Whether you are trying to get rid of a price tag or cleaning up the mess of a repair, removing dried glue from a mirror can be a hassle. You want to get all of it out without scratching your mirror or leaving behind some unseemly patches. Learning How to Remove Glue from Mirror properly can ensure that you do not ruin it or affect its glass quality or reflective properties. Let’s review the steps you can take.
1. Cyanoacrylate Glues
Cyanoacrylate glues are very strong and are designed to create strong bonds almost instantly. While very useful in projects, the property also means that it dries very fast, and you do not have a lot of time to clean up spills. It also means that cleaning with water is not an option, especially since adding water only helps cyanoacrylate glue adhere properly. Your best bet here is to use acetone.
2. Water-Based Glues
Wood, craft, school, and other household glues are usually water-based, which means you can eliminate them using water. This is as long as the glue has not hardened. If you are dealing with PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glues, you can also use water, baby oil, vegetable oil, or a water-displacing lubricant.
Unsure of the Glue Type
If you do not know the type of glue you are dealing with, start simple with soapy water and move to vinegar, alcohol, and acetone every time a solution fails. Try to pass your dryer over the deposit, as sometimes heat can help dislodge glue.
Supplies You Can Use
Most of the materials you need to remove glue from a mirror can be found in your supply closet or after a quick trip to the hardware store. They include:
Whether or not you need to weaken the glue first, you will eventually have to scrape it off your mirror. A razor blade with a holder does the trick here. You can start by trying to scrape off the glue and, if that does not work, soak it first, then scrape again. Try to work the end of the blade under the deposit of glue on your mirror, then pry gently. You might get pieces of it or the entire deposit.
Getting rid of some glues will require more work than simply soaking in soapy water. This is especially true for strong varieties like silicon adhesives, epoxies, and acrylocyanates (super glue). When trying to remove such glues from your mirror, use acetone. You can find acetone among your painting supplies or in your nail polish remover. It is the best solvent for removing super glue because it softens the bonds. When removing silicone caulk, you cannot go wrong with vinegar, mineral spirits, or denatured alcohol. These solvents will not dissolve the silicone, but they will soften it, making it easier to scrape. Tip: Acetone dissolves quickly. Before scraping, soak a rag in it and hold it over the mirror for a few minutes. This will give it time to weaken the bonds of the glue.
Lubricants can loosen glue bonds and make dried deposits easier to remove. The best lubricant to start with is warm water and soap. Essentially, you need to fill a spray bottle with water and some drops of dish soap, mix it and spray the glass. You should then allow it to seep before trying to scrape it off with a razor blade. If this does not work, you can try latex paint remover or a penetrating spray lubricant.
Lacquer Thinner is the last resort when all else fails. While the content will vary from product to product, most lacquer thinners contain a combination of strong solvents like acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, xylene, and toluene. Use this solution sparingly and in a well-ventilated area. It is also crucial that you read all the warning labels carefully and not leave the thinner on your mirror for too long.
Step by Step Process (Using Acetone)
- Items You Will Need
- Rubber gloves
- A soft rag or paper towels
- A razor blade
- Step 1: If possible, move the mirror outside or to a place with great ventilation. If the mirror is fixed to a wall, open the windows and turn on a fan.
- Step 2: Put on your gloves and dip your rag or paper towel in some acetone.
- Step 3: Rub the glue deposit with the acetone-soaked rag to dissolve the dried glue. If you can move the mirror, place it horizontally on a work table to give the acetone time to sit on the glue.
- Step 4: Remove the paper towel or rag and pick on the glue with your gloved finger. If it feels softer, take your razor blade and work on dislodging it.
Step 5: Wipe away all the loosened dried glue and check for any residues. If some glue remains on the mirror, apply more acetone and repeat the process.
Cleaning Up Afterwards
Once you get rid of most of the glue, you can clear up any residue using soapy water with a dash of vinegar for more cutting power. Use a paper towel or soft rag to clean the area you have just worked on as well as any places with streaks or smudges.
- Bottom of Form
- Never use gasoline or ammonia to remove glue from a mirror because while they will work, they might damage the glass.
- Don’t work with an open flame near acetone because it is highly flammable.
- Always use a soft rag to clean your mirror to avoid scratching it.
- When cleaning your mirror, always use a soft clean cloth; a brittle one may cause scratches.
- Always work in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves when working with solvents.
Now that you know how to remove glue from mirror, it is important to remember that the method you use will depend on the type of glue and the size of the deposit. Soapy water can loosen up some adhesives, but strong glues might require stronger solvents like acetone. The great thing is that you can get all the materials you need for this job in your home, and the process is fairly short.