Do-It-Yourself Ways to Remove Nail Glue

If you have ever applied too much nail glue to your nails or if the glue accidentally spilled on other surfaces, you know how frustrating it can be.

Nail glue is a liquid adhesive that is typically used for manicures or pedicures. But while it can make your nails last longer, it’s not the easiest stuff to remove once you’ve applied it, especially if you apply too much and smear it everywhere.

Luckily, there are a few tricks you can try to remove nail glue from your skin and other surfaces. In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do so safely and effectively with simple home remedies. Keep reading to find out.

How to Remove Nail Glue from Skin

how to remove nail glue

1. Use Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover is the key to getting rid of any leftover residue from nail glue. This works even better if you use acetone-based nail polish remover.

This type of remover is more common than non-acetone varieties and works best as it has a lower viscosity and higher surface tension. This allows it to penetrate the nail adhesive more easily and fully dissolve it.

  • Apply a few drops of nail polish remover to the glue area and wait for a few seconds for it to dissolve the glue.
  • Gently scrape off any remaining bits of glue on your skin with a flat object or a butter knife.
  • Use a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover to clean away any leftover residue.
  • Wash off the glue area with soap and water.

2. Try Vinegar

That’s right. You can use vinegar as a simple solution for many of your everyday skin dilemmas. It’s an acid and a solvent which means it helps to dissolve other things like grease, soap, and glue.

It’s also a natural astringent that helps to tighten the pores on your skin and make them look smaller after removing the glue.

  • Mix 2 teaspoons of vinegar with some water and soak a cotton ball with it.
  • Use the cotton ball to clean the glue area and gently rub with your fingers to remove any nail glue residue.
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 if there is still nail glue on your skin.
  • Wash off your skin with soap and water and pat dry.

3. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Hands down, one of the best ways to remove nail glue is with rubbing alcohol. It’s gentle on your skin and gets rid of the adhesive without leaving a sticky residue.

  • Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and apply as much as possible to the area where you applied the glue.
  • Rub in circular motions for about 30 seconds or until you have removed all the glue from your skin.
  • Rinse off the glue area with warm water then apply a moisturizer.

SEE: How to Use Rubbing Alcohol to Get Permanent Marker Off Skin

4. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly is a popular topical ointment that is used on minor wounds. It’s also a safe way to remove nail glue from your skin without hurting yourself or damaging any area on your skin.

  • Apply some petroleum jelly on top of the dried glue on your skin.
  • Rub with a cotton ball or washcloth for a few seconds, then let go.
  • Use your fingers to pick off any nail glue residue.
  • Use a towel or paper towel to soak up any remaining residue.

5. Apply Olive Oil

Olive oil is a natural and effective method to get glue and stains off your skin. Not only will it remove nail glue, but it will also serve as a moisturizer to help repair any damage the glue might have caused your skin.

  • Take a cotton ball and soak in olive oil for 5 seconds.
  • Use the cotton ball to gently rub over the nail glue until it starts coming up in little chunks.
  • Repeat this process until you have removed all the nail glue from your skin.
  • Rinse off with warm water, then apply some more olive oil for moisturizing effects.

6. Make a Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is a kitchen staple that can be used to do everything from cleaning out your fridge to getting rid of those tough stains on your clothing and carpets. Yet another great use for baking soda is removing nail glue residue.

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water.
  • Add more baking soda if needed to create a paste-like consistency.
  • Apply a thick layer of the paste to the glue area and allow it to soak in for 5-10 minutes.
  • Once it has dried, peel away the dried paste and most of the glue should come off with it.
  • Rinse off any remaining residue with warm water and pat dry.

7. Use Toothpaste

Yes, it might sound strange at first, but it is very effective. Toothpaste is alkaline and contains compounds that can help break down the adhesive components in glue.

  • Squeeze a generous amount of toothpaste on a cotton ball or pad.
  • Rub the toothpaste on the nail glue in circular motions.
  • Repeat until the nail glue disappears.
  • Rinse the toothpaste off your skin, and wash with soap and water.

8. Lemon Juice

The next time you want to remove nail glue from your skin, try lemon juice. It has natural solvents that work just as well as other remedies.

  • Soak a cotton pad in fresh lemon juice and rub it all over the glue area.
  • Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping it off with a washcloth.
  • Wash off any residue with soap and water and before applying lotion.

SEE: These 8 DIY Materials Will Get Makeup Out of Clothes

9. Try Baby Oil

You’ve probably heard about using baby oil to remove nail glue from clothing or other surfaces, but did you know it also works on the skin? Yes, all you need is baby oil and a cotton ball.

