple tips below as a handy and easy alternative. 

Not just your hands that need cleaning? Don't panic! You can also check out this handy article on how to remove glue from clothes, in case any super glue has found its way on to your clothes as well!

Key things to bear in mind when cleaning superglue skin

Before we get started showing you how to get superglue off fingers, thumbs and other skin there are some important things you need to know.

  • Be wary of potential reactions, and take care when using cleaning products on your skin.

  • Always check product labels for instructions and safety guidelines.

  • Spot-test a tiny amount of your product on your skin before you start.

  • Wash your skin immediately after using cleaning products, using cool water.

  • Don't use any cleaning products on broken or damaged skin.

  • Seek medical attention immediately in the event of an adverse reaction.

If your fingers are stuck together, never try to pull them apart, as this can rip the skin and cause serious damage. Rather, rub the fingers (or finger and thumb) against each other gently until they come apart of their own accord.

You will need:

  • Emery board
  • Super glue remover
  • Water
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Acetone-based nail varnish remover
  • Margarine
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
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How to remove super glue from skin

So, how do you get super glue off your fingers and hands? Dropping super glue on fingers and other skin is not the end of the world, and can easily be cleaned off by following these simple steps.

  1. Soak the affected area.

    If you do get super glue on your skin, the first thing to do is to soak the affected area in warm soapy water. If you act quickly, this may well be all that is needed in order to loosen the glue.

    Consider adding vinegar to the soapy water. Its acidic properties will work against the agents of the glue.

    Step 1: A person is rubbing a white substance over their left forefinger knuckle with the forefinger of their right hand
  2. Try an acetone-based nail polish remover.

    If the glue remains, an acetone-based nail polish remover should do the trick. Make sure it contains acetone, as this is needed in order to be effective. Dab the acetone gently into the glue until it is loosened and comes off.

    Do not apply the acetone using any cotton-based material, like a cotton ball or cotton pad as this could become caught in the superglue.

  3. File the glue away.

    If a small amount remains, gently use an emery board as a file to remove super glue from your skin. This is of course a tricky task, which needs to be done carefully to avoid damaging the skin.

    If you find this tricky, ask someone to help you.

  4. Use margarine if you have sensitive skin.

    A milder alternative, if you have sensitive skin and are concerned about the effects of the acetone, is to use margarine. Gently rub the margarine into the affected area until the glue comes away.

  5. Make a salt and water paste.

    Another alternative to acetone (although less advisable if you have any cuts or damaged skin close by) is to add salt to a small amount of water to make a paste, and apply it to the affected area. Rub it in, rinse it away, and repeat the process if the glue lingers. If the glue is sticking two fingers together, rub the paste between the fingers until they gently come apart.

  6. Use lemon juice for stubborn superglue

    If you've followed our guide for how to get super glue off your hand put the glue is proving stubborn, try the method above using lemon juice rather than water. The acidic agents in lemon juice will work on the glue at the same time as the abrasive properties of the salt.

    This method isn’t advisable if you have any cuts or damaged skin close by.

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See? It's as simple as that. Now we've shown you what removes super glue from skin, and given you a simple guide to follow, you should be back to normal and free to continue your DIY activity!

Doing DIY and arts and crafts without superglue can still lead to a mess at home. Why not check out our comprehensive guide to removing glue from plastic, glass and wood or how to get paint out of clothes.

Originally published