Skip to content
Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Removing Glue From Cotton

By Dr. Laundry May 14, 2009

Q. I got a few drops of glue on my gray cotton sweatshirt, and I can’t get it out. Any suggestions?

A. There are different types of glue, and they require different approaches and have differing probabilities of success. Usually, you want to try and scrape off as much as possible from the surface. Then, try to re-dissolve the glue using a suitable solvent. Some like Super Glue/Crazy Glue may have “permanently” bonded to the surface. Acetone or nail polish remover are usually recommended, but pretest with a small drop on a hidden seam to make sure it won’t damage the color/garment. I also like using a general purpose solvent like Goo Gone for crayons, gum, etc. Rub in and try and blot off any dissolved material. Do this several times until it all appears to be gone. Then, apply liquid detergent, rub in and wash in hottest water recommended on the care label.