How to Remove PVA Glue

Written by nicole fotheringham | 13/05/2017
How to Remove PVA Glue
PVA glues are soluble, so they can be cleaned up with warm water and a cloth. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

PVA or polyvinyl acetate glue is commonly used for craft and school projects. PVA glues are made by several companies and, although their chemical composition may be slightly different, they are all used in the same way. In the event of a PVA spill, you can remove the glue by using water. PVA glues are designed for use on porous surfaces that are not impervious to water.

Soak spills that are isolated in a small area. Wet a clean cloth with warm water and leave it over the spill for a couple of hours. When the spill has softened, apply pressure and rub a clean, dry cloth over the surface in a circular motion to remove the glue.

Place clothing that has a PVA glue spill into the bucket and soak the clothing in room-temperature water for 24 hours. Do not soak in warm water, apply a hot iron or place the item in the dryer, as this will only strengthen the adhesive bond. Place in the washing machine on a cool cycle, then allow it to air dry. Check the clothing for discolouration or stiffening. If either occurs, repeat the process.

Place objects that have been glued by mistake into the freezer. Freezing the glue will break down the polymers. Once the glue is frozen, you will be able to scrape it off or pull the pieces apart. You can use a paint scraper or sandpaper to remove glue residue.


PVA glue is toxic when ingested. Supervise children when using the glue.

Tips and warnings

  • PVA glue is toxic when ingested. Supervise children when using the glue.

Things you need

  • Clean cloths
  • Warm water
  • Bucket with room temperature water
  • Paint scraper or sandpaper

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