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How to Remove Glue Stains from Workwear

Posted by Cathy Houghton at

There’s nothing worse than getting into a mess at work, only to come home at the end of the day to notice your workwear is stained with glue. For anyone who takes pride in their appearance at work, the last thing you want is to have your new Portwest workwear tarnished with glue. However, just because you’ve found a few stains on your Portwest coveralls or clothing, it doesn’t mean it’s time to throw your workwear out just yet. Follow these simple tips below to help revive your workwear, so it looks good enough to wear again tomorrow.

Removing a Light Household Adhesive 

Before applying any of the methods listed below to your Portwest clothing, we recommend taking the time to check what type of glue your clothes were stained with. If it was epoxy glue or another strong substance, this method probably isn’t going to be strong enough to assist. For lighter, household glues that have found their way on to tough Portwest overalls or clothing, always wait for the glue to dry before acting. Wet glue is a nightmare to deal with and will likely result in even more of a mess on your clothing. Once the glue is dry, scrape off as much of it as possible before moving on to heavier removal methods.

To remove everyday glue from workwear, put acetone on a cotton wool bud. Acetone works to soften the glue, which you should then be able to remove. Keep gently dabbing the cotton pad on the fabric, and with a little patience, you’ll find the glue can be removed. A word of warning when using acetone – it can easily remove the dye on fabric. While this might not bother anyone with older clothing, it’s something to be aware of when using this technique on a brand-new set of Portwest coveralls. You’ll then want to dry the stain and wash the item at a low temperature. You may need to repeat the process a few times, but eventually, your workwear should look as good as new.

Removing Tougher Glue From Fabric 

While the method above is ideal for removing lighter, household glues, you’ll want to apply a completely different tactic to strong industrial strength glues, such as epoxy glue. This method is only recommended for use on tougher materials and clothing, as otherwise, you may ruin your clothing even further. After your clothing and glue are dry, mix warm water with a heavy-duty stain remover. You’ll then want to soak the area of the stain in this mixture, which should help the glue soften. Once the glue begins to soften, you’ll want to scrape off the glue. Repeat this process again, ensuring the area doesn’t get dry. To finish it off, apply a commercial stain remover and then rinse everything with cold water. 

Another idea for tough glue stains is to use a fine-grained piece of sandpaper or a nail file. This will help to loosen the glue, and from there, you can use the acetone method suggested for household glue. However, we only recommend using this method on very thick fabric that won’t be scuffed or torn. Ultimately, you’ll want to decide if the glue stain is worth the damage to the clothing or if you are better off having a small stain in place instead. 

Using Water to Remove Glue From Your Workwear 

While these two methods listed above are our top recommendations, another option is to try water on your stain. This is generally recommended for lighter glues but is worth a try on any type of stain. Once you’ve noticed a glue stain on your Portwest workwear, straight away try to rinse this off with cold water. A lot of glues are water-soluble, and so a rinse in cold water may immediately eliminate the glue stain. If cold water doesn’t work, boiling water is your next choice. Once you’ve boiled water on your stove or in the kettle, you can soak the part of the fabric which is stained, which you’ll want to do for a few minutes. After that, the glue should be softer or even like a liquid again, so you can very gently try to scrape the glue away from the fabric.

Glue is one of the most frustrating liquids to get on your new Portwest clothing, but by following these methods above, you’ll increase your chance of removing any stains or damage. The next time you find you have a glue stain, remember to let it dry first to avoid the glue from getting all over your Portwest clothing. After that, try these methods one at a time, and you’ll find the glue will soften and peel away. Of course, the absolute worst-case scenario would be replacing your clothing, but fortunately, Portwest workwear has you covered for affordable and high-quality clothing and coveralls.

Read next topic: Choosing the Best PPE for Skin Protection 


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