The Surefire Way To Remove Super Glue From Plastic Surfaces

When you need to repair a broken plastic container, sculpture, tool, or another item, what's the first mending agent you reach for? If you said "super glue," you are not unlike most people. Super glue offers a strong bond and is quick drying, and it's usually invisible when used correctly. However, along with these perks, the viscosity of super glue is fairly low, meaning it runs quickly if you use too much or aren't paying attention. This often leads to super glue stuck to your skin, dried to the surface of whatever item you're fixing, and sometimes, it has glued two items together that were never meant to be bonded.

Plastic seems to be among the easiest materials to remove dried-on super glue messes from, and it doesn't require any toxic chemicals or expensive cleaning products to do the job. Most recommend starting with a wet rag to soak the hardened glue and then taking a solvent to further break the bond between the glue and plastic. As with most simple tricks for removing super glue, this may take a little more elbow grease than you'd expect, but the results won't just sparkle — they'll shock you with ease and affordability. Here are our best tips for removing super glue this way.

Tips for removing super glue from plastic

The first rule of super glue removal is to never clean it up while it's still wet or tacky. Trying to wipe away sticky glue will only create a larger mess. When you're sure the rouge super glue is dry, use a sufficiently moist rag and lay it over the stained area. If this area is fairly small, you can fold over your rag a few times before pressing it onto the surface. Then, ensure that the cloth won't be moved. Depending on the size of the object, you can choose to wrap it in plastic, set something heavy on top of the wet towel, or tie it on with another piece of fabric. If water alone isn't enough to soften the glue after a few hours, try adding some liquid dish soap, vegetable oil, or coconut oil to it.

After three hours minimum, remove the rag and use a plastic scraper to scrape at the glue. Likely, it will easily lift and break off from the surface of the plastic, but you may have some stubborn residue left. For this, you can apply a solvent, like rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, or diluted nail polish remover, to a cotton ball and dab it onto the super glue remnants before scraping it away and wiping it with a clean cloth. If you still notice some excess glue, also try fine-grit sandpaper to take off what's left; just take care to avoid damaging the plastic.