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How to remove shoe glue stain from different surfaces

Are you in a sticky mess after a shoe repair? Try these tips on how to remove shoe glue from hands, plastic and glass.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

A person removing shoe glue

Shoe repair can be easy enough, all you need sometimes is a little drop of shoe glue to stick your soles back in place. The bad news? It's just as easy to get shoe glue in all the wrong places. Here we’ll share useful hacks for how to remove shoe glue from different surfaces – including your hands!

Not shoe glue you’re dealing with? Check out our advice on how to remove super glue from different surfaces.

Soften the glue first by rubbing it with one of a variety of household products including petroleum jelly, nail varnish remover, white vinegar or even mayonnaise.

How to remove shoe glue in hands: simple steps

Been gluing your shoes back together and now have sticky hands? Just follow these steps to remove the glue in no time.

  1. Start by soaking your hand(s) in warm, soapy water. We recommend using a gentle soap such as Dove. This step will help to soften the glue.

  2. Rub the area with a cotton ball soaked in an acetone-based nail varnish remover.

  3. Allow the glue and your hands to dry.

  4. Take a nail file and gently file the area to remove the glue.

How to remove shoe glue from plastic

Knowing how to remove a shoe glue stain on any plastic surfaces is easier than you might think with the following tips:

  • Always test any product you plan to use on an inconspicuous spot to ensure the surface you’re cleaning won't be damaged in the process.

  • Try a quick fix: Do you have make-up wipes at home? Swabbing the glue mark in a circular motion with a make-up wipe may be enough to get rid of the shoe glue from plastic.

  • Start mild: try using moisturiser or vegetable oil.

  1. Soak a cloth in your chosen product.

  2. Dab the patch of glue gently.

  3. Allow the product to soak in.

  • Wipe down the surface with a clean, dry paper towel to remove all traces of moisturiser, oil and shoe glue.

  • Use white vinegar for stubborn stains. Soak the area in vinegar, then use a blunt knife to gently lift the glue away from the plastic surface.

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Safety Warning

Avoid trying to simply peel the glue away from your skin as this could cause damage to the skin beneath.    

How to remove shoe glue from glass

When you have shoe glue which has hardened onto glass, you can remove it using the following steps:

  1. Soften the glue. You can do this with a number of household products from vegetable oil to margarine!

  2. Use a scraper to remove the glue.

  3. Wipe down the surface with a clean, dry cloth to remove any remaining traces of glue and the product you used to soften it.

  4. Is the glue being particularly stubborn? Why not soak the area in boiling water before scraping the glue away? But always be careful when dealing with boing water.

Your shoes can now look brand new without you having to worry about getting into a gluey mess for not knowing how to remove shoe glue stain. With all the above tricks up your sleeve you can now spread the wisdom on how to remove shoe glue the right way; whether it’s on your hands, plastic or glass!

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on removing shoe glue stains

How do you remove shoe glue from skin?

If you're wondering how to remove shoes glue from skin, we've got you covered. Once you've softened the glue on the affected area with warm water, olive oil is a great way to break down the glue and remove it. Simply dab on a good amount of olive oil and use a cotton wool ball to gently rub away the glue. If it's not shoe glue but superglue you're stuck with, look for our guide on how to remove superglue.

Does shoe glue work on plastic?

Yes! If you've found yourself wondering, “can I use shoe glue on plastic?” the answer is yes – although there may be some exceptions to the rule such as HDPE / LDPE type plastics. It is also really easy to remove with everyday products such as baby wipes, so may not be the best choice.

How do you fix shoe sole separation without glue?

There is sadly no quick fix for how to fix shoe sole separation without glue, however you don't have to use a specialist shoe glue to fix them. In lieu of a specialist product, you could try using Gorilla Glue or even a hot glue gun to fix the sole of your shoe.

How do you get rid of glue smell from shoes?

Learning how to get rid of glue smell from shoes is simple – simply give them a wash (once the glue has dried) or sprinkle two tablespoons of baking soda inside your shoe and leave overnight. The baking soda will absorb any bad smells and in the morning you just need to use a soft brush to remove the baking soda.

Is shoe glue safe for nails?

When it comes to nails, shoe glue should be safe – as it contains some of the same ingredients as cosmetic nail glue. Always check the label first though and follow all safety precautions to avoid damage. Some glues can be harmful to skin - particularly sensitive skin - so always use a specialist nail glue where possible.

Originally published