Everyday life

Removing superglue: Here’s how!

Whether you’re a climate activist or a do-it-yourselfer, sooner or later you may end up with superglue on your skin. However, it has nothing in common with conventional craft glue or wallpaper glue. After all, you’re dealing with a concentrated load of adhesive power. To prevent long-term damage to your skin, you should remove the superglue. But how does that work? In the following tutorial, we’ll explain how to remove the stubborn substance from your skin and other surfaces.

Second glue belongs in every household

How to remove superglue, many people wonder. This is simply because the adhesive with the superpower can be found in almost all German households. After all, it is an extremely practical helper that you can use in many different scenarios. The sticky mixture is particularly helpful for repair work. The classic repair is probably a broken clay vase or cup. Instead of throwing them away, you can use superglue to restore them to their former beauty. By the way, this powerful glue is not only popular in this country.

Remove superglue

Many people around the world use the powerful agent. Despite its name, the adhesive is characterized not only by a fast effect. On top of that, it scores with an impressive holding power. In English-speaking countries, the glue is therefore also known as “Super Glue” – an extremely appropriate term in view of the power it brings to the table. The composition is globally the same. For example, cyanoacrylate is mixed during “mixing”. This mixture not only dries quickly, but also holds on the appropriate surface even in extreme weather conditions. But with the right agent, it can be removed very easily.

Remove superglue: skin

A strong superglue is perfect for sticking things together. But unfortunately, the great adhesive effect does not only apply to conventional materials. Unfortunately, human skin is also excellent for superglue to stick to surfaces. For do-it-yourselfers, this is a real horror, which you should best prevent with suitable protective equipment. Practical rubber gloves in particular are the right solution here. But sometimes things have to be done quickly. And when things have to be done quickly, the first thing DIYers forget to do is to take protective measures. Should your finger or even the entire hand once stick to a surface by means of superglue, there are several ways to remove it again.

Cooking oil for stubborn adhesions

Anyone who currently takes a look at the news or lives in a metropolitan area will certainly have come into contact with climate protests. You may even be taking part in them yourself. Here, protesters stick their hands to the road, preferably at intersections, to prevent cars from moving on. To prevent them from being carried away, they use superglue. In the beginning, the protesters sticking to the asphalt posed a real challenge for the police. After all, the police officers wanted to restore the flow of traffic without hurting the activists. In the meantime, the officers are proceeding quite routinely. To loosen the glue, they usually use classic cooking oil. This is often spread under the palms of the hands using cotton swabs. After a short time, the glue loses its strong effect and the hand can be carefully removed.

Removing superglue
Even when opening the tube, glue can get onto the skin.

In the household, you can also use this home remedy without hesitation. Should you have superglue on the skin or even stick somewhere, you should proceed with caution. If you loosen it too quickly, serious injuries can occur. The best thing to do is to apply some oil to the affected area and massage it in with circular movements. Give the oil a few minutes to destroy the adhesive effect of the superglue. If you don’t have any cooking oil in the house, a little butter or a very fatty cream will also do the trick. After all, it is the fat that reduces the adhesive effect. Then you can carefully loosen the hand and wash off the adhesive residue with warm water.

Soapy water for smaller residues

Should it be small adhesive residues, you do not necessarily have to handle greasy things to solve the problem. In this case, a combination of lukewarm water and plenty of soap is often sufficient. It is best to leave the affected area in the warm soapy water for a few minutes so that the adhesive can dissolve. Then you can carefully scrub off the rest with the help of a sponge.

In case of emergency, consult a doctor

Especially in the DIY sometimes it must go fast. Since DIY king or queen usually do not notice that during the repair work some glue has gone wrong. Quickly, after the work is done, the dribbled finger ends up in the eye or in another sensitive area. Especially in the eye area, you should not make any false experiments and refrain from cleaning yourself. Instead, consult a doctor as soon as possible. This can remove the superglue and take the necessary care.

Remove superglue: materials

When working with superglue, it doesn’t have to be exclusively the skin that gets affected. Even if you’re wearing gloves, the powerful adhesive can end up on surfaces where it doesn’t belong. Since the agent finds optimal adhesion conditions on almost every surface, you should remove it quickly. Let’s now shed some light on how you can detach it from certain substances.


If a drop of superglue lands on your fancy wooden table or the expensive and sensitive parquet floor, it can be a real nuisance. But you don’t have to throw in the towel right away. With the help of a simple home remedy, the glue is quickly gone again. Just try a little nail polish remover. The emphasis is on “a little”. After all, the mixture is often quite an aggressive chemical that should be used with caution, especially on sensitive wooden surfaces. To be on the safe side, you should first find a test area. For example, place a small dab on the underside of the table or in a dark corner of the parquet. If the wood copes well with the acetone mixture, you can use it to dissolve the superglue without hesitation.

Remove superglue

If, on the other hand, the wood doesn’t react so pleasantly to the nail polish remover, you should try gentler means. As on the skin, grease can also be helpful here. Just try using a little olive or vegetable oil. Once the superglue has finally been removed, you should rework the affected area a little. This is especially the case if aggressive nail polish remover was used. To prepare the wood for the future, sand the affected area a little with sandpaper and then treat it with a little wood oil if necessary. This way, the surface is sufficiently protected again.


