How to Remove Super Glue

A tube of super glue

There’s this supposedly Golden Rule of the Toolbox. You only need two tools in your toolbox:

Duct tape to stick, WD-40 to unstick.

I personally have a wide assortment of tools for sticking I have an assortment of adhesive tapes and glues. As far as glues go, my favorite is super glue.

I used to work with super glue for hobby stuff (miniature models) for gluing together smooth-surfaced non-porous material. (Never use too much on plastic, though, it’d melt it up.) Oh yeah, CSI uses it’s vapors for fingerprinting too.

I’ve also had those inevitable share of accidents – letting the glue drip somewhere, or have some excess glue run down. Now how are you supposed to remove super glue when it’s built to stick, dry, and last for all eternity?

Now here are a few things that I’ve tried so far that worked:

  • Dabbing the excess with terry cloth

    Don’t wipe it off! You’ll just be spreading it to a larger surface. If you used too much. Dab it with an old but clean terry cloth. Don’t use tissue too. You’d just compound the problem with tissue fabric clinging on dried super glue.

  • Acetone

    Your good old nail polish remover. This chemical supposedly eats up super glue (it’s some kind of plastic). So dab it on, wait for the super glue to soften, then dab it off quickly before it dries up again. For fabrics, you can use acetone then try to brush it off with an old toothbrush.

    Don’t use this on 1) sensitive fabric 2) plastic (would melt the plastic too!) and 3) varnishes and other finishes.

  • Warm water and soap

    Let the thing soak for a bit, when the glue softens up a bit then wipe it off. The soap will prevent it from clinging and drying on again.

  • Fine grit sandpaper

    You also have to be careful with this one. This works well for those metal surfaces hopefully those with finishes you’re not to keen with. Sand it in a circular motion then wipe it off with a soft cloth.

  • Super glue remover
    Hot damn! They have this one? Yes, apparently, the ones mentioned above are granny remedies. You can buy this one from your local hardware and DIY shops.

If you get some on your skin, acetone works pretty well. Just in case you glued you fingers together or something, don’t try pulling it apart! You’re risking ripped skin and flesh (gross!).

I’d really appreciate if other people might have some aces up their sleeves for super glue. Care to share?

81 thoughts on “How to Remove Super Glue”

  1. Acetone is pretty much the canonical way to remove cyanoacrylate (i.e. “super”) glues. According to the MSDS for the Loctite SuperGlue Remover, it’s almost entirely acetone.

  2. Thanks SuperJdynamite!

    I never got to see Loctite’s formulation nor get to test it out. So it’s acetone, huh? Wow. And they claim it’s safe.

  3. A full tube of super glue recently leaked (probably due to the heat here in Australia) onto an open kitchen cupboard top. The entire contents were emptied and then hardened to a rock, gluing the tube in place. I placed a small folded section of tissue over the dry mess and soaked with nail polish remover. To stop the remover drying too quickly before it had a chance to soak, I covered the tissue wet with remover with cling film wrap. This stopped the nail polish remover from evaporating too soon. After an over night wait, I was then able to remove the glued down tube and with subsequent applications of the tissue wet with nail polish remover, and the careful use of a sharp hobby knife I was able to remove the dried glue without damaging the surface. It took about 4 over night soaks with a trim with the knife in between, but it all came off.

  4. Thank You. $500 Burberry eyeglasses ruined, all because of hinge came loose, super glue, your wonderful idea of Acetone. You know people just browse web articles to get what they need. You should have had a warning in Caps.

  5. Hi Simon,

    I believe we warned you against that with:

    “Don’t use this on 1) sensitive fabric 2) plastic (would melt the plastic too!) and 3) varnishes and other finishes.”

    Most eyeglass lenses today are made of plastic. Frames are either plastic or metal with a finish. Acetone eats up plastic and finishes.

    Loose hinges can be easily repaired by a quick trip to any eyewear shop.

