Gorilla glue is a reliable brand for fixing broken items or holding any material together. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to remove gorilla glue from wood, should it come to it.
Gorilla glue can help make big woodwork projects more manageable –it applies easily and cures fast. However, getting it off wood can be a nightmare, especially if it has been cured.
That’s why I’ve done extensive research and put together a guide to help you through the task.
How To Remove Gorilla Glue From Wood
- Wipe away fresh glue spills with a paper towel.
- Wet another paper towel with acetone and wipe further.
- Scrape away most dried glue using a paint scraper if the glue has dried.
- Sand off the remaining gorilla glue.
- Wipe the surface with a clean cloth to remove the residue.
What is Gorilla Glue?
Gorilla glue is a strong adhesive whose main component is polyurethane. Polyurethane is a polymer that looks like foam when it dries and offers waterproof features and a strong bond between the glued parts.
Gorilla glue is a brownish liquid with a thick consistency like honey. Unfortunately, this adhesive is quite toxic due to its chemical composition. That’s why we recommend using it cautiously.
Remove Gorilla Glue From Wood While It Is Still Wet
Removing wet adhesive is easiest: wipe it as soon as you see it.
Step 1: Wipe away fresh glue spills with a paper towel
You need to act fast and remove as much as you can before the glue cures. You can also wipe further using a disposable cloth or a cotton ball to avoid cleaning the sticky fabric.
Step 2: Wet another paper towel in acetone and wipe further
You can use pure acetone or nail polish remover. Buy a bottle at any general store or beauty store. You can also use paint thinners or commercial superglue remover in place of acetone.
Dampen the paper towel without completely drenching it. Then, begin scrubbing the sticky surface back and forth, and apply acetone directly as you rub and press until no more glue comes off.
Step 3: Scrape away the remaining glue using a putty knife
Place the putty knife flat against the remaining glue and scrape carefully to avoid gouging or denting the wood. You can moisten the spot with more acetone as you scrape it.
Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to eliminate the debris when you’re done.
How To Remove Dried Gorilla Glue From Wood
There’s a two-step process to this.
Step 1: Use a paint scraper to remove most of the dried glue
Like a razor blade, a paint scraper is an efficient tool for chipping off dried glue from wood surfaces. You can buy this tool from a hardware or home improvement store. Use a scraper, especially if there’re large chunks of dry glue.
Where possible, lay the affected wood on a flat surface. Then hold the blade flat against the wood. Next, stick the blade into the dried glue and push it along the wood grain to peel off the glue. Most of the superglue should peel off in the shape of a long strip.
Apply some pressure and go over every other spot with large glue deposits.
Step 2: Sand off the remaining gorilla glue
If there are patches of gorilla glue left, use an orbital sander to eliminate every lump left.
However, if you don’t have a power sander or don’t know how to use one, a sanding block can still get the job done. You can buy it from home improvement stores.
Place the sanding block on the glue and begin sanding the spot. After a few passes, the glue should break and flake off. Apply even pressure, so you don’t end up sanding the wood itself.
Clean the sanding dust off the surface.
Removing Dried Gorilla Glue from Small and Intricate Surfaces
A chisel works like a scraper but is better suited for smaller surfaces that can’t accommodate a regular paint scraper or putty knife. It has a smaller head and a narrow handle. Use it to remove glue from small spaces and corners.
Step 1: Hold the blade end flat against the wood and cut through the dried glue.
Step 2: Brush the residues to expose a workable surface after chiseling the dry glue.
Step 3: Use handheld sandpaper (180-grit) to smooth sand the area.
Step 4: Finally, wipe the dust using a dry cloth or shop vacuum.
How to Remove Excess Gorilla Glue using Mineral Spirits
You can clean up excess gorilla glue from wood furniture or other projects as soon as it happens using mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, or any paint thinner on hand.
Remember, this product is strong –even if you’re using the odorless variety. Ventilate the space, wear gloves, safety glasses, and mask.
Step 1: Soak a dry cloth in mineral spirits.
Step 2: Place the wet cloth on the glue stain and let it sit for approximately five minutes.
Step 3: Soak up more mineral spirits and wipe the excess glue from the surface.
Repeat until the wood surface is free from this sticky substance.
Step 4: Dampen a cloth in water and run it on the surface to eliminate every residue.
How to Get Gorilla Glue Off Wood Using Goo Gone
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Goo Gone is a commercial superglue remover often used to remove stickers and tape adhesives. You can also use it to remove glue from wooden surfaces.
If the glue is on painted wood or finished wood and you don’t want to risk ruining the finish, use a similar product –goo off.
Step 1: Pour a bit of goo gone or goo off adhesive remover over the glue spot you want to lift off. Ensure the product sits on a flat surface for maximum results.
Step 2: Wait for 20 to 30 minutes or up to an hour for the glue to loosen its grip on the wooden surface.
