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Glue dripping from a tube.

How to Remove Super Glue from Clothes

Rainy days are the perfect excuse to open up the craft bag and get creative with the kids. With a few bits of card, some paint, and a careful adult in charge of the super glue – you can make almost anything you set your mind to. Unfortunately, we’re not always careful enough! Super glue stains can be a very common ­– yet unwelcome – ­sight after a day of crafting activities or DIY. If you’ve found some super glue on your clothing, here’s everything you need to know to help get that stain out.


What Removes Super Glue?

Although white school glue such as PVA glue can successfully be dissolved with water, and epoxy adhesives can be dissolved with rubbing alcohol or methylated spirits, one of the only substances that’s proven to be effective at removing stubborn super glue is acetone – but it’s worth consulting the manufacturer’s label on your glue for specific advice or contacting the manufacturer as different super glues may contain different ingredients.

You may already have some acetone lying around the house, as some nail polish removers contain the chemical. However, acetone could discolour some delicate fabrics ­– so always test on a small, inconspicuous area first, and keep the room well ventilated.

Before using an acetone-based nail polish remover on glue stains, always check the care label of your garment – if you notice that the clothing is made from acetate, don’t use acetone to remove the stain as it could damage the fabric; instead take it to a professional dry cleaner.  


How NOT to Remove Super Glue From Clothes

While it’s important to know how to remove super glue from fabric, it’s also important to know how NOT to remove super glue stains! Here are some handy tips to ensure you’re using the most effective methods for getting your clothes clean again:

  • Don’t panic! Scrubbing away at super glue stains straight away can actually make the stain much worse. Although we’re often told to tackle clothing stains quickly, stains such as mud and glue will be much easier to remove if they are left to dry. Super glue is very easy to spread when it’s wet, making the stained area much larger.
  • Don’t try and rush the drying process. The high heat of a tumble dryer can set the stain into the fabric if it isn't completely removed in the washing machine. Allow the garment to dry naturally, and if you do notice some mild discoloration remains, repeat the cleaning process once more.


Easy Techniques for Removing Super Glue from Clothes

Here’s a step-by-step guide to removing super glue from clothing in a way that’s simple, straightforward, and hassle-free:

  • Allow the glue to dry completely before tackling the stain – it should feel hard to the touch, and should no longer be sticky. You can speed up this process by soaking in a bowl of cold water.
  • If you’re working with everyday cottons or synthetic fabrics it’s always worth trying to scrape off as much of the dried glue as possible using a blunt object like a spoon. Scrape gently, skimming the surface of the fabric, rather than digging into the fibres, which could cause damage. Don’t expect all the glue to be removed, but if you can take off some of the layers this will make the following steps much quicker. If you’re working with delicate fabrics, it’s best to avoid this step, as you don’t want to be pulling at wool or silk.
  • Apply a small amount of acetone onto a cotton wool ball and test on an inconspicuous area of the garment first. If there is no adverse effect, begin to dab the stain with the acetone, rubbing gently. The acetone will eventually begin to break the adhesive bond between the glue and the fabric, and the dried glue will start to soften – you should be able to feel this happening with your fingers. Keep dabbing until the stain feels completely soft – this may take a bit of time.
  • Once the stain has been softened and the adhesive bond has been compromised, you can get to work using a pre-treatment stain remover to finish the job. Persil small & mighty can be carefully massaged deep into the fabric with the base of the dosing ball it comes with – this will work to draw the stain out of the material. Rinse in cold water before washing.
  • Wash the clothing as normal at a warm temperature – around 30 degrees (but check your care labels first to ensure the material can be washed at this temperature – if not, wash at the highest temperature the fabric can stand). Following the dosing instructions on the label, pop some more Persil small & mighty into the machine to help get rid of any remaining splodges.

Although removing super glue from your clothes might not be as quick as getting rid of water-based glues, it’s not impossible! All it takes is a little know-how and a little bit of extra time on laundry day – meaning you can enjoy those crafting or DIY activities without fear of super glue stains! Do you have any tips for removing super glue from clothes? Share your tips below!

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