How do you remove adhesives like superglue from clothing, fingers, hands and plastic? Get more insight on how to get super glue off skin easily and fast.

How to Get Super Glue off Skin

Superglue is a Cyanoacrylate, which is a family of fast-acting adhesives known for their bonding strength. If you’ve used superglue before, you know that it dries up fast, which means you need to be fast as well as accurate while working with it. Below are ten ways on how to get super glue off skin as explained by Melissa Maker, author of Clean My Space: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster, and Loving Your Home Every Day.

  1. Use Mineral Spirits.

If you have sensitive skin, soak the affected area in mineral spirits, and then try loosening the glue from your skin. Repeat if the glue doesn’t come off.

  1. Use acetone

This method is best for those with tougher skin types- those with sensitive skin might find this method irritating and causing a lot of inflammation. Acetone should not be applied to open wounds as it causes pain and may complicate the process of healing.

To use Acetone:

  • Soak the skin in warm soapy water as soon as the glue spills on your skin. This will soften the glue. Adding a dash of cool vinegar may also help. Try loosening the glue from your skin. If this doesn’t work pat your skin dry and move on to the next step.
  • Use an acetone based nail polish remover. It must contain acetone, because acetone softens cyanoacrylate. Rub it on the super glue. The dried glue should start peeling off. Do not use a cotton swab, as this can react very violently with cyanoacrylate.

Let the area dry, and then use a nail emery board to remove your skin, too. If you have a lot on your hands you can scrub it on a pumice stone kept in warm water.

  • Let it peel off on its own. It will turn white, but it will not hurt you and it will eventually come off without your help.
  1. Use Margarine

If your skin is sensitive to chemicals and detergent, you can use a little margarine as it can do a better job of removing super glue.

To use margarine:

  • Rub a little margarine on the area on the area repeatedly until the glue can be gently peeled away.
  • Alternatively, if you don’t have margarine, olive oil should work the same way. The grease reacts with the glue to loosen the bonds holding the glue tight.
  1. Use laundry detergent

Laundry detergent is very powerful in removing any kind of stains on the skin.

To use laundry detergents:

  • Mix any brand of liquid laundry detergent with hot water.
  • Rub and soak the skin area for about 20 minutes to loosen up the thick band of glue.
  • If you are removing the glue from a small area such as your fingers, use half cup of laundry detergent combined with the hot water in a coffee cup will be sufficient to get rid of the super glue.
  1. Soak the glue

Warm soapy water may be enough to loosen the glue from your hand. Fill a bowl with warm water and add about one tablespoon of mild soap. Soak the glue area for 30 seconds, then attempt to peel the softened glue away.

  • If you cannot peel the glue away, try using a spatula, or spoon handle over the area to help lift it up.
  • Note that you may need to make several attempts before having success.
  • You might also try using lemon juice instead of water, or a mixture made of one part lemon juice and one part water. The acid in the juice can help eat away the glue.
  1. Try peeling it off

Sometimes it is important to remove the glue by peeling it off especially if the offending glue has only stuck to one finger instead of sticking two fingers together. Remove carefully though and if you feel any pain or see skin lifting off, stop.

  • Wait until the glue dries into a thin solid before attempting to peel it off. Do not touch it while it is still sticky.
  • Using clean fingernails or tweezers grasp the dried glue at the edge and slowly peel it away from the skin. Stop if the glue resists or causes pain.
  1. Use salt

A paste made of salt and water can be abrasive enough to scrape away the glue. Put two tablespoons [30 ml] of salt in your hands.

  • Put a little water in the salt to turn it into a paste.
  • Rub the paste in your hand for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Rinse a little off.
  • Keep rubbing without adding water.
  • Repeat until the salt has dissipated.
  1. Use petroleum jelly

Wash the area of the skin which has the glue on it in hot soapy water.

  • Apply petroleum jelly generously on the affected area.
  • Rub the affected area with a nail file for about a minute. Or rub until you notice the glue coming off.
  • Repeat, then wash and dry your hands.
  1. Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rub the skin with hydrogen peroxide several times until it comes off. Use food grade strength.
  1. Coconut oil paste and baking soda
  • A paste of coconut oil and baking soda can also be used for scrubbing the skin to remove hardened super glue.

How to Remove Super Glue from Fingers

According to the book clean My Space: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster and Loving your Home Every Day. Melissa Maker. She explains in this book, the following methods as very effective and fantastic in cleaning and removing super glue from your fingers. Here are some the methods:

 Soak the glue

Warm, soapy water may be enough to loosen the glue from your fingers. Fill a bowl with warm water and add about 3 tablespoon of mild soap. Soak the glued area for 30 to 60 seconds, then attempt to peel the softened glue away.

