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How to Get Glue Out of Clothes

If a run-in with an arts and crafts project has led to a sticky situation, these tips will clean things up and save you money on new clothes at the same time.


  • Step 1: Scrape excess off Remove any excess glue by scraping it off with a butter knife or another hard-edged instrument.
  • Step 2: Soak in water Allow the clothing to soak in room temperature water for 24 hours, and then wash the garment and let it air dry. Check for residual glue and repeat if necessary.
  • Step 3: Pre-treat with stain remover Pretreat the glue with a stain remover and wash the garment in your washing machine. Then allow the garment to air dry.
  • TIP: Don't use hot water, an iron, or a clothes dryer if the glue has already hardened. Heat will cause the glue to permanently adhere to the fabric fibers.
  • Step 4: Apply petroleum jelly Apply petroleum jelly or a waterless hand cleaner to the glue if it has already dried and hardened. Test an inconspicuous area of the garment for staining beforehand.
  • Step 5: Fold paper towels Fold paper towels into several layers and wrap the petroleum jelly and glue covered area. Allow it to sit for one hour before checking the spot.
  • Step 6: Contact manufacturer Contact the glue manufacturer for specific tips if the glue is not water soluble or if it is a commercial-strength adhesive.
  • FACT: Dr. Arie Nissenbaum discovered an 8,000-year-old cache of collagen used as glue by mysterious Neolithic cavemen who lived in the area of the Dead Sea.

You Will Need

  • Butter knife
  • Water
  • Stain remover
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Waterless hand cleaner
  • Glue manufacturer

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