How to Get Rid of Glue Stains on Fabric and Carpet

How to Get Rid of Glue Stains on Fabric and Carpet
Photo: Nor Gal, Shutterstock

Glue is the household workhorse that has gotten us out of countless jams. From giving us the chance to salvage items we thought were broken forever, to making some of our pandemic crafting projects possible, glue gets the job done. But at the same time, the very thing that makes it so useful — its adhesive property — can also do some damage if it ends up on your clothing, carpet or other household fabric surfaces.

The good news is that just because a project ends with a glue stain — in addition to whatever you’ve just fixed and/or crafted — that doesn’t mean the stained surface is ruined. Over the years, we’ve covered a variety of ways to remove glue from different surfaces and materials, but the good people at The Spruce have done one better, and created a thorough guide to glue removal, including a helpful infographic. Here are some of the highlights.

The basics of glue removal

If you’ve noticed that some glue stains are harder to remove than others, it’s not your imagination. Because glues are formulated for specific purposes, the composition of their adhesives are not the same — making some glue stains especially stubborn. The guide from The Spruce walks you through the removal of seven different types of glues and adhesives:

  1. Commercial adhesives

  2. (Finger)nail glue

  3. Glitter glue

  4. Hot glue

  5. Rubber cement

  6. Super glue

  7. School glue

What you need

Before getting into the removal process, gather these supplies first:

  • Dull knife or plastic scraper

  • Freezer or bag of ice

  • Solvent or stain remover

  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent

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The guide to getting rid of glue

Each section of the guide details how to remove that particular type of glue or adhesive — including the type of detergent you’ll need and the ideal water temperature for washing it. In some cases, the same cleaning process will work for carpet and different types of fabrics. Other times, there are separate sets of instructions for fabric and carpet removal.

And for quick reference, The Spruce provides this infographic:

Of course, you’ll come across some stains where the bond between the glue and the fabric is too strong to break. But for everything else, these tips should help.

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