How to Remove Super Glue From Surfaces

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Super glue may work miracles, but the moment it gets onto surfaces it can be a nightmare to remove. Try to remove super glue with most household cleaning products, and you'll find yourself with sticky fingers and a bad stain. However, one ingredient that will dissolve super glue, yet keep the bonded surface in good condition, is acetone.

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Understanding Acetone

Super glue is a cyanoacrylate adhesive, a form of a strong, modern glue created from synthetic polymers. A polymer is made from small simple molecules, which attach together to form a larger complex molecule. The chemical compounds contained in these molecules cause a strong polymeric reaction, which is difficult to stop. This is what causes super glue to bond so tightly. Acetone, which is commonly found in nail polish, softens cyanoacrylate adhesives by reversing the polymeric reaction.

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Warning

Regardless of the material, allow the glue to dry before you attempt to remove it. Super glue is stringy and messy. Try to wipe it away while it’s still wet, and you risk spreading it over a larger surface area.

Fabric and Upholstery

Things You'll Need

  • Nail polish remover

  • Cotton swab

  • Dull knife

Step 1

Wet a cotton swab with a small amount of nail polish remover and perform a spot test on an inconspicuous area of the garment or upholstery to ensure it doesn't discolor or damage the material.

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Step 2

Working from the outside to the inside, use the cotton swab to lightly dab the stain with nail polish remover. Wait for 2 minutes.

Step 3

Using a dull knife, carefully scrape away the glue. You may have to apply more nail polish remover, depending on the size and depth of the stain.

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Step 4

When you're confident that all of the glue is gone, wash the garment following the care label instructions, or wipe down the upholstery stain with a damp cloth.

Warning

Before you begin, look at the care label to check the fiber content of the garment . If it contains acetate, take it to a professional dry cleaner; acetone could damage the fibers.

Glass, Wood, Plastic and Metal Surfaces

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth

  • Paper towels

  • Nail polish remover

  • Cotton swab

  • Window or glass cleaner

Step 1

Use a cotton swab to cover the adhesive with a thin layer of nail polish remover. Wait for 2 minutes.

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Step 2

Wipe off the super glue with a dry paper towel or cloth. Add more nail polish remover, if required.

Step 3

When all traces of super glue have been removed, wipe the surface with a damp cloth. When cleaning glass, wash the item with window or glass cleaner to remove any excess residue.

Tip

Super glue is not a recommended adhesive for glass; however, if you accidentally bond two glass items together, soaking them in water should make them come apart. If the object is too large to soak, place a saturated cloth over the adhesive until it softens.

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