Super glue was designed to be a very strong adhesive. It quickly creates a bond that seals plastic, rubber, wood, and other substances in seconds and doesn’t let go. If you accidentally glue your fingers together, or glue them to a mug or table leg you are fixing, it’s easy to get stuck fast.
If you glue your fingers, lips, or even your eyelids together, don’t panic. Super glue isn’t totally impenetrable. You can remove it in a few easy steps.
Steps for removing super glue
If you get super glue on your skin, the best thing to do is to grab some acetone — an ingredient in many nail polish removers. Then follow these steps:
- Remove any clothing the glue has gotten onto.
- Gently rub a small amount of acetone onto the bonded area of skin.
- If you can, try to gently peel your skin apart, as if you were removing a bandage. Don’t pull too hard — you could tear the skin.
- Once you’ve separated the skin, wash the area with soap and water.
- Apply lotion to your skin to prevent dryness.
Don’t have nail polish remover? Soak your skin in warm, soapy water. Then, try to gently peel or roll your skin apart. It may take a little longer, but you should be able to get the glue off this way.
Removing super glue from eyelids
- Flush your eyes with warm water.
- Don’t try to pull your eyelids apart.
- See your eye doctor, who may have special treatments to help unseal the glue.
- If your eye doctor can’t get your eyelids open, your eye should open up on its own within a week.
Removing super glue from lips or mouth
- Wash your lips with a lot of warm water.
- If you can, gently peel or roll your lips apart.
- Try not to swallow any glue that comes off.
- If you can’t get your lips unstuck, see a doctor.
What is a super glue burn?
Super glue isn’t hot, but it can still burn your skin. Cyanoacrylate, the adhesive chemical in super glue, creates a reaction when it comes into contact with cotton — for example, in your clothes. That reaction can cause a red, blistery burn.
When using super glue, keep it away from cotton clothing, tissues, and other materials that may create a burn. To treat a burn, wash the area with water. Apply an antibiotic ointment and a sterile dressing. If the burn covers a large area of skin or is severe, see a doctor.
Effects of super glue on the skin
Super glue will stick quickly to the skin, just as it does to surfaces. Trying to pull apart skin that has been super-glued can cause it to tear. In rare cases, this type of glue can also cause burns.
If you get super glue on your skin, it shouldn’t cause any lasting damage. The glue will dissolve on its own within a few days. You can speed up the process by rinsing the area with water or using nail polish remover. If the glue doesn’t come off within a few days, or you develop a rash or burn, see your doctor.