How to Remove Glue From Paper


If you've got glue on a prized baseball card or old photograph and you want to remove it, it's going to take some patience and a steady hand. There are two main types of glue stains: blobs of glue that are somewhat pliable (or look like they could be if heated up) and dried, flaky glue. The method of removing the glue is depends on which type you're dealing with.

Things You'll Need

  • Steaming pan or kettle
  • Wire rack
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton swab
  • Jar with lid
  • 1- to 2-inch-wide cup or dish
  • Craft knife or cosmetic scissors

Clumpy Glue

  • Soften the glue with steam from a kettle or pan (place on a wire rack above a steam pan, taking care not to burn yourself on the steam). For white glue, a few drops of isopropyl alcohol applied to the glue with a cotton swab will help in the softening process.

  • Place the item in a sealed jar overnight next to a cup or dish of rubbing alcohol (70 percent isopropanol/30 percent water) for further softening. The cup or dish must fit inside the jar.

  • Peel the glue off, using a craft knife or sharp cosmetic scissor tips. Be careful not to scratch the paper; your objective is to lift off the glue.

Dried, Flaky Glue

  • Trim away any excess scrapbook paper (or whatever the card was glued to) from the glue with the craft knife, so that only the glue is visible.

  • Scrape away a flake or two from the glue with the craft knife, being careful not to scrape the paper. Peel off tiny flakes at a time.

  • Repeat Step 2 until all of the glue is removed.

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  • Photo Credit glue bottle image by Bruce MacQueen from
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