The manufacturer of Gorilla Glue claims that the product sticks to just about everything, and while certain smooth plastics may be the exception, fabric definitely is not. The main ingredient in Gorilla Glue is polyurethane, which is the same stuff that's in many modern wood finishes as well as spray foam insulation. If you've ever tried to get the latter out of clothing, you'll have an idea of the difficulty of removing Gorilla Glue.
Acetone May Dissolve It
Not many chemicals can dissolve polyurethane, and those that can wouldn't be kind to fabrics, especially synthetic ones. The difficulty of the task of removing Gorilla Glue from clothing is underlined by the manufacturer, which offers a recommendation to wear protective clothing when using it because it can't be removed easily.
Professional cleaners faced with removing polyurethane from carpeting use acetone to soften it. It doesn't always work, but it might emulsify the glue deposit enough to enable you to peel it off. Acetone works best on heavy natural fabrics, such as jute and sisal, and it probably won't harm cotton or wool, although you should use it with caution on these fabrics. Avoid using acetone on synthetic fabrics, including:
- spandex -- which is manufactured from polyurethane
- any fabric containing acetate
Before using acetone to remove the glue, test it in an inconspicuous area to ensure the fabric is colorfast.
Moisten the glue stain with acetone, using an eyedropper or small brush to apply the solvent carefully to avoid getting it on the surrounding fabric.
You don't need paint-grade acetone; nail polish remover will do. You can use the brush that comes in the bottle to apply it.
Let the solvent work on the glue for a minute or two, then blot it with an absorbent cloth or a paper towel. Don't rub. If the glue softens, rubbing it will only work it deeper into the fabric.
Pull the softened glue out of the fabric with your fingers or a pair or tweezers. You may also be able to work it out with the point of a sharp knife.
If the glue has penetrated the fabric deeply enough, you may not be able to remove it without tearing a hole. If so, consider the glue deposit an unwelcome new feature of the fabric.
Try Silicone Caulk Remover
A solvent specially designed for removing problem adhesives, such as silicone caulk and polyurethane spray foam, may help. The main ingredient in one such product is acetone, but it's combined with proprietary ingredients and dissolved in a water solution. Follow the instructions on the container when using a product like this.
Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com.