How to Remove Strong Glue From Clothing

Updated April 17, 2017

Strong glue is strong stuff, especially when applied in its liquid hot state. While hot, it is able to wrap around and bond to the fibres in your clothes, making it extremely difficult to remove. But strong glue is removable with some simple steps that may need to be repeated if you want to be able to wear that piece of clothing again.

Place clothing item in the freezer for a half-hour to 45 minutes; strong glue becomes brittle when it is cold. Using a spoon or knife, chip and scrape away at the glue. It usually will just pop off the surface of clothing.

You also can remove strong glue with an iron. Place a scrap of cotton fabric on an ironing board, then lay the piece of clothing on the cotton, glue side down. Apply a hot iron for 20 seconds to the spot. Remove the iron slowly, then peel away the cotton fabric from the clothing. Assess how much glue has been removed, then use another piece of scrap cotton to repeat the process until all of the glue has been transferred to cotton fabric pieces.

Try using acetone or an acetone-based nail polish remover to get strong glue off clothes. Check the label or test a small area of the clothing to check whether the acetone will damage the clothes colour. If the tested area is unaffected by the acetone, began soaking the entire affected area. Use a clean cloth to remove the glue from the fabric as it breaks down. Repeat this process until glue is gone.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Acetone
  • Nail polish remover (acetone based)
  • Scraps of cotton
  • Iron
  • Ironing board


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About the Author

Tifany Williams is a feature writer from Seattle and a proud alumnee of Howard University's, John H. Johnson School of Communications. Her articles have appeared in regional and community newspapers like The Seattle Medium, The District Chronicles, and online at, where she contributed regularly.