Wood glue is generally used to adhere pieces of wood to one other using a strong bonding agent. Dissolving wood glue can be a tedious process since wood glue is specifically designed for tight bonding. When dissolving wood glue, an agent that is stronger than the glue must be used.
Vinegar has a wide variety of uses including dissolving wood glue. Because of its acidic properties, undiluted vinegar on a rag works to dissolve wood glue. If the glue is exceptionally stubborn, heat the vinegar in the microwave or on a stovetop. Apply the warm vinegar to the wood glue, using a rag or old towel.
Ammonia is a corrosive liquid that will dissolve wood glue. Take necessary safety precautions, though, such as wearing gloves and safety goggles to protect your eyes and skin when using ammonia. Using a rag or towel, apply ammonia directly to the wood glue. To protect the structure of the wood, dab or blot the ammonia onto the wood glue. Do not rub.
Rubbing alcohol is another inexpensive dissolving agent that is effective in dissolving wood glue. Dip a small towel or rag into a bowl of rubbing alcohol and apply to the wood glue area. Gently rub the area until the wood glue begins to dissolve. If the glue is particularly stubborn, let the rag sit on the wood glue for two to three minutes before rubbing the area. You may need to reapply the rubbing alcohol to the rag several times before the wood glue fully dissolves.
De-Glue Goo is a glue-dissolving product developed by expert restorer and cabinetmaker Larry McNeil. De-Glue Goo is simple and effective in removing wood glue. Shake the Goo well and apply a thick coat to the area of wood glue you are dissolving. Allow the product to sit on the wood glue for 15 to 30 minutes. Check to see if the glue is dissolved. Wipe off excess from the wood.