Removing Super Glue

Todd Going

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We all know that Super Glue is one of the strongest and fastest bonding adhesives on the market today. Because of its wide use, people have found that they might accidentally glue their fingers together or to another object. If this happens to you, don’t worry. Although Super Glue is incredibly strong, it still has a major weakness which is acetone.

Household products such as nail polish remover contain the chemical acetone. If you place a small amount of nail polish remover on a cotton swab or Q-tip, you can apply it directly to your skin to dissolve the bond. This process doesn’t damage the skin however it can discolor fabrics and damage laminated counter tops. Straight acetone can also burn your skin so use with caution.

If Super Glue happens to stick together body parts where acetone can’t be applied (such as lips or eyes) then follow this advice.

For skin bonded together with Super Glue soak the affected areas in warm soapy water. After a few minutes peel or roll the skin apart. If you have trouble with this try using tools such as a pencil or a spatula. After this remove the cured Super Glue with warm soapy water. This may take several applications.

If you accidentally stick your lips together apply a large amount of warm water while wetting your lips with saliva from the inside of your mouth. After a few minutes try to peel or roll your lips apart (do NOT pull). Super Glue solidifies when it touches saliva (or moisture) and could actually stick to the inside of your mouth. Within 1-2 days the saliva should break down the glue. Avoid swallowing the glue after detachment.

Eyelids are a bit trickier. If you do happen to stick your eyelids together wash it with warm water and then apply a gauze patch. In 1-4 days the eyelid will open on its own without further action. To this day there hasn’t been a documented case of adhesive to the eye that has caused permanent damage so try not to worry. Do not try and force your eyes open.

Getting Super Glue on your eyeball will cause the glue to attach to the eye protein, but only for a matter of time (several hours). Weeping and double vision may occur until the adhesive has dissolved. Washing with a warm 3% sodium bicarbonate solution may help in speeding up the removal of the adhesive.

For more information on Super Glue removal please visit

This article may be freely re-printed as long as this resource box and all links stay in-tact. Please visit for more information on Super Glue.


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