How to Remove Glue From Wood: Step by Step

Along with water, dirt, and many other things, you are also a victim of glue dripping to your wooden floor or countertops.

These kinds of incidents are caused due to several reasons, like repairing some households on the wooden floor.

Once it happens, the glues are meant to be removed as they destroy not only the sight but also the inner materials.

how to remove Glue From Wood

Several products offer you to act quickly upon them. Don’t worry if you don’t have or afford them. Raw materials like vinegar or mayonnaise or orange peels can be your alternative.

You can also apply some harsh tactics like heating or scraping with sandpaper. The article will thoroughly guide you to know how to remove glue from wood, having either large or small areas.

​Learn more about how to remove glue from wood

  • Method 1: The commercial tactic
  • Method 2: Natural materials
  • Method 3: Tactic for large wood area
  • Method 4: Tactic for small wood area

​Have an idea for the things you may need for four different tactics:

  • Any commercial remover/ acetone/ petroleum jelly for tactic 1
  • Mayonnaise, Vinegar, Orange peel for tactic 2
  • 600-grit sandpaper/ 1200-grit sandpaper for tactic 3
  • Heating material like a hairdryer and a plastic scraper for tactic 4

Method 1: The commercial tactic

Choose acetone for untreated/unfinished wood.

The reason behind using acetone for unfinished wood is that this chemical can end up damaging the paint & varnish.

You only need to treat the glued area and avoid the surrounding and leaking of the acetone onto the wood.

To do that, you need to place tape surrounding the glue. Use cotton or cloth to use the acetone and apply small acetone directly to the glue.

Inhaling the fumes of acetone can cause breathing problems. So, be sure to use a mask and gloves for hand.

For further precaution, do the job outside the house or open the windows while working indoors.

Wait for 1 minute and then simply dab the soften glue using a cloth to comes it off.

Acetone is available at any beauty store ex- nail-polish remover.

Commercial glue remover for the stubborn one

Using a cloth, dab the glue with a small amount of the product. After it softens the adhesive, use any fabric to take the glue off.

Glue-removers are available at the local stores of hardware and follow the label instruction.

​We need to avoid using more than recommended for doing the work quickly or out of anger.

Just like the previous tactic, don’t let the remover touch your wood other than the glue. You can use painter’s tape to make sure.

Petroleum jelly for a small spot

Any petroleum jelly or Vaseline can be your alternative to soften the wooden glue. Leave the jelly overnight and remove the glue the next day using your hand.

You can also scrap but gently to avoid scraping the wooden texture.

Learn More About: Perfect ways to remove water stains from wood

Method 2: Natural materials

Use of white vinegar

Take ½ cup of white vinegar, which will weigh 120 ml and soak a clean rag.

Then dab the wooden glue with the cloth. Once it has lost the glue, use your fingers to remove the glue.

Don’t use a large amount of vinegar at once. Follow the dabbing process with little vinegar.

Vinegar is an excellent option if you are worried about the wood finish.

Use of mayonnaise

The fat in mayonnaise is capable of softening the glue. Using hand take mayonnaise in small amount and rub it on the wood glue and leave it for 15 minutes.

Then, you can take off the mayonnaise and the paste at the same time using a cloth.

Sometimes, the initial layer can’t take off the glue but make it lose. In that case, go for a second application.

Use of Orange peels

The citrus of orange peel is acidic and capable of breaking down the glue of wood.

Put an orange peel oven the wood where the adhesive is and wait for 10 minutes. 

After the time ends, you can see the glue looks soften enough to take it off. So, use a rag or cloth to wipe the glue off.

Also Read: Weather wood perfectly

Method 3: Tactic for large wood area

Use of 600-grit sandpaper

A large area of glue needs more effort and harsh tactics. Using the above methods can make the process lengthy in case of large-area glue. Make use of sandpaper having 600-grit for the thick king of glue.

Take a piece of the paper that is enough to cover up the entire glue and sand the glue.

Follow the process until you feel that the glue and wood stand on the same plane. Apply pressure of medium strength and follow the back-&-forth stroke.

Switching to 1200-grit sandpaper

Then switch to the 1200-grit part and remove the leftover glue. Be careful to avoid scratching the wood exterior.

Wiping off

Then in the following steps, you need to use a cloth to remove the remaining glue pieces.

Restoring the wood

It is possible to sand off the wood by little instead of being careful, or the glue itself can remove the finish of the forest.

Then, you can go for an application of a wood finish that matches your original finish. For shining up the area, go for satin. You can also use a dull gloss.

Wood polish can make the area less dull and shine it up.

Learn More About: Make your wood waterproof

Method 4: Tactic for small wood area

Use of a hairdryer or a heating fan

Make sure you choose the setting of low heating on your hairdryer. Then after the heat directly upon the glue to soften it up. Then, you can simply roll up the sticky glue.

The low heat setting is a must for wood protection.

The time for the process

Heat the glue with your dryer or heating fan for 15 seconds from a distance of 2-3 inches (in cm, it would be 5.1-7.6). Then, the glue will look soften to scrape it off.

The glue is thick enough or sticky then apply the process for 20-25 seconds.

Avoid heating at the same place for more than 30 seconds.

Use of scraper

After the glue becomes soften, use a scraper to remove glue from the underneath. 

You are not rubbing at this point. You are dislodging the glue from the wood by applying pressure between the wood the glue.

Avoid hard action for wood protection.

Wiping off

As you have dispatched the glue from the wood by acting between the attachment, now wipe off the wood. In this way, you can ensure the absence of any extra glue.


​Glue over wood gives a transparent grimy effect that can make you feel irritating. Sometimes we try to scratch it off using our nail.

But we got nothing other than damaging our nail. Even if we can take it off, we leave some white scratch over the wood that doesn’t give any good view.

It is better to soften the solid wood first by the above tactics. Now you may not get confused about removing glue from wood.

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