How to Remove Hard Glue

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Hard glue can be removed with acetone and other cleaning products.
Hard glue can be removed with acetone and other cleaning products. (Image: bottle of glue on black marble image by phizics from Fotolia.com)

Many people use glue to bond objects together because of its versatility, simple application, and strong bond. Occasionally, glue spills onto surfaces and leaves dry, hard droplets. Although glue can bond instantly and seem incredibly strong, acetone can dissolve the bond and remove the glue. Acetone should be tested on a small, hidden area of the surface before applying it to the glue, to prevent discoloration.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swab
  • Acetone-based nail polish remover
  • Toothbrush
  • Very fine sand paper
  • Laundry detergent
  • 2 washcloths
  • Water

Make sure the glue is completely dry and hard. Dip a cotton swab into acetone-based nail polish remover. Rub the cotton swab on an inconspicuous area of the surface. Check for discoloration or damage to the surface.

Dampen the cotton swab with more acetone-based nail polish remover. Rub the swab over the glue. Place the cotton swab on the glue, allowing the acetone to soak into the glue for two minutes.

Scrub the glue vigorously with a toothbrush until the glue flakes off. Check to see if the glue is removed. If the glue still remains, repeat the entire procedure.

Rub the glue gently with very fine sand paper if the glue still remains. Pour a drop of laundry detergent on a hidden area of the surface. If no damage or discoloration occurs, pour a couple drops of the detergent directly on the glue.

Rub the laundry detergent into the glue with your finger. Dampen a washcloth with water, and then rub the washcloth over the glue until it is removed. Dry the surface with another dry washcloth.

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