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How to Remove Wood Glue?

Consider wood glue in your woodworking project.

Do you know that wood glue is an essential item that makes your work easy when you are working with wood?

Glue is usually used by wood crafters, repair mavens and DIY enthusiasts. Spilt glue can easily mess your whole project, disappoint and put you in a fix. If you are here, there are chances that you are in such a situation, and you are finding your way out.

In this article, we will discuss practical ways to remove dry wood glue from surfaces without causing damage to the wood. But first, do you know the types of adhesives and the preventative measures when gluing so that you avoid such a mess you are in right now?

Cheer on, and keep reading to know more!

Types of wood glue

There are so many types of wood glue in the market. How should you know the suitable wood glue for your project? First off, see what you are gluing up and how you will use the glue. Let’s take a look at some types of glue.

1) Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA)

Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) is also known as “white glue” or “hobby and craft”. It is the most common type of wood glue that is great for many woodworking projects.

PVA wood glue is cheap, readily available, and non-toxic, and it is easy to clean up with water. Some common names for PVA wood glue are Elmer’s white glue, Titebond and Gorilla glue. PVA glue can be water-resistant, waterproof or dyed.

2) Cyanoacrylate (CA)

Cyanoacrylate (CA), also referred to as super glue, crazy glue and others, is mainly used for general purpose gluing and minor repairs because it is good in holding properties even if it has low shear strength.

CA glues are expensive than PVA, and other glues.CA glue is the best for gluing wedges to pieces because you can easily hit them with a mallet and pop them off when the glue has dried. It is also great for furniture repair and crown molding because it is clear and can dry up quickly, forming a stiff plastic-like bond.

3) Polyurethane glue

Polyurethane glue also referred to as Excel and gorilla glue. It bonds well to metals, plastics, glass, textile fibers and others in addition to wood. This glue has extreme adhesion if used correctly.

Polyurethane glue is very durable and doesn’t have high moisture content, so the joints do not swell as water-based adhesives do. Also, polyurethane glues perfectly in high moisture or oily wood, and it is tough to remove once it dries.

4) Animal/hide glue

Animal or hide glue is the original glue, made from rendered animal skins collagen. It is one of the oldest known forms of adhesive of choice for many types of woodworking for many centuries. Even today, hide glue is still used in furniture and musical instruments. It is non-toxic and can be stained.

Liquid hide glue such as old brown hide glue and Titebond liquid hide glue is now available to make the glue extend its drying time. This makes the broken joint easier to repair because you will heat and add more hide glue.

5) Epoxy glue

Epoxy glue is a two-part liquid glue mixed. It is available in various forms, and it can also handle multiple projects. Epoxy glue cures in a wide range of moisture and temperature conditions, but the longer it takes to cure, the stronger the bond is.

An advantage of epoxy is that it is waterproof and used to fill gaps and repair damaged wood. Despite that, moisture and acid can interfere with the adhesion of epoxy glue. So, only use it on dry wood.

Ways to remove wood glue

There are many ways to remove wood glue from surfaces. Before you know how to remove wood glue, let’s have a look at things you will use during the process;

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Special glue remover
  • Lemon and salt
  • Spatula
  • Sandpaper
  • A sponge
  • A piece of cloth
  • A solvent

1. Spot the inconspicuous area

During woodworking, glue can cause you a big mess if applied in the wrong area. After finishing the project, it is advisable to have a close look at your products like furniture. If there is some glue, you want to remove, spot the area and mark it. Doing this will make your work easy during wood glue removal.

2. Wet the glued area

After spotting the glued area, wet the surface and start removing the glue. You can do this using a spatula or your nails. This is the most common and traditional method. How do you do this?

Dip a clean cloth in hot water and place the material on the dry wood glue for some minutes so that it can soften. But do not let the fabric stay there for long because it can damage the wood. After removing the cloth, remove the softened glue slowly to avoid damaging the wood. Do it either with your nails, if it is not hard for you to remove, or use a spatula.

3. Scrub the glue

If you want a bright and smooth wood appearance, scrubbing is the best choice, even if it is time-consuming and challenging. Scrub the glued area in the wood using a steel brush gently to avoid damaging the wood.

After scrubbing, use sandpaper to enable proper cleaning of the surface and obliterate the wood glue residue. For a super clean-up, use the sandpaper at the joints fix of the wood.

4. Use vinegar and lemon juice

When using vinegar, put a little white vinegar on a cloth and gently rub the wood glue. It will dilute, and after that, take a cloth soaked in hot water and rub off the remaining adhesive.

For lemon, apply the lemon juice to the glued surface and use a scrubber or a special glue remover and use it in a circular motion over the glued area. After doing that, you can quickly pull away from the glue. Also, alcohol is an alternative to lemon juice.

5. Use recommended products

If you do not succeed in all the above methods, do not worry because there are products available to remove wood glue. Some of them are GOO GONE Adhesive remover and many others.

You need to conduct thorough research on them so that you know the best type for using according to the kind of wood you want to remove the glue from, the price, and if they are readily available.

Over to you

The above tasks can be avoided by adequately handling the glue properly during woodworking. You can prevent this by wiping the wet glue immediately with a damp cloth. You can use water or acetone to wipe it.

Moreover, use mask tape to tape joints or cracks when you are applying glue. The tape will allow the glue to go where you need it. This will avoid unwanted glue smearing.

Now you have the tips on how to remove wood glue. If you are spotting some dry glue on your furniture, musical instruments or anything else, go ahead, try any of the simple, intelligent steps above and remove it!



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