  6. It got stuck on me tummy, then in me elbows got stuck together! I ran out of limes and im in a hard situation right now! I can no longer feed myself so grandma D has to spoon feed me. We have been requesting help for five months and all the info I have is limes, and those things are expensive. Is there anything I can do that doesnt cost me millions of dollars cause limes are costly. How about something cheap like extensive plastic surgery?

  7. Hey Say I got superglue stuck on my crotch area of me pantalones. Somebody from another website said that if superglue is stuck there, I take a chainsaw to remove it. I want to know a safer way to do it without bodily harm! Does a flamethrower work better?

  8. Hey how do you un superglue your tongue from your foot? IVE tried eerything that doesn’t hurt me tongue. The only thing I can think of is going to a doctor. But Doctor Do Littleboyz is scary. He is my family doctor, and hes only nice to grandma D. I think I should transfer to doctor Ben Dover or Ifeel Yohieny. Who do you reccommend?

  9. I just wanted to say thank you for your suggestions!! I was trying to fix the lid of my fiancé’s thermos because the lid lining had detached from the metal outlining. Well, needless to say, I didn’t wait long enough for the glue to dry and screwed the lid back on and I couldn’t get the lid back off in the morning!! Luckily, I had my day off, found your website and soaked it in warm water and soap. It took quite a few hours, but at least I didn’t ruin the plastic lining by using acetone like I was going to do, but I remembered that acetone melts plastic!! Anyways, thank you so much!!

  10. what is the best way to remove quick glue from a set of sunglasses? please help me i dont know what to do.

  11. i had a friend over to stay a couple of days and she spilled super glue all over the top of my really expensive dresser. my mom was pissed and i’m gonna be in serious trouble if i don’t get it off without messing up my dresser. help!

  12. my cousin was working on a project for school and she spilled super glue on my tile floor. i didn’t know it and i steped in it. good thing the floor had just recently been tiled b/c we were able to get the tile up and cut it into 2 pieces so i could walk, but its not easy to wear shoes any more. help!!!!

  13. Okay, I tried Acetone on my fingertips, there isn’t much of the glue
    but it’s NOT coming off. Yes, I soaked them, first in the Acetone then soapy warm water and all I that happen was
    my fingers are REALLY dry.

    HELPHELP,

  14. Diane, i’d try holding a pencil between stuck fingers and gently rub.

    Your skin renews itself every month, so they should be unstuck without help now.

    Keep your skin hydrated with lotion.

  15. This is great!! I got it off my skin, but I need to remove the super glue residue off of the bike that I got a year ago. See, the residue bleeds excessively and ended up sticking on the frame (small spot) and the bike screw. Will it work too?

    P.S.: Respond to the last sentence above.^^

  16. Using acetone to get fingers detached is for wussies.
    It’s mostly dead skin anyway thats glued so you can usually easily rip that apart.
    Any superglue just sticking by itself to your skin can be filed off without much trouble, if not, skin dies constantly and it will fall off within hours/days.

  17. Why the HELL would you use Super Glue on a $500 pair Burberry eyeglasses? Then complain in very weird English. Anyhow, just got Super Glue all over my hand. 5 mins later I find this site (with my good hand). Three mins later and the missus’ nail varnish remover and I’m all good. Nice one on the advice.

  18. My grandaughter got fingernail glue on the kitchen counter. I have tried everything I can think of to get it off. It’s been there about a week. Any suggestions from anyone? Thanks, appreciate it. Geri

  19. just knocked a bottle of superglue over the floor and my first reaction was to soak the area in alcohol and scrape off the blobby bits with a plastic spatula! It worked, but still left a little pattern so I found this site, have successfully unstuck my fingers and now find the little pattern is mostly just flaking up all by itself. The nail polish remover has got rid of the last traces. Thanks for the advice!

