How to Remove Nail Glue From Clothing

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Even when you're careful, accidents happen with nail glue. If you've gotten the glue on your clothing, the first thing to do is let it dry. Trying to remove the glue when it's wet simply spreads it around and makes the problem worse. Instead, you want to let it dry and then attack it with acetone or soapy water depending on what type of fabric you're dealing with.


Here are the best techniques for safely removing nail glue from your clothes.

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How to Remove Nail Glue From Natural Fabrics

Nail glue is easiest to remove from natural fabrics, like linen, cotton, and wool, because acetone isn't as likely to harm them as it would synthetic fabrics. Acetone is an effective glue remover, and it can do a thorough job of removing the glue.


  1. Scrape away as much of the dried glue as you can with a spoon or other blunt object. Skip this step if you're working with wool or other delicate fabrics.
  2. Test the acetone on a discreet area of the clothing. Leave it to sit for 30 minutes to make sure it doesn't cause any damage. Acetone can discolor fabrics and otherwise damage them, so make sure you don't skip this step.
  3. Dab acetone onto the glue using a cotton swab. Try to focus on the glue and avoid the fabric itself as much as possible.
  4. Scrub the area with an old toothbrush to try to remove a layer of the glue. Tweezers can also help you pick the glue off the material as it softens.
  5. Repeat this process as needed until the glue is removed. The glue will likely come off in layers, especially if you got a thick dab of it on the clothing, so it may take several attempts to remove it.
  6. Rinse the garment in cool water and apply a stain remover to make sure any glue remnants get treated in the wash.
  7. Launder the clothing as you normally would.



Nail glue is essentially superglue, so superglue solvents may remove it. Always test a hidden area on your clothing first and always heed any warnings on the solvent label.

How to Remove Nail Glue From Synthetic Fabrics

Things get a little trickier with synthetic fabrics, like polyester and acrylic. Synthetic fabrics often contain some of the same components as plastics, and acetone can melt plastic. It may take longer, but plain old soap and water are the best ways to try to remove nail glue from synthetic fabrics.


  1. Scrape away as much of the glue as possible with a spoon unless the fabric is delicate.
  2. Soak the garment in cold, soapy water for several minutes.
  3. Rub the glue with an old toothbrush to remove as much of it as you can. Tweezers can be helpful as well.
  4. Repeat the soaking and scrubbing as needed to remove the glue. Have patience; removing glue this way can take a while, but it's time well invested if it saves your favorite outfit.
  5. Treat the garment with a stain remover once you've removed all the glue and wash it as usual.



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