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I recently got some Super Glue on the sole of my shoe, while working on a craft. Luckily, my shoe wasn't on the ground long enough to be glued to the floor, but now, the entire bottle of superglue is stuck to my shoe (it's a small, 5 mL bottle).

How can I get the Super Glue (or CA glues) off my shoe (or other materials, like my hands)?

  • Cleaned up comments since I think we're at a good place now @Matt :D – Catija Aug 15 '16 at 23:11
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Acetone is the well-rounded budget conscious option. Zizouz212's answer generally covers this. It is hardly the only option though. It largely depends on the material the glue is on well.

When it comes to skin (not a material but certainly somewhere glue ends up) warm soapy water is certainly effective. How long you scrub or immerse depends on the amount of glue. Getting it on your fingers is common and in some cases you can just let it harden and it will peel off. This is where I get CA glue stuck often and I just peel off what I can and wash the remainder.

Using acetone on plastics, with the intent to remove just the CA glue, is a very bad idea as it can dissolve/damange many of them. Acetone is one of the ingredients used in plastic welding applications if it puts that in perspective.

There are many commercial debonders that are made for this purpose. An example would be Un-Cure CA Debonder. You should know the materials you are working with to best match your debonder. Depending on your project these can be more effective but, again, have a higher cost then on the shelf acetone/ nail polish remover.

Wood, especially end grain, will actually absorb CA glue. If you actually needed to remove the glue you would have to remove the affected wood. Depending on the project you could use plastic wood filler or glue in new wood. This advice is not specific to CA glue but most glues.

Clothing is a broad topic as well as there are a multitude of different materials so there is no guaranteed approach. Acetone is generally recommended here but try to test it in a non visible area to ensure that it would damage/stain the fabric. Letting the affected area sit in some water and laundry detergent can also help. Using a toothbrush to massage the area and try to get the glue to flake off. Some debonders also work on fabrics as well keeping in mind the same caveats for clothing.


In general CA glue should be easy enough to remove. If there is concern, wear protective clothing and be aware of the specific materials that could come into contact with CA glue so you know the best approach to deal with it.

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While superglue is strong enough to seal many things, it does have an enemy: acetone. Acetone is able to break down superglue bonds.

To get the superglue off of your shoe, try and use nail polish remover (that contains acetone). Be careful though, since acetone is known to be able to dry your hands quickly though. Using this should do the trick. Just remember, take your time, and wash off all the glue and nail polish remover when you are done. As acetone dries your skin, you may want some lotion handy.

As an additional aside, pointed out by CreationEdge, this won't work effectively on plastics, which it destroys, or other materials, such as wood, that may soak up the acetone.

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    Acetone is safe on rubber, but not necessarily on plastics. Be worth noting that. – user24 Aug 15 '16 at 21:14
  • From my experience with Lego's and nail polish as a youth; ABS plastics will notably become damaged when exposed to acetone. – Venoda Aug 16 '16 at 0:27
  • I'm not sure what you mean by "soak up the acetone": many plastics soften if exposed to acetone, but they don't do anything like what I imagine "soaking up" to look like. – Martha Aug 16 '16 at 0:27
  • @Martha Yeah, bad term, I was more referring to materials like wood, or paper, which will absorb liquids and become damp, and can potentially destroy them. – Zizouz212 Aug 16 '16 at 1:09
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For other materials, hot water can do the trick. Some plastics can handle even boiling water but not acetone, for example, and it may also work better on fabrics when the glue has soaked in. I used to remove it from glass regularly by bringing a beaker of water to the boil.

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