  • If you cannot peel the glue away, try using a spatula, or spoon handle over the area to help lift it up.
  • Note that you may need to make several attempts before having success.
  • You might also try using lemon juice instead of water or a mixture made of one part lemon juice and one part water. The acid in the juice can help eat away at the glue.

Coconut oil and Baking soda

  • Create a paste of equal parts coconut oil and baking soda.
  • Then, apply the mixture to your fingers and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  • Then, rub gently your hands together to loosen the glue and wash with a moisturizing soap.

How to Get Super Glue off Glass

Below are 8 way of how to get super glue off glass. These views are according to the author of the book:  CLEAN MY SPACE: Melissa Maker.

  1. Soak the Edges of the Super Glue

Take an old rag and apply the acetone to it. Apply the rag to the spot of glue on the glass. The longer it sits, the more of the acetone can eat or loosen the glue’s hold to the glass. You will notice the extremely rock hard super glue will become like putty.

Though it works well against super glue removal, it works well against super glue removal; it can stain fabrics beyond repair. You will want to be sure that when you are using acetone, that you exert caution as not to spill it on your clothes. Use rags, or cotton swab to apply it in the modest amounts to avoid spillage.

  1. Saturate the stain

If you are unable to peel the glue away, soak it in warm water and try again.

  • Place the glass object in a bowl of warm soapy water. If this isn’t possible, simply wet a cloth with warm soapy water and hold over the glue stain.
  • Attach a sheet of kitchen plastic wrap around the cloth with tape. Let it sit for an hour or two to soften the glue, and then scrape off the softened glue with a blade or spatula.
  • Rub alcohol, eucalyptus oil or acetone to get rid of the remaining residue. Wash the glass and polish if needed.
  1. Use a sharp blade.

Try as much as possible to remove the glue using a sharp blade like a butter knife.

  • A razor blade will do the trick and shouldn’t harm the glass. If you manage to get the blob of glue off this way, simply wash the residue with warm water, and rinse and let dry.
  1. Use Toothpaste.

This method is safer for both plastic and glass lenses. Several site users have used this method on coated lenses without damaging the coating. However, if your lenses have a coating, test this solution first along a corner edge to be sure it does not cause any damage.

How to use tooth paste:

  • Many glass users have written saying that wetting the glue with warm water, then gently rubbing toothpaste over the glue with a cloth worked well to remove the glue. It may take some time and elbow grease, but dozens of people have had success with this method. Most people have used plain white toothpaste, but there are gel toothpaste users who have had success as well. Don’t use any kind of tooth paste that contains micro-scrubbers [blue balls, or red balls] as they can scratch the lens.
  1. Rub the surface with Paraffin.

Paraffin is a powerful de-bonding agent, and it works effectively in removing the glue from smooth surfaces like glass.

How to use paraffin:

  • Soak the glued area with paraffin and let it sit for 20 minute.
  • Using a rag cloth or towel rub over the affected glued area repeatedly until the glue is off the glass.
  1. Peel using fingertips

Try peeling the glue from the surface first. Use your fingertips or nails and see if it will simply roll back. If so, all done. If not, move on to the next step.

  • These solutions should work for smooth surfaces, including glass or wood.
  • Always spot test a solution on a hidden part of the material to make sure it won’t damage it, especially when working with something abrasive or corrosive, like acetone. If the spot test clears, you should be good to go.
  1. Use concentrated Sulphuric Acid

Concentrated sulphuric Acid is very corrosive and it also has de-bonding properties. Sulphuric acid reacts with everything except glass. This makes it effective in removing in removing glue from glass.

To use sulphuric acid:

  • Place the affected or glued glass in a big glass bowl, with the glued area facing upward.
  • Pour Sulphuric acid over the glued area and let it sit for 20 minute.
  • Using cotton wool, remove the glass from the bowl and submerge it in plenty of water in a basin.
  • After 5 min, remove the glass from the basin and rub gently over the glued area with a rag cloth to remove the glue residue.

Please note that concentrated sulphuric acid is dangerous and highly corrosive. The whole process should be handled with care and precision.

  1. Use petroleum jelly oil.
  • Wash the glass and the area which has glue on it in hot soapy water.
  • Apply petroleum jelly oil over the glue area of the glass.
  • Rub the affected area with a rag cloth for about 2 minutes until you realize the glue coming off.

How to Get Super off Plastic

Superglue stains are inevitable, whether you’re making repairs or you are into a craft project. Fortunately, there are some good methods to get that hardened glue off the plastic surfaces, so your projects can finally have a nice finish. The following are four methods on how to remove super glue off plastic surfaces as captured by MELISA MAKER, The author of the book; CLEAN MY SPACE: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster, and Loving your Home Every Day.

