Knowing how to remove glue from glass is useful as unwanted residue and spills can stick to your glass surfaces, creating unsightly and sticky blobs. Follow our guide to get your glass back to spotless condition.
Removing wet glue can be tricky. One quick wipe, and you’re left with a sticky mess that ruins your window, table, or other glass surfaces. Don’t be hasty, do it right!
Know your glue. Some ordinary white glues will peel away or come off with hot water. Tougher glues, such as Loctite Extreme Glue Gel, however, require a bit more effort. The key is to know the type of glue before you begin and proceed accordingly.
Timing is critical. Glue is much harder to remove once it fully sets. If possible, begin removal while it’s still fresh and you may be able to clear away most of the material before it hardens.
Water and washcloth. Your first step should be using hot water and a disposable soft cloth. Scrub the glass until the glue is gone, repeating as necessary. You may want to press the cloth to the glue for a few minutes to soften it first.
Ice. If heat doesn’t work, try cold. Press an ice cube to the glue to freeze the adhesive. Once the glue is frozen, scrape it off with a soft-edged knife.
Solvents. Alcohol, nail polish remover, spray lubricant, vinegar, and lighter fluid can all remove adhesive from glass if water alone doesn’t work. Apply with a rag or cloth, then rub the glue away.
Glue that’s already dried is trickier to remove than wet glue, but similar methods can be applied.
Rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid, or nail polish remover. These solvents can work wonders in removing glue and glue residue from glass. Apply sparingly — a concentrated dose will work better than splashing it everywhere.
Spray lubricant or paint thinner. These products penetrate the glue, allowing you to loosen it from glass. Spray them on, let them work into the glue, then scrub with a rag.
White vinegar. Ordinary vinegar works well for removing left-behind tape residue. Rub the vinegar into the glue and polish away with a cloth.
Commercial degreasing agents. Look for products designed to clean off motor oil and grease, since they also clear away sticker, label, and glue residue.
When these methods fail to remove the glue, try some old-fashioned manual labor.
Scrape off stubborn glues. Scrape the residue from the glass using a plastic scraper, razor blade, or utility knife. Use a smooth motion, careful not to slice the glass.
Solvent plus scraping. Weaken the glue first with a solvent, then scrape with a tool as above. Use a tool that’s sturdy and won’t snap under pressure.
Steel wool. Soak steel wool in soapy water and rub the glue. Use firm pressure, but take caution not to scratch the glass surround and beneath.