How to remove glue from fabrics?

Removing glue or adhesive from clothes can be done in numerous ways, such as by soaking the garment in soap water or by freezing them for a few hours. Additionally, freezing can be done by scrubbing ice cubes over the glued surface of your garment.

Alternatively, you can also use acetone (nail polish remover), rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and WD-40 to remove glue from clothes.

Using a hairdryer or a clothes iron for applying heat to the affected area is also not a bad option either.

So, depending on the fabric type you can start treating the glued surface accordingly.

Key Takeaways

  • When the glue dries, it may cause patches on your garment due to its adhesive properties.
  • It is common for glue types, like superglue and melting spills from the hot gun, to dry quickly.
  • Due to the glue’s adhesive properties, it bonds to the fabric, meaning that it sticks to the glue and seeps into the fibers.
  • For stubborn glue patches, the best way is to soak the garment overnight in soapy water and then scrape away using a knife or any other sharp object.
  • You can also remove the glue by freezing the garment for a few hours.
  • For any fabric that says dry clean only, you should take it to a laundry professional.


The best way to remove glue from clothes is to soak the affected area or the entire garment in plain or soapy water.

Therefore, start by soaking the garment in warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes.

This will help to loosen the glue and will make it easy to scrape away from the surface of your garment.

You can make use a dull knife to scrape off as much glue as possible.

Next, apply a generous amount of laundry detergent to the area and scrub it with a brush.

Finally, rinse the garment in cold water and repeat if necessary until the glue is gone.

To remove dried or stiff glue from clothes, increase the soaking time up to a few hours.

Next, inspect the garment and rub a mild detergent into the glued areas. You may need to scrub a bit to get all of the glue off, however, be gentle in doing so.

Lastly, rinse the clothing in warm water after the glued areas have been suffused with detergent.

If you’re having trouble getting all of the glue out, you can try using the below methods.


Another way worth trying is to freeze the glued portion with an ice cube and then scrape it off with a blunt object or use a plastic card.

Start by rubbing the ice cube over the glue patches on your clothing for a few minutes and try peeling it off as it loosens.

Alternatively, freeze the clothes for a few hours and then peel the glue off as it hardens.

Repeat this process as often as necessary to remove all of the glue, as this is a safe and effective method.

Rubbing Alcohol or Acetone

This is said to be the most effective way, with a little bit of rubbing alcohol or some nail polish remover (acetone), you can remove that pesky glue in no time.

Now, depending on your fabric type first try to use these solutions in a hidden area to make sure it will be safe to work on the affected or visible areas.

Next, try to scrape off as much of the excess glue as possible from the surface of the garment with a dull knife or spatula.

If that doesn’t work, dampen a cotton ball or cloth with acetone-based nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol and dab at the stain.

It should loosen the glue enough so that it can be peeled or scraped off easily.

Once the solution has loosened the glue, use a laundry pre-treater or dish soap to break down the remaining residue.

Another method is to soak a piece of cloth with alcohol or acetone and place it over the glued area.

Leave it for a few minutes to allow the solution to loosen the glue, then peel or scrape it off.

If the adhesive or glue seems stubborn or if the above methods don’t work, you can try applying a small amount of solution directly onto the glued area.

Next, give it a gentle scrub with a toothbrush or other stiff-bristled brush; this should help loosen and remove the glue.

Finally, wash the clothes as usual, and the glue residue should be gone.

Vinegar or Lemon Juice

The acetic properties of vinegar and citric acid in lemons can be used to remove adhesives and glue from clothes.

Home remedies like distilled vinegar or lemon juice help remove small amounts or small spills of glue.

To begin, soak the glued area in distilled vinegar or lemon juice.

Next, allow it to sit on the glue for a few minutes to soften it.

Now, use your fingers or a sponge to rub the softened glue away; additionally, you can also use a soft-bristled brush to help loosen and remove the glue.

Alternatively, for dried or stiff stains, you can soak the garment in a bowl filled with water and vinegar for a few hours or overnight and then wash it.

You may need to scrub the area with a brush or sponge to help loosen the glue.

Once the glue is loosened, you can wash the garment as usual.


If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to remove glue from fabric, then using WD-40 or a similar solvent may be the best option for you.

Being a lubricating solution WD-40 is effective in removing adhesive properties from clothing surfaces with ease.

Simply spray the WD-40 onto the glue-affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, wipe the solution away with a clean cloth before washing it as usual.

Repeat as necessary until the glue is removed.


The ironing method simply involves using a clothes iron to remove glue from clothes.

You can set the iron to a low heat setting and place a towel or a thin cloth over the glued area of your fabric.

Next, press the iron down onto the towel for a few seconds to heat up the glue.

