How to Remove Tacky Glue

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Warm water easily cleans up tacky glue that is still wet, but once it dries you'll need acetone or nail polish remover. When this craft glue ends up on fabric, walls and floors and dries there, a touch of nail polish remover can soften it for easy removal.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cup

  • Teaspoon

  • Laundry detergent

  • Clean cloth

  • Cotton swab

  • Acetone or nail polish remover

  • Denatured alcohol

Carpets and Fabrics

Step 1

Mix 1 cup of warm water and a teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent in a small bowl. Dampen a clean cloth in the mixture. Place the damp cloth directly atop the dried glue and let it soak for about 15 minutes before scrubbing the softened glue from the carpet or fabric. If the glue is still present, move on to Step 2.


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Step 2

Dip a cotton swap or a clean cloth in acetone or nail polish remover. Rub the dried tacky glue with the acetone. If necessary, re-saturate the rag or cotton swab in acetone. Continue applying the remover until the glue is gone.


Use acetone in a well-ventilated area and keep away from flames, sparks and direct heat.

Step 3

Clean the area with a dampened cloth in warm water to remove any remaining acetone or nail polish remover.


Floors and Walls

Step 1

Scrape the excess glue off the floor or wall with the back of a butter knife. Take care not to scrape too hard or you may damage the wall or floor's finished surface. If it will not come off, move to the next step.


Step 2

Dampen a rag with denatured alcohol, acetone or nail polish remover and let it soften the glue. Once softened, remove the remaining glue with a warm water-dampened rag.

Step 3

Wipe the denatured alcohol residue off the floor or wall with a clean rag dampened with water.


You can also use commercially available adhesive removers to remove tacky glue.


  • Solvents, such as denatured alcohol can remove latex paint when vigorously applied.
  • Do not use denatured alcohol around direct heat, flames or sparks.
  • Use denatured alcohol in a well-ventilated area.



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