How to Remove Glue from Plastic

how to remove glue from plastic

Glue and other fixatives make stick materials together by organizing strong molecular bonds. Separating them can be quite a task. Are you wondering how to remove glue from plastic? To separate them, you need to break the fixatives bonds that clutches them together. It depends on the strength and type of particular fixatives. You can particularly use vinegar to remove fixatives from plastic, glass, or wood. 

You can remove most of the fixatives, such as labels or price stickers on the items, by scrapping or peeling the sticker with your dull knife or fingernail. If the fixative is still sticky, you can apply a non-toxic solution of vinegar, water, and liquid dish detergent. Dampen a paper towel in the warm vinegar solution and rub it over the fixatives. Remove the paper towel and scrape away the residue after five minutes. You can also use ammonia instead of vinegar in the solution. If you use ammonia, assure you to work in a well-ventilated area. 

You need to ensure that the liquids used for the removal of fixatives will not cause damage to the surface of a material, so if you’re trying how to remove glue from plastic, it is best to test the mixture of liquid by applying it to an unobtrusive area first. Removing fixatives with vinegar is most effective for surfaces made of glass or plastic, as opposed to fabric, paper, or wood.

How to Remove Glue From Plastic

Let’s move on to how to remove glue from plastic.

Here’s how to remove glue from plastic : 

  1. Various adhesive removers are safe to use on the plastic. Nevertheless, prolonged exposure to the remover can affect the surface, leaving a filmy, dull look. Always test small areas before cleaning that affected area. This will help you to assure that your results are desirable.  
  2. Dampen a cotton swab with the product and dab it onto the fixative area. 
  3. Select one of the removal products above or visit your hardware or home improvement store for commercial removers. 
  4. Dampen the area well. If the product dries quickly, fold a paper towel or soft cloth to the size of the fixative spot. 
  5. Now you have to dampen the folded towel with a removal product. 
  6. Lay the towel over the fixative and cover it with the plastic wrap. 
  7. Strip the edges down. This will clutch the cloth in place as well as keeping it from evaporating. 
  8. Let it rest on the fixative for a couple of minutes. Remove a corner of the strip and lift the cloth slightly just to check if the fixative is softening or loosening. If it is, then remove the paper/cloth towel, plastic tape, and wrap. 
  9. Once the fixative has softened, wipe it away with a soft cloth. Be careful not to scrub too hard or you could damage the surface of the plastic. 
  10. Remove till the fixatives are removed. 
  11. Once done, clean the surface as normal to remove any residue from the removal product. 
how to remove glue from plastic

What else can to do?

  1. Removers can damage the finish of some plastic pieces. Test small areas to assure that there are no adverse effects. 
  2. Never scour adhesive off plastic surfaces with a grinding cloth or scrubbing pad. The grinding surface will create small scratches on the plastic surface and result in a cloudy area. 
  3. Still trying how to remove glue from plastic? If the fixative won’t come loose with a soft cloth, try blotting it with the remover and working it with your fingers, by wearing rubber gloves that will help to protect your hands. Continue the step by applying more remover and rubbing the fixative till it loosens and can be wiped away. 
  4. Warming the fixative with a hairdryer can help loosen it. Clutch the hairdryer a few inches away, do not hold it too close, or else you could damage the plastic. 
Remove Glue From Plastic


How do you remove dried glue from plastic?

Glue is made up of strong molecular bonds which can adhere to any surface. Therefore, removing dried glue from any surface is a tedious chore. To remove glue from the plastic you require a medium that can easily break the bonds.  

Soak a cloth in vegetable oil and dab it generously on the glue patch, let it stand for 10 mins. Now clean the surface with a cloth or a paper towel.

You can also try using vinegar. Soak the glue patch with vinegar and rinse clean, if the marks are still visible you may repeat the treatment. And if the glue is harder rather than tacky, use a blunt knife to remove the patch without scratching the surface.

How do I remove the adhesive residue?

When you purchase an item you also get a price sticker placed on your product. But when you try to remove the price sticker with your nails it may not come out in one go leaving behind the gunk on your item. 

Avoid doing this instead you can use your hairdryer to heat the sticker and loosen its glue. There are higher chances that a sticker may come out in a single go without leaving any residue behind. Always be careful of the material of your item.

 If this does not work try immersing your product in hot water for a few minutes (check for your material again). Now use a blunt knife or an old credit card to scrape off the sticker.

If by any chance the adhesive leaves behind its mark you may use oil-based substances like cooking oil, mayonnaise, or smooth peanut butter. Take a generous amount of oil on a paper towel and smear it on the residue and scrub it with an old toothbrush until the glue takes off. Wash your item thoroughly with soap and water before using it.

Does vinegar remove glue residue?

Vinegar is a staple cleaning product and therefore it is found in every household. Vinegar can weaken the strong bonds of adhesive thus making it an ideal choice to safely remove adhesives from plastic, wood, or glass. A mixture of warm water, vinegar, and liquid dish detergent can disappear any rough patches on your smooth surfaces like magic. 

How do I remove adhesive from vinyl?

Vinyl is commonly used in day to day life in construction, furniture, or fashion because of its versatility and durability. These glossy surfaces are easy to clean and are generally of low maintenance. But if glue or an adhesive adhere to its surface it is generally challenging to scrape off the glue without damaging the vinyl surface.

Vinegar is the most recommended method to remove glue inexpensively. Heat 1 cup of white vinegar without boiling it and transfer it to the spray bottle and disperse the vinegar onto the glue affected area. Let it sit for 10 mins to soften the residue. Once it has loosened you can remove it with a straight edge plastic scraper.

If this does not work you can use a commercial remover for more stubborn adhesives. These stores can remove any sticky residue from any surface including vinyl. Before using a commercial remover, always read the instructions on it. 

What’s the best adhesive remover?

Every adhesive differs in its molecular bond, nature, and applications. It also depends upon the surface you have chosen to remove your adhesive. Some adhesive may be gentle and don’t affect the finishing of the surface while some may have a harsh chemical that can bleach or cause discoloration of the material. 

Adhesive removers are not limited to remove only adhesives. It can be used to remove any grease stains, silicone-based makeup, shoe polish, or removal candle wax. Your adhesive remover could be in any form of liquid, spray, or paste form. Liquid and spray are directly applied to the mess and wipe it off. The paste has to be dispensed through a tube so the application could be messy and their consistency is viscous it is generally difficult to spread over the surface.

Different types of adhesive removers such as citrus-based, solvent-based and soy-based removers are available in the market you can choose according to your need, price, and accessibility. 


If you’re trying to fix how to remove glue from plastic, it should not be that difficult, especially with the steps we’ve provided. It’s time to apply the “how to remove glue from plastic” steps carefully and in case of further queries, to get in touch with us! Drop the query in the box given below, and we’ll instantly get back. See you in our next blog. 

Also read- How to make distilled water?

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