How to Remove Glue From the Top of a Rhinestone

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft towel

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Cotton swabs

  • Nail polish remover

  • Wooden manicure sticks

Do-it-yourself wedding jewelry seemed like a great idea, but now, some of the rhinestones in your perfect wedding day tiara have glue stuck to the top. What do you do? Don't worry! Removing glue from the top of a rhinestone can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but it can be done.


Step 1

Find a comfortable spot to work. Cleaning rhinestones can take some time, and, depending on the amount of glue on each rhinestone, can be a difficult process.

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Step 2

Spread the soft towel out on your work space.


Step 3

Lay your rhinestone garment or jewelry out on the towel. The towel will catch any rhinestones that may come loose during the cleaning process and keep you from searching the floors.

Step 4

Take a cotton swab and dip the end in rubbing alcohol. Rub the top of your rhinestone gently with the alcohol-soaked swab.


Rubbing alcohol is traditionally used to polish rhinestones and may remove thin layers or small amounts of certain types of glues, like beeswax glues.

Step 5

Wait for the rubbing alcohol to dry off completely.


Step 6

If rubbing alcohol does not remove the glue, try nail polish remover.

Wet the end of a new cotton swab with nail polish remover. Rub the top of the rhinestone lightly with the swab until the glue is gone.


Always test a small area before you begin working.

To remove glue from the edges of a rhinestone, try gently rubbing the edges with a wooden manicure stick after you've applied the alcohol or nail polish remover. Although using this method on the top of the rhinestone may scrape the surface, a gentle hand along the edges can remove a lot of glue. Wooden manicure sticks are available at your local drug store.

If you cannot remove the glue with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover, look into replacing the rhinestone. Replacing a single rhinestone is often more cost effective than replacing an entire garment or piece of jewelry.


If you're cleaning rhinestones on a garment, be careful not to get any rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on the fabric. Acetone and rubbing alcohol can discolor certain types of fabric, such as silk. If possible, test a small, inconspicuous area of the garment before use.

Nail polish remover can cause discoloring or mar the surface if used in excess, so it should be used sparingly.

Nail polish remover may cause the rhinestones to come loose.

Do not repeat this process multiple times, as it could damage the rhinestones.



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