How to Remove Glue From Fabric

By: Contributors  | 
glue tube
glue tube

Key Takeaways

  • To remove glue from fabric, start by scraping off excess glue gently with a blunt knife or spoon.
  • Apply a solvent like rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to the affected area, then blot with a clean cloth.
  • Wash the fabric as usual, and repeat the process if necessary until the glue is completely removed.

Glue is a strong adhesive substance that binds things together [source: Merriam-Webster]. It's formulated from petroleum-based chemicals which are synthesized (i.e., man made). Glue hardens as soon as there is a loss of water in the formula. As soon as glue comes in contact with air it begins to lose water, and begins to harden [source: Elmers Glue]. We will now learn how to remove glue that is stuck to various types of fabric.



  1. Scrape off as much glue as possible from the fabric.
  2. Soak the fabric in hot water with pre-wash stain remover.
  3. Wash the garment in the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.


  1. Scrape off as much glue as possible.
  2. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid hand detergent with 2 cups of warm water.
  3. Wipe the solution on the glue spot using a clean cloth. If the glue is totally removed, you're done. If not, continue to the next step.
  4. Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 2 cups of warm water.
  5. Wipe the solution on the spot using a clean cloth.
  6. Rinse the spot with a clean sponge and cold water. Blot the spot dry.


  1. Scrape off as much glue as possible.
  2. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid hand detergent into 2 cups cool water.
  3. Wipe the spot with the solution, using a clean cloth. You may have to repeat this procedure several times until the stain disappears.

Hardened glue

  1. Rub petroleum jelly directly into the stain.
  2. Rub waterless hand cleaner directly on the stain.
  3. Fold together several sheets of paper towel and saturate them with warm water.
  4. Place the paper towels on the glue stain. Leave them there for an hour, or until the glue softens.
  5. Remove the glue with any of the methods mentioned above [source: Good Housekeeping].


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use vinegar to remove glue from fabric?
Yes, vinegar can be effective for removing some types of glue from fabric. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, then apply it to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting with a clean cloth.
Is it safe to use a hairdryer to remove glue from fabric?
While using a hairdryer can soften some types of glue, it's important to use low heat to avoid damaging the fabric. Test a small, inconspicuous area first and proceed with caution to prevent scorching or melting the fabric.