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How to remove superglue stains: tips and hacks

Need to remove superglue? It can be a very sticky business! Read on to learn how you can remove superglue from different surfaces and materials with our useful tips!


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

super glue on the floor

Whether you’re doing work around the house or you’re helping your kids on a school project, at some point, you might spill superglue by accident. This guide is going to walk you through how to remove superglue stains with steps that are both easy and safe. If you want to know how to remove sticker residue, check out Cleanipedia’s guide, here !

If you want to know how to remove superglue from clothes, it’s important to put it in the laundry on a cool cycle: heat will set the glue stain, making it even more difficult to get rid of.

How to remove superglue from clothes

Have you spilled superglue on your clothes? Don’t panic! Avoid frantically trying to clean the glue immediately after the spill, as this could do more harm than good. If you want to know how to remove superglue from clothes most effectively, you must first let the glue dry. It seems counterintuitive, but once dry, you can then follow the steps below to remove the stain:    

  1. Dip a clean cloth or cotton pad in an acetone-based nail polish remover. Acetone contains properties that combat superglue stains. Remember to test any cleaning product on a small area first to ensure no damage to the fabric.

  2. Use a dry cloth or a toothbrush to rub the loosened superglue off the garment. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary. If the glue won’t budge, try using an emery board or a fine piece of sandpaper – but take great care to avoid ruining the fabric in the process.

  3. Once the glue is removed, rub a drop of liquid laundry detergent directly onto the stain, such as Breeze. You can then wash the clothing according to the instructions on the garment label.

  4. If the stain remains after the wash, don’t put the fabric in the dryer – this will only set the stain. At this stage, it’s best to seek professional advice.

How to remove superglue stains from wood

Wood surfaces are very common victims of superglue spills. If you need to know how to remove a superglue stain from wood, acetone-based products are ideal:

  1. Use masking tape to isolate the stained area.

  2. Take an acetone-dampened cloth or swab and apply it to the glue. Remember to test this product on a small area first. Wood is easily stained by acetone, so try only to dab the stained part of the surface. You should then be able to wipe away the glue.

  3. If any superglue remains, use fine sandpaper to file it away.

How to remove superglue from glass or metal

If you want to know how to remove superglue from glass, acetone is again your best bet. This product is also the best way to remove superglue from metal. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Use a cloth or cotton bud dipped in acetone, blotting the glue until it begins to soften – be sure to avoid wiping so as to keep the glue from spreading.

  2. Use a clean cloth to wipe the loosened glue away.

  3. Wipe the area clean with a cloth dipped in clean water, and then dry.

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How to remove superglue from plastic

You’ve now mastered how to remove superglue from glass, but what about plastic? Acetone may be the best way to remove superglue from metal and glass, but not plastic. In fact, this substance can actually ruin plastic material. So, what’s the best way to remove superglue from plastic?

If you want to know how to remove superglue from plastic without damaging the material, follow these steps:

  1. Use soapy water to dampen a cloth or paper towel.

  2. Lay the cloth on the glue stain and leave it to set for several hours. Ensure that the cloth stays moist.

  3. You can then clean superglue off plastic by blotting the stain. 

  4. Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth and leave it to dry.

How to remove superglue from skin

There’s only one thing trickier than learning how to remove superglue from plastic: removing superglue from skin. First thing’s first, remain calm. If you or your child have accidentally spilled superglue on the skin, you may want to scratch it off immediately. Sometimes this can work but if it doesn’t and you feel any pain, stop trying to remove it. Allow it to dry and then try using tweezers to peel it off. If this doesn’t work, don’t worry! All you’re going to need is a little warm water, soap, and acetone.

Follow the steps below for how to remove superglue from skin both effectively and safely:

  1. Soak the skin in warm soapy water to soften the glue.

  2. Use an acetone-based nail polish remover and rub it on the skin with a cloth.

  3. If there is still superglue residue on the skin, gently rub the glue with an emery board. But be careful not to rub the skin!

  4. The superglue should peel off. If not, it’s best to consult professional assistance.

You can now use superglue without worrying. Learning how to remove superglue from skin and how to clean superglue off plastic is the tough part. But once you’ve mastered these tips, you and your children will never have to worry over a superglue spill again.

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 super glue

Can I use super glue on clothes in any situation?

Super glue is designed to stick stiffer, less porous materials together and is not meant to work with fabric such as clothing. This means it can easily seep into the fabric and cause staining to the fibers, as well as making the clothing less comfortable to wear as it is an inflexible product.

How do you get get super glue off leather?

If you want to get super glue off leather, all you need is a little acetone based nail polish remover and cotton ball. Soak the cotton ball in your nail polish remover, then use it to dab at the super glue. Work your way from the outside edge into the centre of the stain, continuing to gently dab until the stain is lifted from your leather. If you have a stain which has become dried and set in, it may be time to pull out the sandpaper. Take care to be gentle when buffing away the super glue - you don't want to cause damage to the leather.

How do you take dried super glue off your glasses?

As with removing superglue from leather, you can use an acetone-based nail polish remover to get the super glue off your glasses. If you don't have any to hand, or you wish to remove super glue from plastic frames or lenses, opt for a microfiber cloth soaked in a solution of warm water and dish soap. Simply press the cloth onto the super glue until it starts to soften, then wipe the stain away.

Originally published