Getting glue on your clothes can be annoying and difficult to remove. Thankfully, there are several simple methods you can use to get glue out of fabrics. In this article, we’ll provide 11 easy techniques for removing glue from clothing, along with tips for prevention.
What Type of Glue is on Your Clothes?
Before trying to remove glue from fabric, it’s important to identify what type of glue it is. This will determine the best removal method to use. Here are some common glue types and their properties:
- Includes white glue, tacky glue, and glue sticks
- Water-soluble when wet
- Dries clear and solid
- Clear or colored solid adhesive
- Applied hot and hardens as it cools
- Not water-soluble
- Flexible when dry
- Designed not to soak fabric
- May be water-resistant
- Extremely strong adhesive
- Dries fast and solid
- Resists water, heat, and solvents
How to Remove Different Glue Types
Here are the most effective techniques for removing each glue type from clothing:
For Craft Glues
- Rinse under cold water while wet
- Allow to dry, then gently scrape off
- Use a damp sponge and mild soap
- Soak in warm water to loosen dried glue
- Use vinegar to dissolve glue
For Hot Glue
- Let cool completely, then peel off carefully
- Gently scrape off excess glue with dull knife
- Soak in rubbing alcohol to dissolve glue
- Use oil or WD-40 to break down glue
For Fabric Glues
- Try gently scraping excess glue
- Soak in warm, soapy water
- Use vinegar or alcohol to dissolve glue
- RubLiquid detergent into glue, then wash
For Super Glues
- Soak in acetone-based nail polish remover
- Apply oil or WD-40, let sit, then rub
- Use scraping and scrubbing for dried glue
- Rub in petroleum jelly, let sit, then wash
Step-by-Step Instructions for Removing Glue
Follow these steps to get glue out of clothes using common household products:
1. Identify Glue Type
Examine the glue stain and note properties like color and texture. This will provide clues about the type of glue. Refer to the glue types section above.
2. Loosen Wet Glue
If the glue is still wet, rinse the fabric under cold running water. This can help loosen and dilute water-soluble glues.
3. Allow to Dry
For glue that is dried, allow it to dry fully before attempting removal. Scraping or scrubbing wet glue can push it further into fabric.
4. Gently Scrape
Use a dull butter knife, spatula, or spoon to gently lift and scrape off any hardened glue on the fabric surface. Take care not to damage the clothing material.
5. Apply Removal Agent
Choose a glue removal agent like warm, soapy water, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, acetone, WD-40, or oil. Apply it directly to the glue stain.
6. Let Soak
For dried glue, allow the fabric to soak for 15-30 minutes after applying a removal agent. This gives it time to penetrate and break down the glue.
7. Rub and Scrub
Gently rub the glue stain using your fingers, a toothbrush, or sponge. The mechanical action helps loosen the adhesive. Be careful not to damage fabric.
Rinse the clothing under cool running water after scrubbing. Check if the glue has dissolved. Repeat steps as needed.
9. Wash Normally
Once glue is removed, launder the clothing as usual with detergent. Wash in cold water, then air dry.
10. Use Stain Remover/Solvent
For any remaining glue residue, apply a laundry stain remover or solvent like WD-40. Let sit, then wash.
11. Take to Dry Cleaner
For glue that persists after trying these methods, take the clothing to a dry cleaner. Professionals have commercial solvents to remove stubborn glue.
Here is a table summarizing the different glue removal methods:
|Glue Type||Removal Methods|
|Craft Glues||– Rinse under cold water
– Scrape off when dry
– Use mild soap and water
– Soak in warm water
– Use white vinegar
|Hot Glue||– Peel off when cool
– Gently scrape
– Soak in rubbing alcohol
– Apply oil or WD-40
|Fabric Glues||– Scrape off excess
– Soak in soapy water
– Use vinegar or alcohol
– Apply liquid detergent
|Super Glues||– Soak in nail polish remover
– Apply oil or WD-40
– Rub in petroleum jelly
Tips for Preventing Glue Stains
While glue stains can be removed from fabric, it’s best to avoid them entirely. Here are some tips for glue stain prevention:
- Cover clothing when doing crafts involving glue
- Wipe up spills immediately
- Allow enough drying time when using fabric glue
- Apply craft glues in small amounts and blot excess
- Be extra careful when using super glues and hot glue
- Follow directions and don’t over-apply glues
- Keep clothes away from glue work areas
- Store glue bottles and tubes properly when not in use
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best way to get dried super glue out of clothing?
Soaking the fabric in acetone-based nail polish remover is the most effective method for dissolving dried super glue. Let the clothing soak for at least 15-30 minutes before gently rubbing the stain. Acetone breaks down cyanoacrylate, the adhesive in super glues.
2. How do you get old, dried glue out of clothes?
For old, dried glue stains, soaking the clothing in warm water helps rehydrate the adhesive so it can be loosened and removed. Adding a few tablespoons of vinegar or rubbing alcohol to the water can also help dissolve and break down the hardened glue. Gentle scrubbing may be needed after soaking to get out stuck-on glue.
3. Can you use Goo Gone on clothes?
Yes, Goo Gone is generally safe to use on clothing to remove adhesive stains like glue. Check the fabric care label first, but it can typically be applied to cotton, denim, polyester and other washable fabrics. Rub the Goo Gone into the glue stain, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly before washing.
4. What natural products can remove glue from clothes?
Some effective natural glue removers include vinegar, coconut oil, baking soda, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. The acids in vinegar and lemon juice help break down glue bonds, while oils and baking soda help loosen the adhesive. Rub or soak the stain, then wash the clothing as usual.
5. How do you get glue off clothes that have already been washed and dried?
If glue has been through the washing machine and dryer, it can be harder to remove. Re-wet the stain with water first, then try rubbing liquid dish soap, laundry detergent, or a stain remover like Shout into the fabric. Let it soak for 15-30 minutes before washing again. Repeat as needed.
Removing glue from clothing can seem daunting, but armed with the right techniques almost any dried or fresh glue stain can be eliminated. Identify the glue type, then match it with the appropriate removal method for best results. With some patience and perseverance, you can save your glue-stained clothes. Just be sure to take precautions when using adhesives to prevent permanent damage.