  20. well its a day from halloween and have found a great idea for fangs. i found a pair of rubber-like fangs but they wouldn’t stay on my teeth. i have had trouble with this for years and put up with it, not anymore!! a couple of days ago i cut the actual fang part from the mold and super glued them to my own canines. for a while i couldn’t figure out how to get them off without ripping them off then i remembered seeing this site. i bite into some limes and lemons and eventually they came off stuck into the lemon like a loose tooth in an apple lol. just an idea for all those other ppl out there wanting to be a vamp for halloween. thanks for the advice.

  21. how do i keep my tube of super glue from drying up?
    i follow the instructions in the tube but the damn glue keeps on drying up if i dont use it for like a month or 2.
    does keeping it in the refirgerator work?

  22. My hubby was fixing a broken item with super glue and got it on my NEW kitchen counter…it got wiped up but now has this filmy scratched look. how can i fix this?

  23. Got some super glue on pin side of my processor, really hoping this will work, its a cheap E2140 so its not MAJOR, but still really hoping I can get these two pins I accidently covered with superglue clean.

    Here’s to luck ;)

  24. i randomly decided to fix a canvas painting that had torn.. the super glue wasn’t sticking to the wood/canvas.. but i just glued my thumb and index finger to a mini tube of super glue and my middle finger was also glued to my index finger. these posts greatly assisted.. i was able to patiently (and slightly anxiously) rub vegetable oil and googone. the oil was KIND of working.. but then we tried goo gone & it worked amazingly well. so goo gone is another option. thanks for all the suggestions though, figured i’d pay it forward & post my miracle substance :)

  25. HELP!!

    I accidentally got superglue on my brand new iphone, and i cant get it off! i tried nail polish remover but didnt want to go too crazy with it incase it melted the case. its on the back, not near the screen. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP??? Thanks guys :)

  26. Hi Belinda. That’s a tough one. As far as I know the iPhone has a plastic back. Super glue tends to eat away at the plastic. you can try to be patient dabbing a bit of acetone but the bottom line is, there’s not much you’d be able to do to get it off without damaging your iPhone’s casing even one bit. :(

  27. I have a similar problem, I accidentally got super glue on the screen of my iPod. Should I use Acetone or not to get it off?

  28. Hi, Please help I have got superglue on yhe white paint on my fridge door and have tried nail polish remover and it has not taken it off. I am scared to use straight acetone in case it takes the pain off. Please help

  29. Hey belinda, try taking the back off the iphone and cleaning that w/o risk of ruining the sensitive electronics.

  30. How to remove dry quick fix from transperent plastic body of car tail lamp, which was used to fix nickel decorative frame.

  31. HELP! i was trying to put rhindstones on my phone, so i superglued them on, but they got super glue on top of them, so they look terrible! and now i cant get them off!!!! i practically soaked my phone in nail polish remover, but they are still stuck tight!!! can you help me???

  32. Superglue doesn’t work by “drying”, but it works by a chemical reaction between the plastic, causing it to sort of melt the plastic back together. So what happens is if it doesn’t work ont that particular plastic, people will just put more on. Well, superglue doesn’t work that way; putting more on just doesn’t accomplish much. As for getting superglue off of Iphones and Ipods; If it’s only a little area, better to leave it be otherwise the reaction would have melted it into the plastic, so even getting it off the area would still look a little f*cked up. Getting it off with nail polish remover, because it too melts plastic will probably f*uck up you Iphone more. Now, if you’re lucky Ipods and Iphones are made of plastic that superglue doesn’t work well on, then it will eventually flake off harmlessly.