Step 3: Dip a cloth in hot water and apply pressure while scrubbing the wet part.
Scrub further using super fine steel wool if the bond doesn’t break. Repeat the process until all the glue comes off.
Step 4: Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
How to Unglue Gorilla Wood Glue using Nitro Methane
Nitromethane is a product specifically designed for de-bonding potent glues like gorilla glue. You can buy one from craft stores or hobby shops. Remember to read the safety precautions before using them.
Step 1: Apply a small amount of nitromethane over a spot of hardened gorilla glue.
Step 2: Let it work on the glue for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Grab a wet rag and rub it on the treated spot to lift off the debris. If there’s more adhesive left on the surface, repeat the treatment.
How to Unstick Gorilla Glue Using Heat Gun and a Scraper
However strong gorilla glue may be, it can’t resist a certain amount of heat. Use a heat gun or hairdryer.
Step 1: Power on your hair dryer or heat gun and hold it about 6 inches away from the glue spot.
Step 2: Hover the heat gun over the stuck area, so you don’t concentrate the heat on a spot –it might burn and damage the wood.
Step 3: Once the glue gets hot, scrape it off and unplug the heat gun from the power source.
How to Get Gorilla Glue Of Table using DIY Recipes
These recipes will lift the glue without ruining the wood finish used on the table.
Method 1: Using vinegar and baking soda paste
Use this mixture when removing gorilla glue from wooden tables hands or when removing carpet glue.
Step 1: Create a paste by mixing an equal amount of vinegar and baking soda in a bowl.
Step 2: Apply the paste over the glue stained table and let it dissolve for one hour.
Step 2: After an hour, scrub the treated spot using a scrub brush or an old toothbrush. Apply a little elbow grease if necessary until the glue lifts off.
Step 3: Dampen a disposable cloth with water and wipe the paste and glue residue off the wooden surface.
Method 2: Using vegetable oil, lemon juice, and hot water
Here’s another DIY you can try. You can use other oils in place of vegetable oil.
Step 1: To remove dried gorilla glue stain from a wood table, dip a clean cloth in a bowl of hot water. Wring the excess water and place it over the glue spot.
Step 2: Let the hot cloth sit until the glue softens. In the meantime, mix 3-5 tablespoons of vegetable oil with equal amounts of lemon juice in a bowl.
Step 3: Lift the cloth and rub the mixture on the glue stain. Let it sit in for about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Moisten the cloth in hot water again and rub away the loosened glue stain.
However, if you’re faced with glued wood joints that you’d like to separate, here’s our detailed guide on how to dissolve wood glue.
Removing Gorilla Glue FAQs
Does Gorilla glue come off wood?
Yes, it does come off the wood. You’ll need some elbow grease and household supplies or commercial adhesive removers. Your best bet is to remove wet glue off the surface using paper towels and acetone. For cured gorilla glue, mechanical means like scraping and sanding will do the job.
Will vinegar remove gorilla glue?
Yes, vinegar can remove gorilla glue. Make a mixture of distilled vinegar and baking soda in a glass bowl. Use this paste to remove the glue from wood, carpet, or your hands. Apply it and let it work on the glue for about an hour, brush gently and rinse it off with water.
How do you soften hard gorilla glue?
Boil water in a pot and then sink the hard gorilla glue bottle in hot water for a few minutes. This should loosen the solid glue and make it usable once again. Squeeze it from time to time until it is soft enough and runs smoothly.
How do you remove gorilla glue from hardwood floors?
Soften the glue by covering the spot with a cloth soaked in hot water, or heat it using a hairdryer or heat gun. Once it softens, scrape it off using a putty knife. If all these methods fail, sand the glue off and refinish the damaged spot.
Does WD-40 remove Gorilla glue?
You can remove gorilla super glue using WD-40. Spray it on the gorilla glue and allow it to penetrate the potent adhesive for a few minutes. Afterward, scrape off the residue and wipe the spot with a clean cloth.
Can you sand gorilla glue?
Yes, you can. Sanding is one of the most effective methods of removing dried gorilla glue off the surface. But, of course, you can always sand off cured glue using a power sander or sanding block.
How to dissolve gorilla glue from wood
- Soak it in acetone or paint thinner, then wipe it off.
- Dissolve it using commercial glue removers like Goo Gone, Goo Off, and WD-40.
- You can also use nitromethane super glue de-bonder.
- You could also cover it in a baking soda and vinegar paste or oil and acid mixture.
Knowing how to remove gorilla glue from wood helps you maintain an adhesive-free surface.
Getting Gorilla Glue off wood can be a painstakingly difficult process, but the good news is; it’s doable. Wipe off immediate spills because it cures fast. If you couldn’t get to it in time, try any of the methods we’ve discussed above.
Here are other methods of removing glue from wood you should learn.