How to Remove Super Glue From Skin

How to remove super glue from skin can be quite a challenge, if you don’t do it the right way. If you get some on your skin, chances are it will stick there for good unless you know how to remove super glue from skin. There’s no reason to worry about super glue sticking permanently on your skin if you pay attention and follow the steps below.

Super glue is a very strong glue. It can be difficult to remove from skin. Various household products, such as nail polish remover and petroleum jelly, can be used to remove super glue. While you can typically remove super glue from your hands and other areas with tougher skin, you should consult a doctor before attempting to remove the glue on your own if you got super glue on a sensitive area, like your lips or eyelids.

Table of Contents

Method 1 Using Nail Polish Remover

Select the right nail polish remover. Acetone is the substance in nail polish remover that helps dissolve super glue for removal. You need an acetone-based remover in order for this method to be successful.

  • Check the ingredients label of your nail polish remover. Acetone should be listed here, usually towards the top of the list.
  • If your nail polish remover does not have acetone, you can try another removal method, or you can purchase one that does contain acetone. Acetone-based nail polish remover is readily available in most department stores, or you can purchase straight acetone at your local home improvement store. Wear gloves and a mask while using the acetone.

Apply nail polish remover to the exposed skin. It’s safe to use acetone-based remover on small patches of skin, but keep it away from your eyes and mouth. Apply the remover to the affected area with a cotton swab or paper towel.

  • Nail polish remover can eat through the finish on tables and furniture. If you’re working at a table, lay a protective covering down over the area. It’s best to work over the sink.
  • Do not use this method to remove super glue from sensitive areas like the eyelids and lips.

Peel off the super glue after it dissolves. After a few minutes, you should notice the super glue is turning white and beginning to flake off the skin. You can now begin gently peeling the glue off the affected area. It should come off fairly easily at this point.

  • If the glue is not coming off easily, you can use a nail file to rub the glue off the skin. Be careful when working with a nail file, as you do not want to accidentally rub off a layer of skin. Stop if you start to feel pain.

Method 2 Using Petroleum Jelly

Assess the situation. So long as the super glue isn’t on or inside of your eyes or inside of your mouth, you can safely remove super glue at home. If you have super glue on any of these other regions, see your doctor or visit an emergency room or urgent care as soon as possible.

  • A doctor can most effectively remove super glue from the sensitive eye areas.
  • In most cases, super glue will solidify on contact with saliva. You can rinse out your mouth copiously with water, but it’s advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Flush skin with soap and water. Before you begin any measures to remove super glue with petroleum jelly, rinse off your skin copiously with warm, soapy water. This can help to loosen the super glue and prepare your skin for removal.

  • You can use any mild soap to flush your skin.
  • Ensure that the water isn’t too hot when rinsing your skin so that you don’t burn it. Use a thermometer to check the water temperatures. Optimal temperatures for water are between 36 and 40 degrees.

Remove any contaminated clothing. As you flush off your skin, take off any clothing on or around the affected area. This can help ensure that you don’t get any more super glue on your skin.

  • Rinse skin for at least 15 minutes.
  • Wash any clothing or shoes before you put them on again.
  • Gently dab the affected skin dry so that you don’t irritate it.

Rub petroleum jelly on the affected area. Apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly to the skin stuck with super glue. This can help to further release the product from your skin in an effectively and painless manner.

  • Gently rub the petroleum jelly over the affected area. Do this until the product comes off of your skin.
  • If you don’t have any petroleum jelly, you can use vegetable or mineral/ baby oil or even products such as lip balm that contain petroleum jelly.
  • If you have super glue on your lips and are using petroleum jelly, be sure to not pull your lips apart, instead rolling or peeling your lips apart.
  • Make sure to gently peel super glue from other areas of your skin as well.

Wash and dry affected skin area. Once you’ve removed the super glue on your skin, wash and dry the affected area. This can help to remove any debris or residue that has remained on your skin.

  • Use mild soap and warm water to wash just as you did before you used the petroleum jelly.

Repeat process as necessary. If the super glue is particularly stubborn and won’t come off, simply repeat the washing and petroleum jelly process as necessary. If repeated attempts don’t successfully remove the super glue or your skin becomes irritated or infected, seek medical treatment immediately.

Method 3 Trying Removal Alternatives

Apply warm compresses. Putting a warm compress on the affected area may help soften your skin, making removal of the super glue easier and potentially less painful.

  • Warm up one glass of water to a comfortable temperature that won’t burn your skin. Dip a soft cloth in the water and put it on the affected skin.
  • Hold the compresses on for 30 seconds before trying to remove the super glue.

Employ an oil on your skin. You can use a variety of oils to help remove super glue from your skin. From vegetable to almond oils, these may help get rid of super glue residue on your skin as effectively as petroleum jelly.

  • You can use any type of oil including vegetable, olive, almond, baby or mineral oil
  • Pour the oil on a piece of cloth or gauze and rub it on your skin for a couple of minutes.
  • Make sure to be gentle so that you don’t further irritate your skin.

Administer lotion to the affected skin. Lotions may also effectively remove super glue and its residue from your skin. Apply a small amount to the affected area to begin getting rid of the product.

  • You can use a cloth or your hands to apply the lotion to the affected skin. Gently rub it and it should easily peel super glue from your skin.
  • You can use most types of lotion, though emollient hand lotions may be the best and most gentle options.

Exfoliate the affected skin. Use a nail file or skin buffer to gently exfoliate the affected area. This may also remove stubborn or lingering super glue on your skin.

  • You can use nail files or emery boards, or even skin exfoliators such as loofahs.
  • In addition, simple table salt can work as an exfoliant. Wet the area with water and rub the salt into the super glue until it forms a paste. This can help loosen the glue and lift it from your skin.
  • Be as gentle with these products as possible, as they are likely to irritate your skin from repeated rubbing.

Seek medical treatment. If you are unable to remove the super glue from your skin after repeated treatments, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. This can help prevent infection as well as remove the lingering adhesive from your skin.

  • If you skin shows any signs of infection or severe inflammation, see a doctor immediately.
  • You should also see a doctor immediately if you get super glue on or in your eye, or in your mouth.


Super glue is amazing adhesive for fixing things, but it doesn’t always provide incredible results when it comes to removing it…If you’ve discovered the hard way that super glue bonds extremely well to your skin, then you need this knowledge to be prepared in the case that the event happens again in the future.

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