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How to remove glue from fabric: The answer is at your fingertips

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Knowing how to remove super glue and other adhesives from fabric can be important. Your clothes and other fabrics may end up with spills and unwanted residue on them. Get glue off fabric easily and without damaging your favorite materials by following our guide.

Can I remove dried glue from fabric?

Glue on clothes is annoying, but it doesn’t automatically mean your fabrics are ready for the trash. There are easy ways to remove glue from fabrics, you just have to know which methods work best.

How to remove glue from fabric: Simple solutions

Removing glue from fabric can be a frustrating experience if you dive right in without a little know-how. Here’s how to do it the right way for most common types of glue.

Super glues are some of the most commonly used household glues, and they are also responsible for most of the stains. To remove super glue from fabrics, first wait until the glue is fully dried. Use a dull knife or edge to remove as much of the dried glue as you can. Soak the glue in cold water, then blot the glue with a wet sponge.

A piece of fabric with a stain on it held in a transparent bowl of water.
Soak the glue in cold water to get rid of the stains

If the glue persists, apply acetone (or an acetone-based product) with a cotton swab, starting at the stuck glue’s seam and working outward, careful not to apply too much directly on the fabric. Blot away excess acetone and softened glue with a cloth. Repeat as necessary, then rub heavy-duty laundry detergent into the spot, let it sit, and launder as normal. Make sure the glue is fully removed before drying at high heat.

Hot glue is commonly used at home, but it can leave bad stains on fabric. To remove hot glue from fabric, start by placing the fabric in a freezer overnight. Once it’s frozen, you may be able to scrape it away with a dull-edged tool or your fingernail.

Another solution is a commercial cleaner, which can remove most glues from fabric. Acetone, commonly found in nail polish remover, also works wonders. Be careful, though: acetone can dissolve certain synthetic fibers.

Some glues like super glues or epoxies need to be soaked for longer and acetone may dry off too quickly. In these cases, a dedicated glue remover works best.

To remove sticker residue from fabric, try warm white vinegar, then rinse thoroughly. Rubbing alcohol can also do the trick.

With any of these solutions, they should be checked first on a hidden part of the fabric to make sure the fabric is not damaged.

A person rubs a cotton ball over a glue stain on a shirt.
Getting glue stuck to your favorite clothes is a pain, but easy to fix. You can use an acetone-based product with a cotton ball or swab to remove the stain

Working with glue on fabric

Repairing common fabrics with glue is usually an easy fix, but spills or overflow can leave unsightly stains. When using glue directly on fabric, the best way to prevent disaster is by using adhesives specially formulated for use with fabric.

Loctite Vinyl, Fabric & Plastic Flexible Adhesive is a clear liquid adhesive that’s specially formulated for repairing, mending, and bonding fabrics, as well as flexible plastics like vinyl seats, cushions, tarps, and outdoor gear. Waterproof and resistant to age and sunlight, it’s perfect for long-lasting repairs in both interior and exterior applications.

Products used

  • loctite vinyl plastic adhesive 1oz card
    Loctite Vinyl, Fabric & Plastic Repair

    Mending rips and tears in all flexible materials like seats, cushions, tarps and clothing.

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