  33. I carelessly got some superglue on the screen of my almost brand new HP MiniNote netbook. even worse instead of dabbing off the excess i smeared it around and ended up with a big horrible smudge across the screen.

    since I figured it couldnt get much worse i decided to give the nail polish remover a go, dabbed a regular cleaning cloth in the remover and scrubbed the glue stain, after a few minutes of scrubbing the glue started to come off. it took me atleast 10 minutes of scrubbing to get it all off but it did work, and the nail polish remover hasn’t done any damage to the screen underneath. the only side effect was a bit of light-headedness from inhaling all that solvent, reminded me a bit of my festival days…

    I read on here and in some other places that acetone can damage plastic, however i guess it’s only some types of plastics that you need to worry about. the laptop screen itself is protected with some sort of anti-glare coating so maybe that had something to do with it. i’m not a petrochemist so i wouldn’t know! :p

  34. super glue on cell on the lock/unlok button, phone is completely touch except that button so i need a quick SAFE way to get it out please!!!

    thank you…

  35. help me! I accidently got some superglue stained on my laptop cover. It has dried, how can i remove it without damaging my laptop smooth top? HOW? Help me please.

  36. Hi, I managed to get Superglue on my brand new mobile phone screen. is there anyway to get it off or is it ruined?
    before visiting this site i saw another site that advised to use Nail polish remover with Acetone… i probably never would have tried this if i saw this site first. It didnt work but it didnt make it any worse.

    Please help

  37. Just managed to get superglue all over my hands and was googling around to see if anyone had come up with a brilliant new solution. Here’s my 2¢ worth.
    Apart from acetone, I find the best for hands is a piece of pumice stone and soapy water. As someone else pointed out, the top layer of the skin consists of dead cells anyway and the pumice stone is just abrasive enough to remove a thin layer of glue and dead cells. Leaves your skin fresh and “pinky” too!
    From an ex-girlfriend I got the idea of trying the peeling/exfoliant shower gel, which she used. I found it was quite useful for remaining bits of glue after the first big clean or for more sensitive skin areas.
    Fortunately I have never yet had to remove superglue from a surface which might be damaged by acetone. If I did, I think I’d try one of those slightly abrasive household cleaners (usually in “cream” or paste form). Another alternative would be that new type of cleaning sponge (can’t remember the name), which has a fine polishing action.
    For cell phone screens you can get a special polishing paste. Again I haven’t tried this myself against superglue but it might be worth a go.
    Don’t be blue, remove that glue!

  38. If you are dumb enough to pay $500 for a pair of sunglasses it is certainly no surprise to find you used super glue and acetone on them.
    You probably own an $1000 accessory dog, super glue and acetone don’t work well on animals either!

  39. I want to try using fake nails (plastic) which use a form of Super-glue to glue them on, as far as I know. I am worried that this will be permanently stuck to my fingernails, and if I should try to remove the nails, the glue will be there, even if the nails aren’t. It says in order to remove them, to soak the whole thing in acetone. I don’t want to ruin my real fingernails by using such strong stuff. Any ideas or people with experience with this?

  40. Try this…. I read an article about a guy that got superglue in his eye and literally glued his eye shut. Yup…. his eye. (ouch) They said the hospital used vegetable oil and a lot a patience as a non toxic solution. Same with someone who glued their fingers together. This also may work on the iphone too. Good luck.

  41. Although these are great steps, they’re too risky. Is there a way to remove super glue from a valuable object made of plastic, like the housing of a microphone?

  42. My super glue leaked all over my hands. Both my hands were glued together. After an hour of using nail polish remover and cold water to get my hands unstuck, we gave up and hoped that by leaving it be we could get some to flake off. I put lotion on my hands to help heal my hands from the nail polish remover and it worked like a charm loosening up the super glue. Try it out. It works really well.

  43. mum won’t kill me now for getting super glue all over the kitchen surface now thanks to nail varnish remover haha

  44. mY GRANDSON GOT SUPERGLUE ON MY COUCH IT IS FABRIC AND DARK BROWN- TRIED SHAMPOO -NO GO? DID NOT WANT TO USE ACETONE WORRIED IT WOULD TAKE THE COLOR OUT ANY IDEAS WOULD BE APPRECIATED? tHANK YOU

  45. I took the plunge and used nail polish remover to get superglue smears from the screen of my HTC PDA………

    Worked a treat!! Must be the same material as infinite-loop’s netbook! You will need to test a small area if possible.

