Close up of an adhesive glue stain on a table.

DIY SOS: How to Remove Household Adhesive Stains

Whether you’re gluing the handle back on your favourite mug or sticking down a loose bit of wood veneer, heavy-duty household adhesives are invaluable. But no matter how careful you are, accidents can (and generally do) happen, leaving you with the task of getting adhesive off clothes.

Luckily, removing glue from fabric isn’t that difficult – you just need to learn how to get glue off clothes without damaging them. Should you consult an expert about getting adhesive off clothes?

Should you consult an expert about getting adhesive off clothes?

The first thing to do before you start getting adhesive off clothes is to think about the kind of fabric you’re dealing with. Most of us do our DIY in easy-care fabrics that are pretty resilient, but if you have brushed against wet glue in your best silk, then you should check the label before trying any home stain removal methods. You may be better off going to a dry cleaners.

If your fabric is safe to be washed at home, and is made of hardier stuff (such as cotton or synthetic material) then you can try removing glue from fabrics at home.

How to remove glue from fabric: Step by Step

Top Tip: Check the ingredients on the packaging of the glue to see what sort of adhesive you’re dealing with and look for any specific stain-removal advice.

  1. Let the glue stain dry completely – working with wet glue will only spread it further.
  2. Scrape as much dry glue off as you can – use the back of a spoon for this, and apply a gentle pressure. Avoid this step on delicate materials that can damage easily.
  3. Apply acetone with cotton wool – gently dab the stain until the glue softens and starts to come away. Remember to test this stain remover on a small area of the garment first as acetone may remove some dyes from fabrics.
  4. Treat the stain with Persil liquid – apply a little directly to the fabric and run in gently with the dimpled base of the dosing ball. Read the packaging for further usage instructions.
  5. Wash the item as normal – remember to follow your usual washing instructions, and choose a low wash temperature.
  6. Check for stains – if any marks remain, repeat steps 2-5 again. Do not allow the garment to dry between re-treating.

Getting adhesive off clothes with acetone: top tips

Not sure what acetone is, or where to find it? Follow our top tips to make sure you’re always able to tackle those glue stains:

  • Acetone helps remove glue from clothes by dissolving the adhesive so use sparingly
  • You can buy acetone at some chemists, but it is also the active ingredient in many nail polish removers so you might want to check there first • Acetone can cause colour bleed on fabrics so always test it on a hidden area first
  • Acetone will dissolve the glue in layers so take a break every now and again and rub the area gently with a clean cloth or an old, soft toothbrush

There you have it – everything you need to know about how to remove glue from clothing. Want more information? You can find out more about removing glue from fabric with these Persil articles!

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