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No scratches: How to remove glue from glass

Knowing how to remove glue from glass is useful as unwanted residue and spills can stick to your glass surfaces, creating unattractive and sticky blobs. Follow our guide to get your glass back to spotless condition.

How to remove glue from glass: The essentials

Whether it’s super glue, labels, sticker or tape residue, removing glue from glass requires the right materials and methods. Here are some of the best ways to get glue off glass. 

Removing wet glue from glass

Removing wet glue can be tricky. One quick wipe, and you’re left with a sticky mess that ruins your window, table, or other glass surfaces. Don’t be hasty, do it right! 

Know your glue. Some ordinary white glues will peel away or come off with hot water. Tougher glues, such as LePage Stik’n Seal Extreme Repair Adhesive, however, require a bit more effort. The key is to know the type of glue before you begin and proceed accordingly.     

Timing is critical. Glue is much harder to remove once it fully cures. If possible, begin removal while it’s still fresh and you may be able to remove most of the residue before it hardens. 

Water and washcloth. Your first step should include using hot water and a disposable soft cloth. Scrub the glass until the glue is gone, repeating as necessary. You may want to press the cloth to the glue for a few minutes to soften the adhesive. 

Ice. If heat doesn’t work, try cold. Press an ice cube to the glue to freeze the adhesive. Once the glue is frozen, scrape it off with a soft-edged knife.

Solvents. Alcohol, nail polish remover, spray lubricant, vinegar, and lighter fluid can all be used to remove adhesive from glass if water alone doesn’t work. Apply with a rag or cloth, then rub the glue away.

Removing dried glue from glass

Glue that’s already dried is trickier to remove than wet glue, but similar methods can be applied. 

Rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid, or nail polish remover. These solvents can work wonders in removing glue and glue residue from glass. Apply sparingly — a concentrated dose will work better than splashing it everywhere.

Spray lubricant or paint thinner. These products penetrate the glue, allowing you to loosen it from glass. Spray them on, let them work into the glue, then scrub with a rag.

White vinegar. Ordinary vinegar works well for removing left-behind tape residue. Rub the vinegar into the glue and polish away with a cloth.

Commercial degreasing agents. Look for products designed to clean off motor oil and grease, since they also remove sticker, label, and glue residue.  

Scraping glue off

When these methods fail to remove the glue, try some old-fashioned manual labor.

Scrape off stubborn glues. Scrape the residue from the glass using a plastic scraper, razor blade, or utility knife. Use a smooth motion, while being careful not to slice the glass. 

Solvent plus scraping. Weaken the glue first with a solvent, then scrape with a tool as above. Use a tool that’s sturdy and won’t snap under pressure.

Steel wool. Soak steel wool in soapy water and rub the glue. Use firm pressure, but take caution not to scratch the glass surround and beneath.

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