How to remove glue stains

Got yourself in a sticky situation with glue where it’s not meant to be? Never fear, we’ve got a stain solution to remove this sticky stain. Glue can be a challenge due to the various formulations — and once it’s splattered and stained your clothes or carpet, it’s not always easy to detect the type of glue stain you are messing with.

Options to remove glue stains from clothes or fabric

Because there are so many different types of glue, it’s always best to check the package for any stain removal instructions. But if there are no instructions, or you’re unsure of the type of glue, try these stain removal tips.

  • Scrape off any excess glue with a flat-bladed knife.
  • Soak the stained garment first in some water, to see if it loosens the glue .
  • Wash in hot water (the hottest temperature that the fabric can bear).
  • Repeat if necessary.
  • Let the garment dry and if the stain is still there, soak again in cold water for 30 minutes.
  • Sponge the stain with a cleaning solvent such as drycleaning fluid or a white spirit, let it sit for 5 minutes and then rinse again.

Removing glue from unwashable fabrics

Unwashable fabrics with glue stains require professional help, so it’s best to seek advice from a drycleaner about removal.

Suggestions and options for removing glue from carpet or furniture

  • Scrape off excess glue with a flat-bladed knife.
  • Mix one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with two cups of cold water.
  • Gently blot the stain, using a clean white cloth. Take your time, and be patient.
  • Using a dry, white cloth, blot till dry.
  • If the stain persists, repeat these steps.
  • When the stain is removed, sponge the area with cold water and then blot dry.
  • More stubborn or older stains may require further treatment. Using a little acetone-based nail polish remover on a cotton bud can help. Test fabric in an inconspicuous area first. Slowly dab the stain with the cotton bud, until the glue softens. Then, rub with an old toothbrush until the glue flakes off. Treat any remaining stain as above.

Stain remover notes

  • The quicker you deal with a stain, the more likely you are to remove it.
  • Unless it’s a fat stain, cold water is best for rinsing a stain, so as not to set it and make it harder to remove later.
  • Before using a cleaning solution, test on an inconspicuous section, such as the inside of a sleeve, to check it won’t ruin the fabric.
  • Always rinse out one cleaning solution before trying another to remove a stain as certain chemicals are not supposed to be mixed.
  • Read the care instructions on the item of clothing before attempting vigorous stain removal. Some clothing may be too delicate to attempt stain removal and are better taken straight to the drycleaners.
  • Don’t rub fabric harshly to remove stains as this can abrade fibres and cause fading.
  • The white towel blotting method is often recommended for stain removal. Simply fold a clean white towel and, once you have treated the stain with water, gently dab it with the towel and check to see how much of the stain has transferred to the white towel.
  • If using commercial stain removers and detergents, always follow the product label to understand the proper use and safety precautions you may need to take.
  • It’s always easier to treat a stain on a washable fabric.

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