Wood glue is available in a different types. From polyvinyls that take more than an hour to dry to contact cements which bond in less than a minute. These glues are created from a variety of materials with different clean up requirements. A few can be cleaned with simple soapy water; others need the use of strong solvents. There several ways to remove dried wood glue. Depending on the materials used, the procedures may also vary. Here are a few ways to clean glue.

Things Needed to Clean Glue:

Acetone (nail polish remover)
All-purpose carpet spotter
Dish detergent
Mineral spirits


Water Soluble Wood Glue
  1. Apply a modest amount of all-purpose carpet cleaner to a towel. If none can be found, make your own by mixing a 1/4 tsp. dish detergent into 1 quart of water. Try out in an inconspicuous area of the carpet before working it into the wood glue spot.
  2. Let the spotter work for several minutes. Work with a blunt item, such as a spoon, to scrape away the glue. If effective, repeat until all the glue has been removed from the carpet.
  3. Wash with clear water by misting with a squirt bottle. Blot the area using towels. Never saturate the area. Give it time to dry.
Solvent Soluble Wood Glue
  1. Pour a modest amount of a water-free solvent, such as mineral spirits or acetone, on to a clean towel. Try it in an inconspicuous area of the carpet. Several carpet yarns can be damaged by water-free solvents, so checking is a necessity. Observe if the fibers distort or lose color. Allow it to dry prior to making a final assessment.
  2. Blunt scraping tool to help loosen the glue. If effective, repeat. However, be careful not to over apply the solvent to the carpet. If the carpet has glued back, an excessive amount of will seep down causing fibers to come loose from the backing.
  3. Blot thoroughly to clean glue out as much of the solvent.
  4. Rinse using clear water by misting the affected area with a squirt bottle. Blot the area thoroughly. Repeat a couple of times. Apply rinse water. Put a weighted, thick towel on top of the affected area. Let it sit for about an hour. And finally, air dry.

clean glueGuidelines:

  • At all times, pre-test a cleaner in a hidden area of the room prior to spotting in the open.
  • Put on gloves and have plenty of ventilation when using solvents just like mineral spirits and acetone.
  • Keep sparks as well as open flames away from solvents, since they are flammable.