Super glue is a tough adhesive that is notoriously difficult to remove because once it sticks, it does not want to become unstuck. While this property makes it very useful as a glue, if you get it somewhere you don’t want it, especially clothing or other fabrics, it can require a lot of work to remove it. Here’s how to remove super glue from fabric:
- Place the object on a piece of cardboard. This should always be your first step when dealing with a super glue spill. If you do not do this, the fabric may stick to a countertop or other surface as you are trying to remove the super glue. Wait for the glue to dry before proceeding; otherwise, the cloth or paper you are using to remove the super glue will just stick to it.
- Soak the fabric. As soon as possible, soak the clothing in warm, soapy water. Do not allow the fabric to dry, as this will make the stain more difficult to remove. Then try to scrape the glue with a dull knife. This will begin to remove the super glue, but there will still be some residue left.
- Use acetate. Acetate, often found in nail polish remover, will dissolve super glue. However, be careful to spot-test an inconspicuous spot first, because nail polish remover may cause stains of its own, or discolor the fabric. An inner seam is the ideal place to test the acetone. Dampen a cloth with the acetate, or use a q-tip or old toothbrush. Dab at the super glue until it dissolves. You may need to rub at the fabric from both sides, if it is thin enough for the super glue to have soaked through it.
- Wash the fabric. If possible, treat the area with a pre-wash stain remover, and then wash as usual. If the fabric cannot be laundered, blot the area with a clean cloth and fresh water until the acetate has been removed from the fabric. Do not dry until you are absolutely sure that the stain is gone; drying will set the stain, making it nearly impossible to remove later.
- Keep de-bonding solution on hand. If you use super glue often, have a container of super glue de-bonding solution on hand in case of spills.
Super glue is great stuff until you get a drip on your clothing or another fabric. Unlike most other glues, super glue will bond instantly. Even if you act fast, the super glue can be difficult to remove; unlike other stains, it cannot simply be wiped up.