    It does take a while and some agressive rubbing (I used the wifes makeup remover pads). But if you haven’t damage the screen with the acetone, persevere, it should come off.

  46. Hi i accidently split a small amount of supergrug on my sofa which is made of fabric any suggestions on how to remove it?

  47. I got superglue on the screen of my ipod, and was worried that nail polish remover would ruin the screen if I used it to get rid of the superglue. But it worked fine! It took the glue right off, with no damage to my ipod. Thank you for all the tips everyone!

  48. There are some funny posts on here! I wonder how folks manage to get super glue all over electronics, etc? Anyway, I can top all of you with stupidity as I have just returned from the doctor’s office with my 2 1/2 year old. She climbed the countertop and found the tube of superglue that I had stashed on top of the microwave. I came in to discover glue in her hair, on her hands, nose, and on the skin on the outside of her eye/cheek. That was the worst, as the skin was glued together. The phone number on the back of the tube is useless…no one answers. I did find good information on the official superglue site http://www.supergluecorp.com/removingsuperglue.html
    that included information about it in eyes and the mouth, etc.
    We are really lucky that she is fine, and that she didn’t glue her mouth or eyes shut. REALLY LUCKY!

  49. YAY!! this did work. using acetone nail polish remover. I just about gave up when I started reading this post and someone said that it will take a while. I used a ton of pressure and lots of rubbing but I got the 2 spots of superglue off the face of my cell phone. The plastic screen.
    KEEP Scrubbing using a cotton ball (not qtip) and acetone nail polish remover.
    GOOD LUCK!!
    And HAHA!@ the posts and responses to the $500 sunglasses.. really?! WTF!!!!

  50. Having read the above posts (lemon juice, soapy water)..I finally was able to remove the superglue from my daughters camera lense on her mobile phone with nail polish remover and a cotton bud with no damage to the lense or the plastic surrounding. Rub with the cotton bud for a minute and then wipe with a cloth repeat until all the glue has been dissolved and lifted of with the cloth. Her mobile is an LG.

  51. dude thank you so much me and my niece got super glue on our fungers and the nail polish remover brought it right off i give you my pledge thanks dude

  52. having spilt nail glue on leather chair,i tried jeeves remedy,acetone on cloth and neat washliqiud on seperate cloth,i,m pleased to say this worked brill next time i,ll do my nails in the bath,whoops dont think i.ll try that one ha ha

  53. Crap! I decided to glue an agate slab that had a clean break in the middle and stupidly did it on my granite counter top not thinking that some would squeeze out when I joined the slab. Now the slab is stuck to my counter top, flat, smooth, agaist flat smooth! Yikes. I’ll try remover but don’t have much faith, how will the remover get under the stone?
    Flat polished stone against flat polished stone, any specific ideas?

  54. Up North, hilarious…sorry, but it is funny. Hope you got it up by now. Plain old capillary action should pull the acetone under the slab if you’re lucky. You sound like a bloody geologist (and I would know)!

  55. Hey guys, I recently tried that whole “Super glue on a torn callus thing” but it turns out the “super glue” is now just common clear glue in most shops and I now have a half torn up hand trying to get it off…

    I tried the soaking and washing with soap but to no avail, any other idea’s would the nail polish remover be a wise choice or would that do more damage to the ripped up skin from the small area I managed to remove?

  56. Hi guys, there are a fair few funny comments here and a few disasters. If you have superglue on your hands or on non sensitive areas ive got a quick solution, a nail file or fine sand paper. Literaly rub it off like you would file your nails. After the ridiculous sunglasses post i feel the need to say, WHEN IT HURTS or IF IT HURTS…..STOP. Its just like removing dead skin but instead its super glue. It should come away quite the thing. Then just wash the area with soapy water and you should be super glue free. This helps if you cant use a cosmetic product.

