How to Remove Glue Stains from Clothes

For getting things to stick together, glue has its uses, but a glue stain on your clothes doesn't have to leave you in a sticky situation. First, consult the glue packaging for any specific removal instructions. If there are no instructions, follow the steps below, starting by letting the glue dry and then removing the excess carefully with a dull knife. Now, you'll just need a bucket or sink for soaking and Tide liquid detergent to remove basic glue stains. For other adhesive stains, you can reach for rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to pre-treat. Read on for step-by-step advice on how to remove regular glue stains, as well as super glue and rubber cement stains.

A person removing excess stain from a white shirt with a toothbrush
Step 1

Remove Excess

Scrape off any excess from the garment with a fork or a butter knife, being careful not to tear the fabric.

Step 1

Remove Excess

Scrape off any excess from the garment with a fork or a butter knife, being careful not to tear the fabric.

A person pretreating a denim jacket with Tide liquid laundry detergent and water
Step 2

Soak

Soak the garment in cold water for 5 minutes, then remove any glue that has loosened. Repeat this step until no additional glue can be removed.

Step 2

Soak

Soak the garment in cold water for 5 minutes, then remove any glue that has loosened. Repeat this step until no additional glue can be removed.

A person pouring Tide liquid detergent into the detergent dispenser
Step 3

Dose

Use the cap to ensure you use the right amount of Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid detergent, and pour it into the detergent dispenser if you have an HE machine, or directly into the drum before loading the clothes if you have a non-HE machine.

Step 3

Dose

Use the cap to ensure you use the right amount of Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid detergent, and pour it into the detergent dispenser if you have an HE machine, or directly into the drum before loading the clothes if you have a non-HE machine.

Select the wash cycle and water temperature on your washing machine
Step 4

Wash

Place the garment into the washer with other items. Wash on the usual cycle, on the hottest wash temperature indicated. Always check the instructions on the garment’s care label.

Step 4

Wash

Place the garment into the washer with other items. Wash on the usual cycle, on the hottest wash temperature indicated. Always check the instructions on the garment’s care label.

A person loading white clothes into the washing machine drum
Step 5

Unload

When the cycle is complete, unload the garments immediately.

If the stain remains, repeat steps 2-5 before drying.

Step 5

Unload

When the cycle is complete, unload the garments immediately.

If the stain remains, repeat steps 2-5 before drying.

You can always count on super glue to fix virtually anything, but if you happen to get it on your clothes, there is no need to panic, we have your fix right here. For removing super glue stains, you can use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to pre-treat, but do not attempt this on delicate or dry-clean-only fabrics.

  1. Allow the glue to dry, and then carefully scrape off any excess.

  2. Test for colorfastness first: Apply the solvent to an inconspicuous area of the garment with a Q-tip, and let it sit for 1-3 minutes before applying a paper towel to the area. If no color comes off on the towel, the garment is colorfast, and you can continue to pre-treat.

  3. Apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton cloth and gently rub the stain. Rub the stain from the outside in to avoid spreading it, and continue until the super glue is removed.

  4. After the excess super glue is removed, pour Tide liquid detergent directly onto the stain, making sure you completely cover it. Let it sit for 20 minutes to loosen the remaining stain.

  5. Continue washing as usual with Tide, following the steps described above.

It’s not only general craft glue and super glue that can leave its mark, but also rubber cement. Try the steps below to save your garments from rubbery ruin.

  1. If the rubber cement is dry, scrape off as much of the glue as you can using a dull knife. If you are not dealing with a delicate fabric, you can also use a solvent such as rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to loosen the glue on the garment.

  2. After the excess glue is removed, pre-treat the stain with Tide liquid. You can pour it directly onto the stain, and let it sit for 20 minutes.

  3. Just like with super glue and general glue stain removal, continue washing as usual with Tide detergent.

Don't Forget When Dealing with Glue Stain on Clothes

  1. Let the glue dry before scrubbing to avoid spreading it further into the fibers.

  2. Allow the glue to dry naturally, as applying heat will set the stain.

  3. Check your garment’s fabric content and care label first before attempting to use a solvent to remove the glue. Be sure to test the garment for colorfastness, and don't attempt on delicate fabrics.

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