  • Put a few drops of baby oil on a cotton ball and apply to the glue area.
  • Rub gently in small circles for 10-15 seconds.
  • Repeat this process until you’ve removed all the glue.
  • Wash off the area with soap and water

10. Make a Salt Scrub

This is another effective way to remove nail glue from your skin. A salt scrub works by exfoliating your skin hence removing any oil, dead cells, or glue that might be on it.

  • Mix 1/4 cup of salt in 1/4 cup of water until you have a fine sand-like consistency.
  • Pour this mixture over the glue area and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Scrub at the glue residue with a toothbrush or scrub brush.
  • Rinse off the salt mixture with water.

11. Use Liquid Soap

Liquid soaps work well because they break up the oils on your skin so that you can wipe the nail glue away with ease. But before you use liquid soap to remove nail glue from the skin, make sure that you have removed all excess nail glue with acetone or rubbing alcohol.

  • Submerge the glued area in warm water for about 60 seconds to soften the glue.
  • Moisten the washcloth with liquid soap and massage into the glue until it loosens.
  • Rinse off any residue with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.

12. Try Hairspray

Does this work? Yes. The chemical formulation of hairspray contains alcohol and silicone, which work together to dissolve the chemicals in the glue you want to remove from your skin.

  • Spray hairspray over the area until it has completely covered the ink stain (hold the hairspray 10 – 12 inches away).
  • Let it sit for at least five minutes before wiping off with a paper towel.
  • Repeat this step 1 and 2 until all the glue is completely wiped off.
  • Rinse with water and pat dry with a towel.

SEE: Discover Easy Hacks to Get Highlighter Out of Clothes

How to Remove Nail Glue from Clothes

how to remove nail glue

It’s a real challenge to remove nail glue from clothes. And when you’re in a hurry, it can be hard to figure out how to go about it. The best way to do this is to let the glue dry before removing it.

  • Scrape off as much glue as possible with a butter knife or toothbrush.
  • Remove as much as you can with a wet wipe and rubbing alcohol.
  • After the glue has been removed, soak the fabric in cold water and add a laundry detergent to help break down any leftover adhesive.
  • Rinse and then allow the garment to air dry naturally without putting it in the dryer.
  • Once dry, wash again according to the garment’s care label for best results.

How to Remove Nail Glue from Leather

If you’ve put nail glue on your leather shoes, clothes, or furniture and want to remove it without damaging the leather, you don’t have to worry. All you need is some white vinegar and a cotton ball.

  • Wait for about 30 minutes for the glue to become stiffer before starting to remove.
  • Dampen a cotton ball with vinegar and then rub it along the gluey area (the acidity in the vinegar will help break down the sealant).
  • Continue dampening and rubbing until all the excess glue is gone.
  • Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any leftover residue.
  • Say hello to your pristine leather piece.

How to Remove Nail Glue from Carpet

Nail glue on your carpet can be both frustrating and embarrassing. It’s also sticky, hard to get rid of, and looks bad. However, it’s not an impossible task. With the right tricks, you can get rid of this problem in no time.

  • Mix 1 cup of warm water, 2 tbsps of vinegar, and 1 tbsp of dish soap.
  • Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and gently spray the area where the glue has been spilled or dripped.
  • Using a sponge or a toothbrush, scrub the area gently.
  • Use a dry towel or cloth to wipe up any excess adhesive that remains on the carpet.
  • Wait for the carpet to dry and then scrape off any residue with a scraper or putty knife.

SEE: Best Evergreen Gift Ideas For Women


how to hydrate skin

How do I get nail glue off skin quickly?

Soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and rub it on the glue area for about 30 seconds. Now wash off with soap and water and pat dry with a clean towel.

You can also use some rubbing alcohol or petroleum jelly if you have them on hand to help break down the adhesive in the glue so it comes off more easily.

Does vinegar remove glue residue?

Yes, it does. Vinegar is a solvent, which means it will dissolve the glue, and then you can remove it with a cotton ball or cloth.

It is also an acidic solution which is just what you need to dissolve and clean off the glue residue.

Is it safe to soak my nails in rubbing alcohol?

Yes, it is. Soaking your nails in rubbing alcohol is not harmful if done for no longer than 10 minutes.

In addition, skincare experts recommend that you avoid soaking your nails in any type of solvent for over 15 minutes as this can lead to dryness and weakness.


In life, there are bound to be a few disasters, and nail glue is one of them. It is a great way to make your nails look polished and stay on for a long time. But sometimes it might not be the best choice for you.

Unfortunately, nail glue can be difficult to remove, and don’t just come out with a quick wipe. Instead, it needs to be scrubbed off properly using special products.

So whether you got some on your skin, your favorite outfit, or your family’s carpet, follow this simple guide to remove nail glue from your skin and other surfaces.

Thanks for reading.

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