Tuesday’s Tip: Removing Superglue

Have you ever gotten superglue all over your fingers and had to live with it for two weeks as it wore off? There is a simple way to take it off, but first, let me tell you a story.


When my wife worked in the ER of a large county hospital in Dallas, she saw a lot of very strange cases. One of the most interesting was the guy who came in with his eyes closed. Evidently, his wife had accused him of looking at other women and they got into a fight. Somehow, he decided that he could prove that he wasn’t looking at other women by super-gluing his eyes closed. (I am not making this up.)

After the glue dried, he began to think it wasn’t such a great idea and got some people to drive him to the emergency room. My wife said the doctors and nurses laughed at him for a while and then gave him Vaseline to rub in his eyes.

Petroleum will break down super glue, so you can easily remove it with gasoline. However, a less flammable and less dangerous solution is to use Vaseline to rub the hardened glue off your fingers.

Originally published December 4, 2007.


  1. brent says


    there you go.

    I get superglue on my hands all the time – I’m a product engineer, always making fiddly little prototypes.

    I wonder if this works for Loctite too… it’s a bit different to your superglue…

  2. Vinod says

    I usually use medical spirit to get rid of super glue. If its on my fingers only I just get myself a “prune fingers” by placing my hand in a warm bowl of water for some time and the glue just peels off.

  3. marc b says

    That is a great resource for those who fiddle around with super glue, but I am kind of puzzled as to how this relates to productivity. Having a dry spell? lol

    • b cram says

      Marc B,

      Was just thinking it might be hard to get anything done with fingers (and / or eyes) plastered with SuperGlue? Just a thought …. :) :)

      B Cram

    • says

      Maybe I’m pushing the subject matter envelope a bit. For me, this trick has saved me a lot of time when I do get superglue on my hand. The less time I spend picking superglue off my fingers the more time I have to do other things. :)

  4. Rose says

    I have a serious problem. Can someone offer me advise please. I had a fallen toe nail that I wanted to keep for a bit longer so that it wouldn’t look ugly for an upcoming trip so I super glued it on. Alot of it. Not nail glue either but reg stuff. Will it ever come off and will my poor nail underneath still continue to grow? Want it off I but am afraid to try to pull. Please help :-/

    • brent says

      don’t stick things to yourself. that’s not clever.

      I think it might come off by itself as it is glued to skin and the skin will eventually come away.

      try getting the wd40 in under it and see if that helps.

      see someone about it.

  5. ace says

    Great story , , i just ask my phone for help with superglue brought me here :p lol but great story i made me laugh .

  6. Hapless mom says

    I think someone may have gotten superglue or crazyglue on the little metal basket that fits into my kitchen sink. All of a sudden I can’t lift that basket out of the hole in the sink. Not by getting a muscular neighbor to try to pry it up. It will not budge! So I’m unable to clear the sink satisfactorally. I usually lift the basket and make sure there is nothing in the hole that could clog the garbage disposal before I run it. Now that I can’t doublecheck beneath the basket, I’m afraid to run the garbage disposal. Water takes forever to drain from the sink. (The other night I had to wait more than 4 hours to get the level down.) So I’ve been severely limiting my running any water or draining pots when I cook, into the sink. Now every bit of water that goes into the sink gets bailed out laboriously by hand.

    So if indeed the metal basket is “permanently stuck”to the sink drain hole, what can I safely use to dissolve that permanent bond? Acetone, gas, etc. seem like they ,oght cause a fire or explosion when I run the dishwasher. Would vaseline be safe?

    I can’t afford to replace the entire sink with a new one.

    Any suggestions, anybody?

    • brent says

      this thread is still active??

      Either way, you can disassemble the component and if you can’t fix it by banging it from the bottom then you can just replace the basket.

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