How to Remove Super Glue from Wood


Jo-Anne asked: How do I remove drops of super glue from a wooden table? I have a couple of drops of super glue on a maple wooden coffee table. How do I get them off?

Methods that will remove super glue will also remove the finish that is on the wooden table. It is best to leave this removal task to a professional, but if you want to tackle it yourself, here are some methods you can try. Keep in mind that you may have to refinish the area where the glue was.

Acetone Method

You Will Need:

  • Acetone or Super glue remover
  • Cotton swabs
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Glue:

  1. Moisten a cotton swab with acetone. There are super glue removers available at hardware and home improvement stores. These products can be used as well.
  2. Apply the acetone  or glue remover ONLY to the glue. Be very careful not to get it on the surrounding wood areas. Use a cotton swab or small paint brush.
  3. Allow it to set on the glue for a minute.
  4. Blot the area with a soft cloth.
  5. Repeat until the glue is removed.
  6. If you are accurate with the cotton swabs, the areas that need to be refinished will be small (only the areas where the glue was).

Sanding Method

You Will Need:

  • Masking tape
  • 600 grit wet dry sandpaper
  • Hard, flat sanding block
  • 1200 grit sandpaper
  • Furniture polish and rubbing compound (for high gloss finishes)
  • 0000 Steel wool and lemon oil (for satin or dull finishes)
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Glue:

  1. This method uses sandpaper to remove the glue. Once removed, you will need to repair any damage to the surface.
  2. If the area is small, you can protect the surrounding areas with a mask. Apply masking tape around the glued areas.
  3. Starting with 600 grit paper on a sand block, sand the glue down until it is level.
  4. To remove the final layer of glue, switch to 1200 grit sandpaper and carefully sand away the glue.
  5. If the finish is high gloss, use a rubbing compound and high quality polish to restore the shine to the area.
  6. If the area has a satin or dull finish, put some lemon oil on the 0000 steel wool and rub it onto the wood keeping with the direction of the grain.
  7. Wipe the surface with a soft cloth to remove the remaining oil.
  8. Finish off with a quality polish.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If the glue area is small, it may be less obvious just to leave it alone. Since the glue dries clear it can easily be covered with decorations.
  • If the wood surface is unfinished, you will be able to remove the glue with acetone or super glue remover without worry about damaging the surface.


  1. The Acetone Method doesn’t work! I’m 11 and I made a mistake by using super glue on a project I have been doing for my school. I had put it on the knobs of metal because it was loose and coming out. Turns out, I made that mistake altogether and now, since my dad is coming home, I don’t know what to do! I have tried this Acetone Method, but it doesn’t work because it isn’t melting off like it should. Please, is there any other way? I need it done for tomorrow so that when my dad comes home, he won’t tell me off. :(

  2. Don’t use acetone or sandpaper. Very carefully use a straight razor blade scraper. They are sold at your local hardware store and only cost a couple bucks at most. Do it the same way you that you would scrape paint off a window. Explain your problem to the guy at the hardware store and he will demonstrate how to use it so your table won’t scratch.

  3. I moved in to an older house. The floors are wood, old wood. Who ever put the floors down used too much of that black glue stuff; it keeps creeping through the cracks of the wood. It’s disgusting. The floor looks dirty all the time. I have scraped it off in a few spots, but it always comes up again. It’s not only in one area; it’s all over. What can I do to clean it? I only rent, not own.

  4. I had a small smear of super glue gel on my BRAND NEW dining table and I VERY carefully scraped it off with a razor blade as suggested by John A. It worked great! You have to look real hard to see where it was! Thanks!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I just removed super glue successfully from my wood flooring, which has a water-based polyurethane finish. I purchased Goof-Off Pro-Strength and covered the glue with cotton squares soaked with the product. I covered the squares with painter’s tape to keep it wet. After 10 minutes, I uncovered and scraped off the glue with a plastic putty knife…it came off easily and did not harm the finish – cleaned up with soap and water. Open windows!

  6. I somehow got super glue on the back side of the neck of my guitar. It ran a long thin bead from just below the keys to half way down the neck and ended in a very large lump. Of course the entire mess is rock hard. Any new suggestions, anyone?

  7. I’m so sad because I accidently poorer super glue on our dining table and I don’t know what to do!!!! Please give me a simple method.

  8. Mauricio says:

    I just came here to thank John for the advice on using a razor blade. It worked like magic on the super glue that was on a wooden table here in my office. We tried acetone, and sandpaper, and the only thing that actually removed it was the razor blade. Thank you, Mr. John!

  9. ACE Hardware has a mini scraper with a plastic holder and plastic blades in the package…safer than metal.

  10. I’ve allowed superglue to run down the neck of my bass. It has some horrible play spots now. Can anyone help?

  11. Bonquisha says:

    You can also use nail polish remover to remove the glue. Just put some nail polish remover on some cotton and rub on the glue. Works like magic!!

  12. I got a small amount of super glue on my dining room table. I took the advice of John A. and used a razor window cleaner (that you use to clean windows after you paint). It came off beautifully. After you scrape it off, use a wood cleaner to wash the spot and then polish. Worked like a charm.

  13. I accidently left a tube of superglue on my wooden table that had a laminated finish and I did not notice at that time that the tube was leaking. The next morning, I found out that the glue tube was stuck to the table. I was able to take the tube out, but a significant amount of superglue along with the label of the tube was still stuck to the table over an area of about 2 inches and this looked IMPOSSIBLE to clean. After reading Elizabeth’s comments, I purchased Goof Off Pro Strength Remover (4.5 oz.) from Walmart. I put this liquid over the affected area directly and then rubbed with a cotton cloth. The label and glue then started to come out little by little in tiny fragments. I repeated this process ’til the glue and the label were completely gone. It DID NOT HARM THE FINISH OF THE TABLE AT ALL! Indeed, Goof Off Pro Strength Remover is the best way to remove the superglue without damaging the surface.

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