5 Tips for Removing Cyanoacrylate Adhesives


Cyanoacrylate adhesives are better known by their commercial names, Krazy Glue, Mighty Bond, and Super Glue (among hundreds of others). These types of adhesives are incredibly strong and valued for as an affordable way for mending small items around the house. However, if you accidentally spill some Krazy Glue on yourself or other places you don’t mean to, you will find that this powerful grip adhesive is highly difficult to remove. Not to worry, however, as we have you covered with a few tips on how to clean up Super Glue messes in a snap.

1. Fingernail Polish Remover

One of the easiest and surest ways to remove cyanoacrylate adhesive is to use fingernail polish remover. However, you need to make sure that you choose a fingernail polish remover that contains acetone. Acetone eats away at these types of adhesives like nothing else.

On counters, tables, or floors, use acetone-based polish remover to soften the glue. Then work the adhesive by brushing, scraping, peeling, and sanding it away.

You can also use acetone and a clean toothbrush to remove adhesive from fabrics, assuming the fabric isn't highly valuable. However, if the appearance of the fabric is an issue, you'll want to try less destructive methods.

you can use a cotton swab and a light amount of product to remove bandage adhesive from skin. Keep in mind, it can cause dryness and skin irritation, so wash with soap and water after this application, and be sure to use lotion to replenish moisture.

WARNING: Avoid using acetone to clean cyanoacrylate adhesive that is stuck to plastic. While it will still remove the glue, acetone can damage plastic surfaces or even melt smaller pieces.

2. Removing Super Glue from Your Skin

If you get Super Glue on your skin or your fingers or a bandage has left adhesive stuck to your arm, don't rush to the cabinet for a bottle of acetone-based nail polish remover. Although it can work to remove the sticky subtance, acetone applied directly to the skin can cause mild dryness, redness, or irritation

Instead, immerse the affected body part in warm, soapy water, and use a damp cloth to gently scrub the area where the glue is attached for four to five minutes. The adhesive should break down rather quickly, allowing you to use your fingernails to gently scratch off the remaining glue from your skin.

NOTE: If that doesn't work, soak your fingers in olive oil for a few minutes, then try again.

3. Cleaning Cyanoacrylate Glue on Fabric

Submerge an old or spare toothbrush in a solution of warm water and mild laundry detergent. Lightly scrub the area where the glue is stuck to the fabric and brush it for several minutes.

Then, warm about 1 cup of vinegar in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds and gently brush that onto the glue. It will take a few minutes to soften the glue up, but vinegar works well and usually won't damage the cloth or fabric.

4. Commercial Solutions

There are a number of commercial solutions that you can purchase to clean cyanoacrylate adhesive. Most hobby shops and some hardware stores carry multiple types of Super Glue removers. In fact, one of the most popular products is actually branded: Super Glue Remover. There are other similar, generic brand de-bonding products that work quite well also.

5. Household Solutions to Krazy Glue Messes

As mentioned above, warm vinegar can be used to remove superglue in some cases. Many people have also reported good results with denatured alcohol or even plain rubbing alcohol. If you're not concerned about damaging the surface where the Krazy Glue type adhesive has settled, you could also try using a plastic scraper or even a hot hairdryer.

WARNING: Denatured alcohol should be handled with care, as well as the hairdryer, which is not only a burn hazard due to heat, but a fire hazard if left unattended.