  1. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Alcohol is a versatile cleaning agent and one of the few that can remove super glue from plastic surfaces. It acts like a solvent against dry, hard superglue. Compared to other solvents rubbing alcohol doesn’t damage the plastic surface you are trying to save.

To use alcohol:

  • Dampen a soft cleaning cloth with rubbing alcohol [isopropyl alcohol]
  • Dab the cloth on the glue stain to soften
  • Pick at the lifting, softened glue to remove as much as possible.
  • Use a fresh cloth dipped in soapy water to remove residue
  • Wash with clean warm water to finish. Let it dry.
  1. Dampen with vinegar

Vinegar is a multipurpose household cleaner can come in handy if superglue has attached itself to the finish of your craft work. Soaking it with vinegar can help soften the superglue. This technique works well to remove labels from bottles also.

To use vinegar:

  • Make up a solution of warm vinegar and dip a cloth or paper towel into the vinegar solution and drench it. Wring so that it’s just damp.
  • Lay the cloth or paper towel over the glue stain. Tape a layer of kitchen plastic wrap over the cloth or paper towel, to create a humid micro-environment. Leave the items there for several hours. The damp cloth or paper towel will moisten the glue, causing it to soften a lot.
  • Use a warm, vinegar soaked cloth to remove the glue as much as possible after a few hours. Keep dabbing until all the glue lifts up onto the cloth.
  1. Use Nail polish Remover

The acetone content in generic nail polish removers can help get super glue off a plastic surface, so be sure to use an acetone based remover for this job. You can also use pure acetone which is an industrial strength solvent, which is effective on a wide range of inks, pigments and adhesives. However be advised that it can eat through most plastic surfaces. Dried superglue is essentially plastic and that’s why acetone works so well. Try nail polish remover first. If it doesn’t do the job well, go for pure acetone.

  1. Use a sharp Blade

Use your razor blade starting on the edge of the super glue to get up under its edge to peel it off. If you get stopped by more solid glue, apply more acetone to soften it up. Once you have this set of steps down, repeat the process until the glue is completely removed.

  1. Nitro methane component

Nitromethane component is a de-bonding agent that you can find at most shop outlets. This is another way to de-glue your plastic. This is a less harsh de-blinder than acetone, so if you are planning on handling something fragile, like eye glasses, you may want to use this instead of acetone. It will be less likely to cause issues for something that is delicate.

  • It is often marketed as a de-glue solution and it is unlikely that you’ll find it in household items. It is often sold in small little tubes, but a little bit goes a long way.
  • It can be used the same way as acetone, simply:
  • Get a cloth and rub a nitromenthane component onto it.
  • Try to use a diluted version first so that you can do as little damage to the item you are trying to un-glue as possible.
  1. Use lemon juice

If you don’t have acetone nail polish remover or want a slightly less corrosive solution, consider using lemon juice. Apply the lemon juice to the glue in a similar fashion.

  • Apply a small amount of lemon juice to the glue using a scrap toothbrush dedicated to household cleaning. Using the brush, rub the juice around in circles over the glue until the adhesive starts to lift.
  • Similarly, you may have success with rubbing alcohol.

How to Get Super Glue off Clothes

Below are 3 ways on how to get super glue off clothes as captured by Melisa Maker, the author of CLEAN MY SPACE: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster, and Loving Your Home Every Day.

  1. Flushing the clothing with water first.

Rub at the stain to remove as much of the glue as possible just by rubbing.

  • Naturally, use your common sense with respect to very delicate fabrics. Rubbing or scrubbing may damage the fibers.
  • Add some heavy-duty liquid detergent to the water to make this solution more effective. About 2 tablespoon of 30 ml should work.
  1. Apply acetone on Natural fabrics.

Dampen a cloth, clean an old toothbrush with acetone and rub the glue stain to try to lift it up. Scrape the glue off with a blunt knife or spatula, and then wash the clothing as usual. You can also pre-treat the stain if you’d normally do that before washing.

  • Do not use acetone on clothing that contains acetate variations- the clothing will melt.
  • Always trial a test spot before using on any clothing.
  • Note that acetone can dull the color behind the glue stain.
  1. Take the clothing to the cleaner

If the clothing is expensive or you can’t get the glue off yourself, take it to a professional cleaner.

Further references:

  1. How to remove superglue from your Hands and Clothing
  2. Cleaning glue from Fabric
  3. How to get super glue off glass
  4. Removing adhesive [superglue] from glass without damage>watch