How to Get Nail Glue Out of Clothes

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Getting nail glue out of clothing takes persistence.
Image Credit: seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Moment/GettyImages

Nail glue is great to use for acrylic nails, fake nails, broken nails and nail embellishments. However, professional and DIY manicurists who use this glue can easily get nail glue onto their clothing and other fabrics. This is no reason to panic because it is not that difficult to remove the glue.

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How to Remove Nail Glue From Clothes

Nail glue is made from cyanoacrylate, which is also found in superglue products. That is why it is so strong. That is also why the same kind of removal methods are used for both, starting with acetone.

For this method, first dip a cotton swab into a bottle of acetone. Test it on an unseen part of your clothing to make sure that it will not damage the fabric. If all is well, get some rags and closely circle the stained area. The acetone can cause the glue to spread out a bit. Use the swab (or a cotton ball if the stain is larger) and use it to dab at the glue. You should now be able to pull the glue from the fabric with a pair of tweezers.

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Other Ways to Remove Nail Glue

If you cannot use acetone on the material, soak the clothing in cold, soapy water. Give it about 30 minutes and then remove it and place the garment on a flat surface. Scrub at the nail glue with a clean, soft toothbrush and then try laundering as usual. As with the acetone method, the key is to act quickly before the glue hardens.

If nail glue has gotten onto a fabric sofa, you may try acetone but don't forget to test it on an inconspicuous area first. Some experts like to use rubbing alcohol, vinegar or WD-40 instead of acetone. Always start with a cotton swab and remember to encircle the surrounding area.

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While there is another way to remove nail glue from clothing and fabric sofas, it only works on a sofa if it is on a removable piece, like a cushion cover. Place a piece of cotton cloth on an ironing board and put the clothing or fabric on top with the gluey side facing down. Heat up the iron to the appropriate setting for the fabric and run it back and forth for 15 to 20 seconds. Turn over the fabric and see if you can peel off the glue. If at first it doesn't work, you may repeat this process a few times.

Removing Nail Glue From Skin

Acetone is the most effective way to remove nail glue from skin. First, soak the area in warm, sudsy water for approximately 15 minutes and then scrub gently with a nail buffer, emery board or toothbrush. Be careful not to pull or rub, however, as this can damage the skin.

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Next, fill a bowl with acetone or an acetone-based nail polish remover and soak the area for 10 minutes. An alternative method is to soak a cotton ball with the acetone and keep it applied to the spot for the same amount of time. This second method is best if you have any open cuts or wounds near the area. Work at the glue with the toothbrush and the rest of it should come off. To protect and moisturize the skin afterward, slather the area with petroleum jelly or oil.

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