How to Clean Polyurethane Glue from Wood

What You'll Need
Sandpaper of various grits
Adhesive removing solvent
Putty knife

It can be useful to known how to remove polyurethane glue from wood, irrespective of whether it was deposited by accident or simply spilled during a recent DIY project. By following a few steps, you can make sure that all traces of polyurethane glue are removed completely.

Step 1 – Inspect

Begin by examining the item, such as the piece of furniture or floorboards, that has been affected by a deposit of polyurethane glue. This will enable you to be fully aware of the full extent of the problem so that you can rectify it all at the same time and do not have to return to remove more later. Pay special attention to joins and particular areas were glue was used.

Step 2 – Remove Excess

The inspection will give you the opportunity to determine whether there are any large deposits of polyurethane glue. These can be removed with the use of a putty knife by jabbing the tip of the tool at the base of the deposit, ensuring that you keep your free hand clear. Avoid using a sharp pointed implement as this can result in you accidentally damaging the wood. The putty knife should be sufficient to remove any large amounts of hardened glue so that only traces remain.

Step 3 – Remove Traces

Once the excess flue has been removed, you will be in a position to do the same with the trace amounts of polyurethane glue that gets left behind. This can be undertaken by rubbing the affected area with coarse sandpaper until you are as close to the wood as possible without sanding the wood itself. Check your work at regular intervals by wiping the surface with a soft clean cloth to remove the dust that results from the sanding process.

Step 4 – Clean Staining

Even if the wood looks as if there is no longer any glue present, there may still be a stain left behind by the glue. This can result in a void if the wood is painted or stained at a later stage. Solvents that are designed to remove glue are available at most hardware stores and can be used on stains. Make sure the area in which you are working is well ventilated and dampen a cloth with a small amount of the solvent. Rub the surface of the wood until the stain is no longer visible. Follow this up by wiping the surface with a water-dampened cloth.    

Step 5 – Resurface

In the event that the polyurethane glue has caused some staining to become ingrained into the surface of the wood, it may be necessary to sand this away to renew the surface. When you have sanded away most of the excess glue, switch to a sheet of sandpaper with a finer grit before proceeding. Ensure that you continually check the status of the glue stain to check that you have removed the stain without doing more resurfacing than is necessary. Treated the affected area in accordance with the wood that surrounds it, such as with stain and/or varnish.