How to Remove Glue from Fabric

You will find on this page techniques for removing wood glue, white glue, epoxy and gorilla wood glue from clothing or fabric.

For information on Superglue or Krazy glue and those types of glue, look at our Super Glue section.

Remove white glue from fabric
(white glue, elmers glue)

These glues are mostly water based and so are much easier to remove.

First, allow the glue to dry. Gently scrape off as much as you can with a dull knife or a credit card or something similar. Try not to stretch the fabric. To get off the rest, let it soak in cold water for 10-15 minutes. Then work a drop of liquid laundry detergent into the stain with your fingers. Rinse the fabric with cold water and let dry. If it is type of fabric that can be washed and if you put it in a machine, use cold water. If it is not the type of fabric that can be put in a machine use a small brush with water to continue to work the rest of the glue out.

Remove epoxy from fabric(acrylic)

Epoxies are two part glues. They are very strong, can be used around the house, for crafts and there are types for commercial uses. If some ends up on a shirt, blouse or other fabric, then the sooner you get to it the better (as for most glue 'accidents'of any type). Acetone is one of better solvents for epoxy so it is best to test it on an area of the fabric that is not normally visible to see if it will damage or fade the material.

This technique involves acetone so test somewhere on the fabric first. Somewhere that will not show. Acetone can damage and fade some fabrics. Get a clean cloth and soak in acetone - you can get nail polish remover if you like or use Mister Glue's Uncure. Lay the soaked cloth over the fabric and seal it somehow to keep the solvent from evaporating. Plastic bag, saran wrap or some other kind of cling wrap will do the trick. Leave it for a couple of to soak in. Check periodically and if the solvent has dried add a bit more. At this point you should be able to peel off the softened epoxy. Try a dry cloth or if that does not work a dull knife or hard plastic edge. Once thoroughly cleaned launder as usual.

Remove wood glue from fabric:

Great for wood but not so much for clothing. Again as with most glue stains, the sooner you get to it the better.

Here are a few different options:

Wood glue is generally water soluble so should come off pretty easily. Some will come off just by throwing in the washing machine. I suggest that if you do this use a cold cycle.

As soon as you notice the glue on the fabric rinse the wood glue stain with cool water. Most will come off with just that.

This is a technique that I have not tried and would be a bit nervous about: Put the stained part into boiling water for a couple of minutes. This should soften the glue or turn it into liquid. Generally with heat I find that it will fasten dyes and other things into fabric but there are several people telling me that this works. Another way of using heat is with an iron. Place a piece of cloth between the iron and glue and heat it up to soften the glue.

Once most of the glue has been removed you can use some white vinegar on a cloth to saturate any remaining glue. Then scrape off with a dull knife or your fingers.

For the tougher situations you can try ammonia - again test, test, test. Also, best to use gloves as ammonia can be a bit nasty.damage the fabric.

How to remove Gorilla Glue:

(Gorilla Wood Glue)
Again it is a water based glue and should be removed as above. If you leave these glues too long they will be tougher to remove and often leave permanent stains. If you notice the Gorilla Glue on fabric and it is still wet use cold water to rinse off.

How to Remove Super Glue type glues from Fabric: 

Acetone or Mister Glue's UnCure.  BUT...please test to see how it will affect the fabric.  Many fabrics have synthetics in them.  An acetone will likely melt them.  The Uncure is not as violent but be careful with that as well.  With Mister Glue's Uncure, put a small amount on the offending glue and let is soak in.  Scrape or wipe off without smearing on more of the fabric.  You may have to do this in layers.

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