Should the superglue again land on a surface that is made of metal, you do not have to worry too much. Here you take best again nail polish remover to hand. If it is only a small area, it can be applied wonderfully with a cotton swab. For larger areas, a soaked cotton pad can also work wonders. Simply place it on the adhesive surface and wait until it has soaked in a little. The superglue should then come off as if by magic. Sometimes, however, stubborn residue can remain.

If these remain even after repeated use of the nail polish remover, the use of a mixture of water and vinegar essence can help. Small pieces of metal are best placed in a bowl with the cleaning solution. For larger metal surfaces, you can again use the method with cotton pads. Alternatively, you can use rags or even towels. No matter how you proceed. It is important that the area with the adhesive residue is in contact with the liquid for at least 30 minutes. Once the half hour is up, simply wipe away the dissolved residue. Coarse residues can also be removed with a sandpaper.


When working with superglue, it can of course quickly happen that your clothes or other nearby fabric is caught by the glue. If this happens, you do not have to despair. The best thing to do is to use the tried and tested nail polish again. Similar to the wood, you should test the whole thing but first on a non-visible area.

Remove superglue

This is especially true with delicate fabrics. If the glue comes off, don’t leave the fabric untreated. As soon as possible, make sure that a stain cleaner is used on the affected area. Then apply it according to the instructions. Once this is done, the piece of fabric goes into the washing machine and receives a gentle wash cycle at low temperature.


If the superglue ends up on a piece of plastic, you can easily remove it similar to metal. Here you should again rely on soaking the affected area. The best way to do this is to use a soaked cloth. Before you risk damage by using nail polish, you can also try using warm water first. In many cases, this is sufficient for plastic surfaces. If, on the other hand, the plan doesn’t work for you, you can, of course, bring out the heavy artillery. In addition to nail polish, grease or vinegar can also be effective here. No matter which solvent you choose. In any case, you should soak the spot. Once about half an hour has passed, the glue should normally have dissolved. Now simply wipe the area clean with a damp cloth.

Remove superglue: floors

When working with superglue, it can of course sometimes drip onto the floor. If this is the case, you need to pay attention to the peculiarities of your floor when cleaning it. Easy-care floors such as vinyl, tiles or linoleum are of course at an advantage here. Here you can simply drip nail polish on the affected area. Leave it to soak in for a few minutes. Then wipe it off with a damp cloth and the glue should be easy to remove. However, you should be a little more careful with carpets or parquet made of real wood. Before you drip the nail polish on the area with adhesive residue, you should first check the reaction of the floor. To do this, first drip a small amount of nail polish on a cloth.

Now work the whole thing into a not-so-visible part of the carpet or hardwood floor. If there are no visible changes after a few minutes, you can assume that the floor tolerates the nail polish well. Now spread a few drops on the cloth and massage the nail polish into the adhesive residues. For stubborn residues, the use of a toothbrush can help. While this may have hard bristles for carpeting, it should rather be soft for wooden floors. This will prevent annoying scratches. After extensive working in, you now only have to wipe the whole thing with a dry microfiber cloth.

Removing superglue: Extreme temperatures

If you do not have superglue in the house or you are not comfortable using the acetone-containing mixture, you can also rely on extreme temperatures. These can really affect the durability of the super glue. As a result, you can easily remove it. Let’s start with high temperatures. Imagine that you have attached something to the wall in the kitchen using super glue – for example, an under-cabinet lamp. One or more drops of glue can quickly land on your countertop. What now? Instead of using a nail polish remover, you can simply use your hair dryer.

Heat up the glue every now and then with the help of the hair dryer. Over time, you will see that it loses its grip on the surface. Once this happens, you can peel it off the plate like a piece of rubber. Similarly promising is the use of cold. After all, low temperatures can also be poison for superglue. It’s especially easy if the glue has dripped onto small objects or pieces of clothing. You can simply put them in your freezer. Now you have to be patient. Wait a few hours and then take the affected item out of the freezer. Now you should also be able to pull off the glue quite easily.

Conclusion: Pay attention to the correct preparation

Superglue was not only designed to provide the strongest possible hold. On top of that, this magic glue is supposed to allow you to complete repairs and other work at lightning speed. But even though the work itself is usually done in no time, drops of the super glue in the wrong places can involve tedious cleanup. So you’ll save a lot of time if you don’t get contaminated with super glue in the first place. Therefore, make sure that you always prepare yourself and your work environment appropriately. Put on gloves and not the best clothes. Surfaces are best protected with a few sheets of kitchen roll. This way, the superglue lives up to its name even if a drop of glue lands where it shouldn’t.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Whether you’re a climate activist or a do-it-yourselfer, sooner or later you may end up with superglue on your skin. However, it has nothing in common with conventional craft glue or wallpaper glue. After all, you’re dealing with a concentrated load of adhesive power. To prevent long-term damage to your skin, you should remove the … (Weiterlesen...)

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