Mishaps can happen while working with any type of glue, be it for a craft or home improvement project. No matter how carefully we work with glue, some excess glue or residue will get on whatever surface it is applied. Scraping and wiping it off often will not be enough. The proper way of removing glue varies from material to material. Check out our tips below on removing glue from a variety of surfaces!

How to Remove Glue from Plastic

It is easy to accidentally scratch plastic when trying to remove glue from it. However, if done cautiously and the necessary precautions are followed, the glue can be removed without damaging the material.

Start by using dish soap and a sponge or a washcloth. Drip or pour some of the dish soap on the dried-up glue and let it sit for a few hours. The glue should soften up, making it easy to wipe it off with a cloth, scrape it with an old credit card, or even a razor.

If that does not work, do the same process but use rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, or nail polish remover. Just be extra careful as plastics can easily be scratched.

How to Remove Glue from Wood

If the wood glue residue is still fresh, wipe it off with some detergent and water. Avoid soaking the wood with too much water as it may cause warping or swelling.

Is using soap and water not enough? Something a bit stronger like nail polish remover or vinegar can do the trick. Soak a cotton ball with either of the two and dab it on the glue residue. If the finish of the wood is a big concern, use vinegar instead as it is the milder of the two. Gently scrape away the glue while re-applying the solvent repeatedly as necessary.

How to Remove Glue from Concrete

Get a putty knife and try to remove the glue with it. If the glue proves to be too stubborn, it can be softened by pouring hot water on top. Finally, if that does not work, then try an adhesive stripper. Apply it to the hardened glue and leave it on for a couple hours before scraping it off.

How to Remove Glue from Metal

One tried and tested method for metal is using pure acetone to soften the hardened glue. Be extra careful not to get it on your skin as it is abrasive. You can also use nail polish remover as an alternative. Use a piece of cloth or a cotton ball and dab the glue residue. Keep on dabbing or pressing until the glue residue starts to dissolve then gently wipe it away.

How to Remove Glue from Fabric

Accidents happen while using glue and getting glue on clothes is inevitable. If you get a white glue on fabric, which is more water-based, removing it is easy. First, let the glue dry. Trying to remove still wet glue will only spread it more and result in additional mess. Next, use a brush or a spoon and scrape the dried glue off the fabric. Then flush out any remaining glue residue through running water. If there is still some left, apply some liquid detergent and wash it off. This should remove the glue completely.

But what if it is super glue? This can be a bit harder to remove it. Just like with white glue, let the super glue dry first then scrape it off. Then dab the affected portion with acetone and carefully rub the glue off. It may be necessary to do this repeatedly until the super glue is removed from the fabric.

How to Remove Glue from Most Surfaces 

If it is uncertain which approach to take, here is a basic glue removal process you can follow: 

  • Use a plastic card or a spoon and scrape off the hardened glue. Do not apply too much force so as not to damage the surface of the material. 
  • Soak the glue residue in rubbing alcohol, acetone, or vinegar. Leave it soaked for a few minutes then try scraping it off again. 
  • If the glue still proves too stubborn, try heating it up with a hair dryer. This should help loosen up the glue. 
  • A product that can help is a few sprays of WD-40. Let the dried glue soak in it for at least 5 minutes then scrape the glue away. 

How to Get Glue Off Skin 

Finally, let us not forget that glue can easily get on the skin. Here are a few things to try if you get in a sticky situation: 

  • Start by washing it off with soap and warm water. Rub it in a circular motion. 
  • If that is not enough, apply some acetone or nail polish remover and rub again. 
  • Applying butter or any type of oil like coconut oil can sometimes do the job. 
  • There are glue removers that can be bought from stores.
  • Lastly, once the glue has been removed, wash the affected area with mild soap and water then apply lotion on the skin. 

Try and See What Works

There are times when it is simply a case of trial and error to see which technique can effectively remove the glue. Remember that preventing glue mishaps is still the best way to avoid this difficulty. Make sure to properly cover the surface that will be worked on so it will not be a problem in case of any glue accident.

As always, test whatever glue removal procedure will be used on a small portion of the surface of the material. This is to avoid causing additional damage while attempting to completely remove the glue from the affected area.