How to Remove Nail Glue From Clothing

nail glue

Getting nail glue on your clothing can be frustrating and difficult to remove. That is unless you know the tricks to remove it without damaging delicate materials. Instead of retiring your favorite shirt or other clothing articles, there are a few things you can do to successfully remove nail glue from most materials, but you need to know which methods to use for specific material types.

What is nail glue?

Nail glue is made of an ingredient called cyanoacrylate, according to Hunker. This is the same ingredient in crazy glue or super glue. It works to provide a fast bonding process that dries to a hard and permanent adhesive quickly. Just a drop on clothing will dry fast, often before there is time to wipe it off, and it will form a hard surface. The liquid consistency causes it to penetrate fabric fibers quickly, leaving a hard spot that gets intertwined in between the fibers. These are the characteristics of nail glue that make it so hard on clothing.

How do you get nail glue out of clothing?

The only real enemy of nail glue is a substance called acetone. This is the same ingredient that is used for removing nail polish. It quickly works to dissolve dried nail glue and reduce it to tiny molecules. Acetone has a downside though. It can also melt some synthetic fabrics or cause the colors to fade or bleed.

Methods for removing nail glue from clothing

There are a few methods for removing nail glue from clothing. The acetone method for more colorfast and sturdier fabrics is effective. Soap and water may work for some other more delicate materials. Salt and water, brushing, and picking can also be effective methods. Here are the step to follow for each method of removing nail glue from your clothing

Acetone Method

According to E How, the acetone method is the strongest enemy against nail glue. It’s best to allow the spilled glue to dry completely. It shouldn’t take long for this to happen. Trying to wipe the glue can smear it and drive it further into the fibers.

Step 1:

Soak a cotton ball in acetone or nail polish remover that contains acetone.

Step 2:

Dab the acetone directly onto the dried glue and try not to get any on the surrounding fabric. This will soften the glue.

Step 3:

Uses a pair of tweezers or a knife to peel the glue carefully away from the fabric. You may also use a toothbrush to brush the glue remnants away from the fabric.

Step 4:

Launder the fabric as usual to remove odors and any remaining residue.

Soap and Water Method

The soap and water method is best for fabrics that are delicate or not colorfast.

Step 1:

Soak the article of clothing in a basin with cool soapy water.

Step 2:

Gently scrub the glue using a toothbrush until the majority of the glue is removed. You may also use additional laundry detergent on the toothbrush to help loosen stubborn pieces of glue.

Step 3:

Rinse the garment in clear water and launder as usual.

What to do if the glue is stubborn?

Cleanipedia recommends using a combination of salt granules and water to supercharge the cleaning action. This is a simple process of using either regular table salt or coarse ground salt granules to help further loosen any remaining glue particles from the fabric. You can rub the salt around where the glue is present to help dislodge it further. You may also use a toothbrush. Just use enough water with the salt to help work it into the glue stain. Use clean water to remove the salt and the glue.

Tips for removing nail glue from your clothing

There are a few other things that you should be mindful of before you attempt to remove nail glue from your clothing.

Don’t wipe wet glue

The first thing to do is to resist the urge to wipe the glue after it drops onto your clothes. This often makes the problem worse and sinks the glue more deeply into the fibers. It’s more difficult to remove when you do. Wiping will cause the glue to cover a bigger area of your clothing because it will spread it around.

Let the glue dry completely

It’s best to wait a few minutes before you take any action. Allow the glue to dry completely. This will make it easier to remove. The chemical reaction will already occur and in some cases, the dried glue can be simply brushed off or picked off of your garment, depending on the type of material and how much nail glue was spilled.

Don’t overdo it

When cleaning a garment, it’s best to be as gentle as you can. When brushing the area where the nail glue stain is, don’t rub or brush it so hard that you damage the fabric. You don’t want to wear a hole in the fabric or weaken the fibers. If you pick the glue out of the fibers, be careful that you don’t pull the fibers so hard that they stretch and break.

Always wash the garment after treatment

It’s recommended that you launder clothing that you’ve treated for nail glue stains. It’s best to remove all traces of acetone residue, salt, detergent, and even remnants of the glue with a thorough washing as usual.

Final thoughts

Spilling nail glue on your clothing doesn’t necessarily mean that the garment is ruined. If you are patient and follow the tips we’ve provided above, most garments can be saved with one or more of these methods. Some extremely delicate clothing such as sheers, or silks may sustain damage from the chemicals in the glue itself. If this is the case there is little that you can do to salvage the garment, but in most cases, it’s not that difficult to completely remove all traces of the nail glue from your garments.

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