    The soaking in warm water with plenty of soap works pretty well, however if you use the acetone diluted with warm water in a bowl or the like it works even better. It also avoids the problem of skin irritatation from the concentrated solution.

    My biggest bit of advice however is if you have it on you and its serious go to the doctor or minor injurys unit at your hospital.

  57. I recently spilled some superglue drops on pine wood floor of my rented apartment. It completely hardened. And I found something that made it come off pretty easy all I need was a scraper tool and some kitchen degreaser spray ..well I’m Irish and the was the Lidl brand kitchen degreaser. worked a charm ;)

  58. easy and safe tips-
    when spilled on your fingers(and your fingers arent stuck together) a fingernail file and/or a piece or sandpaper will easily remove it from your fingers without harm:)

    if a larde blob if spilt and dried on your counter, it is really easy to use a large metal file or possibly sandpaper again.

    and TRY THE FOLLOWING AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! i think if you soften up the glue some how, get a very cheap plastic shaver and try to shave it off(i have never tried this and i dont know what will happen!)

  59. I got superglue all over my expensive curtains, it happened like this , whilst repairing an old model aircraft my wife walked past and farted right in my face….apart from the ghastly stink I was ok but it did send the glue flying onto the curtains. Any suggestions ?

  60. I HAD A HARD TIME GETTING THE DRY WHITE RESIDUE FROM THE SUPER GLUE OFF MY FINGERS.. I TRIED ACETONE, GOO GONE AND WD 40 BUT THE ONLY THING THAT WORKED WAS A PUMICE STONE. DID THE TRICK.

  61. ok so ill try the nail polish remover.. but my issue is that i just peirced my lip again myself and everythings fine but someone deemed it funny to put super glue on it. :[ so there isnt a ball on it, just a ring of super glue. its not attached to my skin thank god lol ill wait till my lip doesnt hurt as much from peircing it but yea.. do u think nail polish remover is safe right next to my mouth?? ur probably laughing at me.. >.<

  62. For me it was exactly same as SNR – got it all over 7 of my fingers & back of hand. Read this and with patner’s nail varnish remover was glue free after about 20 mins. Very grateful for the advice.

    My tip is to use the acetone neat & plenty of it. Use a rag or hand towel to catch the excess, then use the towel to wipe away the residue, always moving to a clean part of the towel to avoid spreading residue back to your hands. Follow up with a very thorough wash in warm water with plenty of soap. For any stubborn bits the pumice works a charm.

  63. Thanks for all the useful posts!

    Got finger stuck to shoe while holding bond closed. Whoops. I tried using vegetable oil to lubricate it off, but without much luck.

    However, an old bottle of hand sanitizer, active ingredient is rubbing alcohol seemed to do the trick.

    It may have been a combination of the two, so maybe try using vegetable oil as well as rubbing alcohol/hand sanitizer.

    Note: the hand sanitizer was old enough (most likely aged/degraded itself to that state over undetermined amount of time) for it to be the consistency of water, possibly breaking the super glue bond faster than the more gelatin-like consistency of newer hand sanitizer.

  64. Wow, this site makes me happy. I thought I was the only person that got superglue on their laptop, but I guess not!

    ACCIDENTS HAPPEN!

    What makes you an idiot is if you let yourself do it again on purpose.
    Auf Wiedersehen!

  65. I got super glue on my krumpler bag…tried using nail remover…but no difference…any one can help me with this?

  66. i accidently got super glue on the back of my hand and my fingers when the tube busted.. how do i get it off???????????

  67. Even if you end up getting super glue on your hands (or any skin that is not face) and it’s not a large amount then don’t sweat trying to get it off. Super glue isn’t harmful to your skin. We use it in the field all the time to close wounds and vets frequently use it on animals because it sets fast and makes it next to impossible for the animal to reopen the wound

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