Then, peel the fabric away from the glue using your fingernails or scrape it away using a utility knife. 

Another way to use a hot iron is by simply holding it above the affected area for a few seconds to melt the glue.

Make sure to keep a distance of at least 1 inch between the iron and your clothing and avoid direct contact between them.

This will allow enough heat to transfer over the glued surface, loosening it enough to easily remove it.

Moreover, if your iron offers steam, then it’s best to use the feature to remove glue from clothes.

Start by placing a thin cloth over the affected surface and running the iron first before using the steam feature.

The combination of heat and steam will make your task much easier.

Hot Pot

For removing glue from clothes, boiling water in a vessel or pot can be used instead of ironing.

Simply place the garment on a flat surface padded with a large sheet or a bed sheet.

Alternatively, you can lay a large towel on the surface and then place the affected garment over it.

Lay the garment over the dedicated space, place a thin cloth over the glued surface, then carefully lift the vessel filled with hot water and place it over the glued surface. Move it over the affected surfaces, similar to how you would use a clothes iron.

Lift the hot vessel and look for any signs of glue loosening from the fabric so that you can peel or scrape it off.

Get it peeled off and soak the garment in warm, soapy water for 30 minutes before washing it as usual.


Hairdryers are yet another effective option to remove glue from fabric.

Hang your affected garment on a clothes hanger or lay it on a flat surface.

Depending on the fabric type, set the temperature on the hairdryer accordingly and start blowing over the adhesive with hot air until it’s soft, then scrape it off with a blunt object.

If you’re using the lower setting to blow air, you may have to go over the affected area a few times to get all of the glue out.

Also, while using a hairdryer, it’s important to note that you should hold the hair dryer about six inches away from the glued area.

Garment Steamer

Clothing steamers can also be helpful for removing glue from clothes, as the steam helps loosen the glue and make it easier to remove.

To use a steamer, simply place the steamer head over the glue-affected area of the clothing.

Hold it there for a few minutes to allow the steam to penetrate the fabric and loosen the glue.

Once the glue is loosened, you should be able to peel it off easily.

Boiling Water or Steam

This method can be used as an alternative if you don’t have access to a garment steamer.

The heat of the water helps to break down the bonds between the fabric and the glue, making it much easier to remove.

Start by applying a mild detergent over the patch and simply pouring some hot water over the glued surface.

Leave it to settle and rub it using a sponge and pour more water at regular intervals

Finally, scrub it using a sponge and that should do the trick.

Make sure you don’t overdo it or your clothes could get damaged.

This method at times proves to be a quick and easy way to remove glue from fabric and maybe your best bet.

Note: Do not use too much hot water on delicate fabrics such as silk, rayon, modal, and so on, as this will cause the fabric to shrink.

Dry Cleaners or Laundromats

Dry cleaning professionals often use special solvents to remove glue patches from delicates and dry clean only fabric types.

They have a variety of methods for removing glue from clothes, depending on the type of fabric and the severity of the stain.

Likewise, laundromats can be a lifesaver when it comes to removing glue from clothes.

All you need to do is bring your clothes to the laundromat and let the professionals take care of the rest.

These professionals are experienced in removing most types of glue safely and effectively from your clothes.

How to remove glue from leather garments?

Depending on the type of glue and the leather material, there are a few ways to remove glue from leather.

You can try to scrape the glue off with a putty knife or by using a plastic card in a gentle manner.

Additionally, you can also try using a household cleaner like Goo Gone or WD-40.

To remove strong or super glue from a leather garment, first, drench a cotton ball or pad with isopropyl alcohol.

Next, gently rub the glue spot with the saturated cotton ball or pad until the glue comes off.

If necessary, you can also use a dull knife to scrape away any remaining glue.

Finally, clean the area with a leather cleaner and conditioner to restore the leather’s natural oils.

You can also find commercial solutions specially designed to treat leather garments affected by stains or other patches, including glue.

So, if you are unsure about treating your specific leather garment, simply walk out to a local laundry cleaning professional.

Tips and warnings when removing glue from clothes

  • Treat the glue spill with vinegar as soon as it happens for more effective removal.
  • If the glue is still wet, you can use a hairdryer to heat it up and make it easier to scrape off.
  • If the glue is dry, you can try soaking the fabric in warm water for some time before attempting to remove it.
  • Be careful not to scorch the garment with the clothes iron, especially if it’s a delicate fabric like silk.
  • Expensive garments that need special care should be taken to professionals.

Final Thoughts

If your fabric comes in contact with wet glue, it can seep into the fabric and even cause a stain.

To get the best results, work on the glue-affected surface as soon as it occurs.

Lastly, always refer to the care label of your garment type when treating glue patches and visit the nearest laundry professional in case of any doubt.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)