How to Remove Wood Glue From Clothes?

If you purchase a product through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Details

Other than wood, wood glue also bonds well to paper and fabric. So, when you get wood glue on your clothes, how do you remove it? However careful you are, when working with wood glue, getting some on your clothes even if you wear an apron is sort of inevitable. How to get rid of this stuff?

How to remove wood glue from clothes is something that all woodworkers are interested to know. Because every woodworker faces this problem at some time or the other. Fortunately, there are quite a few hacks for removing wood glue from clothes. But you need to know which hack works best for different types of wood glue.

How to Remove Wood Glue from Clothes

Spilled wood glue can leave stubborn stains on your clothes. If you have a favorite shirt or pair of trousers, you would be reluctant to dispose of it merely because of a couple of drops of wood glue.

Fortunately, you don’t have to consider throwing away a favorite garment if you know the glue that stained it. Depending on the glue, you can effectively get rid of wood glue stains through these solutions using household items:

Boiling Water

A pot of boiling water

This is the simplest method to remove glue from fabric. It is most effective on the glue that has already dried up and hardened. You immerse the fabric in boiling water. Wood glue is water-soluble, so it dissolves in water and dissolves even faster in boiling water.

You Will Need

  • Stove
  • Pot for boiling water
  • Water
  • Tongs


Half fill the pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Plunge the garment into the boiling water. Let the water boil with the garment for 15 to 20 minutes to a maximum of half an hour.

Use the tongs to handle the boiling clothes. If you see that the glue has dissolved, you can rinse them in cold water and hang them up to dry. If you cannot get rid of the glue from your garments through this method, you can try some of the methods given below.

Liquid Soap

Washing Hands. Isolated on a white background.

Liquid soap is a great solution for lifting a variety of stains including glue stains off the fabric. It is one of the mildest detergents, so you would do well to give the fabric a thorough wash later on. Ensure to get rid of all the soap suds by adequate flushing to protect your clothes and the washing machine when you place your clothes in it.

You Will Need

  • Liquid soap
  • Clean cloth
  • Warm water


Wet the spot stained by wood glue. Apply a few drops of liquid soap. Using the clean cloth, rub the spot gently until the glue dissolves. Rinse the cloth in warm water. If some of the wood glue residue remains, repeat the above process.


Hair dryer in hand

You can melt wood glue that has dried by applying the heat of an electric iron. Never apply heat directly with your iron. You may overheat the fabric and singe it. Another good alternative to an electric iron is a hairdryer.

You Will Need

  • Electric iron or hairdryer
  • Soap
  • Hot water in a bowl
  • Piece of cotton cloth
  • Scrub brush
  • A clean rug


Spread the cloth with the stained area over a flat surface. Cover it with a clean cloth and apply heat from the iron for about five seconds. You might have to apply heat for a slightly longer time in case of a hairdryer.

Remove the heat and check whether the wood glue is melted. If it has melted, quickly dip the scrub brush in warm, soapy water and rub away the wood glue stain. After the stain is gone, rinse your garment thoroughly in hot water.


An Acetone bottle in a laboratory.

One of the best remedies for dealing with stubborn stains is acetone. It is even effective when the glue has hardened on the fabric. But you shouldn’t use acetone on colored clothes, as the color might run. Acetone is a strong chemical so be sure to wear gloves while using it to remove wood glue from clothes.

You Will Need

  • A small quantity of acetone
  • Clean, dry cloth
  • A dull knife
  • Soap and water


Apply a few drops of acetone to the clean, dry cloth. Rub the affected spot with the acetone-soaked cloth. Wait for some time for the glue to become soft and become loose from the fabric.

Once you feel the glue has softened considerably, scrape the spot with the dull knife. Once done give your garment a thorough wash with soap and water and put it out to dry.

Baking Soda

baking soda in a spoon

You can even use baking soda to remove glue from bare wood. It lifts glue off fabric quite effectively. As baking soda is a commonly-available household item, you should have no problem procuring it.

You Will Need

  • Hairdryer
  • Baking soda
  • Hot water
  • Soap
  • Spatula


If the glue is still wet, you can apply a paste of baking soda directly to the fabric. If it has dried you need to heat the spot with a hairdryer to soften the wood glue. Once the glue is soft, you can scrape it off with the spatula.

Now, make a paste of baking soda and apply it to the residual glue on the fabric and wait for about ten minutes. Next, rinse your garment in hot, soapy water and put it out to dry.

Amyl Acetate

Amyl acetate is a volatile organic chemical available at hardware stores. It is an ingredient of artificial flavoring. Because it is volatile, the fumes can be hazardous. So, handle this chemical in a well-ventilated room and use gloves and a facemask.

You Will Need

  • Cleaner containing amyl acetate
  • Dull knife
  • Clean cloth


Spot test the chemical on an inconspicuous part of your garment to ensure it doesn’t damage it. If the fabric is unaffected, dab the spot with the cloth dipped in amyl acetate. Wait for two hours and then scrape off the glue residue, wash the garment, and put it out to dry.


baking soda with white vinegar

As vinegar is acidic, it works well in removing wood glue from clothes. But it may discolor colored clothes, so keep that in mind while using it. The best way to ensure your garment is protected is to do a spot test on an inconspicuous part of your garment.

You Will Need

  • Vinegar (a small quantity)
  • Knife or scrub brush
  • Soap to wash the garment later


Add a few drops of vinegar to the glue on your garment. If it has already dried, you would need to let the vinegar soak for some time. After a while, you may notice that the wood glue has somewhat softened. Scrape the glue off with the knife.

If the wood glue persists in the fabric, you can wash your garment with soap and then immerse it in a basin of vinegar diluted in water. Wash the garment thoroughly with soap to remove the vinegar later, rinse it, and put it out to dry.

Lemon Juice and Olive Oil

lemon oil in a glass bottle

A mixture of olive oil and lemon juice is effective for dealing with stubborn stains like wood glue on fabric. The combination of the acidic vinegar and the lubricating olive oil helps to loosen the glue. This mixture works well for cleaning furniture.

You Will Need

  • Lemon juice and olive oil mixture in a ratio of 1:2
  • Undiluted soap
  • Warm water
  • Scrub brush


Mix olive oil with lemon juice in a dish. Apply the mixture to the stained area. Allow it to soak for 15 minutes. When you see that the glue has started to dissolve, rub it down using the scrub brush.

If the stain is stubborn, rub a bit of pure soap onto the affected spot and then wash it in warm water. Later, use boiling water to rinse the garment and put it out to dry.


NH3 ammonia molecule

This method is the most hazardous of all the methods described here, although perhaps the most effective. Exercise extreme caution while handling this abrasive liquid. Wear gloves, and a facemask, and perform the procedure in a well-ventilated room.

You Will Need

  • Liquid ammonia
  • Dull knife
  • Clean and dry cloth


Ensure that the surrounding area is well-ventilated with a door or windows open and preferably a fan or exhaust fan running. Wear protective gear like gloves, safety goggles, and a facemask.

Open the container of ammonia and dip the tip of your clean and dry cloth into the liquid. Now dab the affected area with the tip of your ammonia-soaked cloth. Allow the ammonia to soak into your garment for about ten minutes.

After you see that the glue has loosened on your garment, scrape it off with the dull knife, wash it with soap, rinse it, and put it out to dry.


Getting wood glue on your clothes is inevitable when you handle it regularly. Don’t be too perturbed. Even if it sets deeply in the fibers of a favorite garment of yours, as you have seen in this post, there are numerous hacks to get rid of the glue stains.

Now that you know how to remove wood glue from your clothes, you will be prepared to deal with the eventuality when it occurs next time.