Although superglue comes in handy when you need to fix random stuff around the house (and even when you’re in desperate need to close small cuts!), it’s a challenge to remove from your skin, wood, metal, clothes, and other materials or surfaces.
If you’ve been wondering how to get rid of superglue effectively and without wasting most of your precious free time, here are a few great ideas to keep in mind.
How to Get Rid of Superglue: 5 Methods to Try Out
1. Use Some Warm Water and Soap
Do you have some superglue stuck to your skin (most likely fingers)? You want to first try removing it with some warm water and soap.
This may take a while, and you may have to wash your hands a few times to get it all off. Plus, you have to be careful when peeling your sticky skin; if you do it too forcefully, you may actually rip the skin and cause bleeding.
2. Try Acetone
The previous method may not work all the time, in which case you go for the next best solution — acetone.
Ideally, opt for acetone-based nail polish remover and apply a small amount onto your skin using a cotton swab. Acetone should dissolve the bond, letting you unstick your skin in no time. Just remember to apply some lotion later, as the compound can dry out the skin.
If you’ve got some superglue on your clothes or some other fabrics, acetone may help you with that as well. However, this time, it’s best to work in layers. Keep reapplying the compound and brushing the area with an old toothbrush to remove the glue.
Since nail polish remover is usually colored, it’s best to use 100% pure acetone on upholstery, clothes, and even wood. That said, know that it may remove color — it’s best to test it on a piece first to avoid damaging the items.
If you’re removing superglue from wood, keep reapplying acetone and then scraping, brushing, sanding, or peeling the glue off with any appropriate tools you have at your disposal.
3. Go for Oils
Unsurprisingly, you may not want to use something as aggressive as acetone on precious fabrics. In that case, you can try applying some mineral oil on the opposite side of the material where the superglue stain is.
The fibers should absorb the mineral oil and help soften the bond. Once that happens, you may be able to lightly rub the superglue to take it off.
Similarly, you can use avocado or coconut oil to remove superglue from your skin. Try to soften it first in warm water and then rub the oil everywhere to loosen the bond. Eventually, you should be able to massage the glue off.
4. Use Alcohol, Vinegar or Lemon Juice
You can also use rubbing alcohol to get pesky superglue stains off various surfaces (glass, tile, countertops, and similar). Pour some of it on a cotton swab and vigorously rub the area. If the glue doesn’t come off, pour some more alcohol on the area and let it sit for a few minutes before trying to remove it.
Distilled white vinegar is another great option, especially if you’re removing the glue from fabrics, wood, metal, plastic, and skin. It’s not as aggressive as acetone, but its acidic nature can help loosen the bond enough for you to scrape the glue off.
Lemon juice is a fantastic natural alternative too, and you can use the toothbrush method with it as well. Keep reapplying and scrubbing the glue until it flakes off or loosens enough for you to scrape it off.
5. Opt for Sandpaper, a Nail File, a Pumice Stone, or a Scraper
Low to moderate pressure and fine grip sandpaper can help you remove dry superglue from hard surfaces. Know, however, that it can also damage your items, so protect them with some painter’s tape before trying this method.
A nail file is surprisingly super-useful if you want to sand the glue off the skin and hard surfaces. Again, use it gently to avoid damaging your skin or possessions.
A pumice stone may also work if your skin is sensitive or you’re removing the glue from your face. Just treat the area with some warm soapy water first, and then dip the stone in warm water before rubbing it over the surface. Use circular motions for the best effects.
Another option is to use a scraper. A metal or plastic paint scraper should work well on hard surfaces, though it may also damage them if you use too much force.
If you’re dealing with superglue stains on glass, metal, or stone, though, use a safety razor scraper. This tool shouldn’t scratch or puncture the surface as long as you hold it flat against it while gently peeling the glue away.