How to Get Super Glue (Cyanoacrylate) Off Your Hands

Super glue is an incredible tool for household repairs, hobbies, and more, but it can get messy—and getting it on your hands is pretty common. It can feel alarming to have your fingers stuck together or stuck to another object, but you don’t need to worry, because there are several ways to remove it. Don’t wait for it to dry and then try to peel it off. The bond is strong, and you may end up damaging your skin.

There are better ways to remove the glue, even after it has dried. Here, the team at Aron Alpha shares how to get super glue off your skin.

Warm Water and Soap

Always start with the simplest solution, especially if the glue hasn’t fully dried yet: soap and warm water will often do the trick. You can soak the affected area for a few minutes, then gently rub or peel the glue to remove it. You can also use a blunt object to scrape or push at the residue. It shouldn’t be painful, so if it hurts and it isn’t working, you may need to try another method. 

Soap and water can also work if your fingers are stuck to another object: soak and gently rub to get unstuck.

Nail Polish Remover or Acetone

Pour the nail polish remover into a bowl and soak the affected area for a few minutes. Try to limit the amount of time you spend in contact with the substance: remove your hands regularly and see if the glue has loosened. If not, soak for another minute, then try again. When the glue has released its hold, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and follow with a moisturizer.

While acetone is known for dissolving super glue, it can be irritating to the skin, and you definitely shouldn’t use it if your skin is cut, otherwise broken, or already irritated. If your skin is stuck to an object, you should know that acetone can damage or discolor certain materials, so this may not be the best way to remove the glue if you need to preserve the object.

If you’d prefer to know how to remove super glue without acetone, there are still more options.

Lemon Juice

As with the other methods, using lemon juice to remove super glue from your hands requires some soaking, so the acid in the lemon juice has time to work on the bond. Pour the juice into a bowl, then soak the affected area for up to 10 minutes. You can then rub the area with a dry towel to remove the residue. 

Butter or oil, like coconut or olive oil, can also help loosen and remove super glue from your skin, or you can purchase a commercial glue remover to have on hand for these situations. For small bits of adhesive residue, you can rub a pumice stone in gentle circles on the affected area to remove it. (This is not recommended if the glue is on your face or another sensitive area.) While it’s natural to want to get the super glue off your fingers as soon as possible, it’s okay if it takes you an hour or so to get the materials you need to remove it safely, as long as the glue isn’t causing pain or damaging your skin.

Learn More Tips for Super Glue & Cyanoacrylate Adhesives 

For nearly 60 years, Aron Alpha has produced industrial cyanoacrylate instant adhesives, along with primers, accelerators, and applicators, and we know a thing or two about sticking things together (and getting them unstuck, when necessary). We work with clients around the globe in a variety of industries, including automotive, electronics, industrial assembly, woodworking, medical, and more. 

It’s important to know how to get super glue off your fingers, especially if it’s something you use regularly for work, hobbies, or around the house. Contact us to learn more about our turnkey adhesive solutions, including both standard and custom formulations, or to request a quote.

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