What dissolves dried super glue?

Used to adhere one item to another, Super Glue creates a quick drying bond that can be tough to remove. When Super Glue spills on an unintended surface, removing it quickly before it has a chance to dry is the best option. Once the Super Glue dries, removal becomes a bit more difficult but not impossible. Various common and inexpensive household items will dissolve the Super Glue and restore the item.

Dish Soap

Before dragging out harsh and toxic chemicals, try using a gentle dish soap to help dissolve the Super Glue. If the Super Glue is on an item small enough, soak it in a sink filled with warm, soapy water. Submerge the dried Super Glue completely in the warm, soapy water and let soak for 15 minutes. After the allotted time, gently rub the softened glue off the surface. Repeat the process if needed.

Gently rub dried glue on skin with a cloth dampened in warm, soapy water. If necessary, soak the glued skin in the soapy water for several minutes. If the glue remains, gently rub an acetone-soaked cotton ball over the glue before rinsing the area clean with water.


Acetone will dissolve dried Super Glue -- as well as other adhesives -- from various surfaces. However, acetone can also cause damage if not used properly. Acetone left to sit on wood furniture and flooring for long periods of time will dissolve the wood's finish. To prevent this from happening, immediately wipe the acetone off the item as soon as you have removed the dried Super Glue. Dampen a cotton swab in acetone and rub the dried Super Glue for several seconds. Wipe the dissolved glue off the surface with a paper towel. Continue rubbing with the acetone-soaked cotton swab and wiping with a clean paper towel until you have removed all traces of the glue.

Water-Displacing Spray

Safer then acetone, water-displacing spray will help loosen and dissolve the tough-to-remove adhesive from various surfaces without causing damage. Liberally mist the dried glue with water-displacing spray and let soak for five minutes. Dampen a clean cloth with cool water and wipe the spray and glue off the surface. If the Super Glue is stuck on a hard surface, carefully scrape the softened adhesive off the item with a plastic paint scraper. Repeat the process until no more glue remains.


You can remove dried Super Glue from tough surfaces -- such as metal -- with a piece of sandpaper. The sandpaper does not dissolve the glue but it will scrub it off the surface. Rub the dried adhesive with the sandpaper in a gentle circular motion. Continue in this manner for several passes. If the glue is not budging, apply more pressure and begin scrubbing a bit more vigorously. Take care not to scrub too hard or you may scratch the surface. Wipe the dried Super Glue shavings off the surface with a damp cloth.

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About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.