Glue stains are a nightmare for all those who love fixing things. They are extremely tough to remove, and anything you use over them results in the spreading of the stain or becomes useless.
In order to remove a glue stain, we first have to understand how glue works. And then what are some effective agents that can hinder this process and thereby remove a glue stain.
Hydrogen peroxide is one of those potential chemicals that has amazing oxidizing properties and causes the glue to unstick. In this article, we will see if that’s true and, if so, how you can implement it.
So without further ado, let’s begin!
What Causes Glue To “Stick”?
Glues and similar forms of adhesives are an integral part of our daily life. Their task of holding things together enables us to pack gifts and mend shoes. But have you ever wondered what causes this to happen? How can a thin film of liquid join two surfaces together to such a great extent?
To summarize, how glue makes two surfaces stick together is molecular forces and molecular bonds present in the glue. The extent of the stick and strength of the bond depends on how strong these bonds are and how much force is required to pull them apart.
Just like how positive and negative charges attract to form chemical bonds (as in NaCl), adhesives contain a long chain of protein species that adhere to the grooves and pores of a surface.
Then the intermolecular forces (such as hydrogen bonds and Vander Waals forces) allow the roughened part of the other surface to bind. This interaction causes both of them to bind like lock and key!
And given that, smooth surfaces like that of glass do not offer much adherence to glue as they do not have many pores for molecules to enter and interact.
Does Hydrogen Peroxide Remove Adhesives?
Now that we know exactly what’s happening whenever an adhesive is applied over a surface, we can move on to discuss what are some agents that can hinder this process and help you wipe out the stickiness.
As explained above, the adhesiveness is due to protein and molecular interactions present inside the glue film. So if we were able to provide another agent who can lend it a pair of electrons to neutralize the adhesive interactions, glue could be removed.
For that to happen, the agent should be first a reactive molecule and, secondly, non-toxic. The combination of such an agent is not surprisingly hard.
Because if the agent we use to remove glue is effective, it must also be reactive. And the reactiveness of that agent becomes toxic or corrosive to the surface we are using it on. Making the glue removal process more difficult than it should be.
However, hydrogen peroxide is the answer to our dilemma. Hydrogen peroxide is a simple chemical having a loosely bound oxygen atom. This atom is highly reactive whenever the chemical is exposed to the environment.
Whenever hydrogen peroxide is applied over a surface (in our case, the glue film), the oxygen dissociates and reacts with chemical constituents of the chemical or organism present in the vicinity.
This simple oxidizing property of hydrogen peroxide helps it accomplish great tasks ranging from disinfecting to bleaching and even in manufacturing food and extracting minerals. And as we will discuss below, remove glue stains and adhesives!
Does Hydrogen Peroxide Breakdown Super Glue?
In viewing the above-mentioned procedure, hydrogen peroxide, theoretically, should be able to remove all types of glue and adhesives.
And this hypothesis stands true, verified by experts. Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical known for its versatility and the wide range of procedures it can perform. More than that, hydrogen peroxide is non-discriminate in the way it acts on the agent.
When it comes to eliminating microbes from surfaces, hydrogen peroxide effectively kills bacteria, viruses, and even fungi. Similarly, whenever hydrogen peroxide is applied over an adhesive, it can break bonds regardless of their origin. So yes, you can use hydrogen peroxide to remove simple glue to super glues!
Make a Homemade Adhesive Remover With Hydrogen Peroxide!
Now that we have gone over how the glue causes stickiness and how hydrogen peroxide is extremely apt in removing that, we can move on to discuss how you can help yourself with hydrogen peroxide at home!
Hydrogen peroxide is a prevalent chemical available in all of the first aid toolboxes in homes. And its out-of-the-box uses are many! With this chemical, you can easily have a set of tools and agents with which you can remove all forms of glue from all surfaces.
What Do You Need
Before we can get on with the procedure of removing glue from surfaces, we first have to assemble a team of competent equipment that will help us accomplish this task.
The tools which we will need are:
- Razor Blade
- Plastic Scraper
- Cleaning Cloth
- Cotton Balls
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Dish Soap
- Tape/Plastic wrapper
And that’s about it! A bottle of hydrogen peroxide is all you need! The great thing about hydrogen peroxide is its direct reacting agent, i.e., you won’t have to waste so much time on making the perfect solution with a complex set of chemicals.
Hydrogen Peroxide As Remover- The Procedure
Now that we have gathered all the equipment and instruments which we need to clear off that nasty glue stain, we can begin the heart of the procedure.
For convenience, we have divided the procedure into four simple steps that need specific equipment. You will have a clean surface free from all kinds of stains by the end!
The first part of our procedure is to grab a razor blade (if the stain is on a metal surface) or plaster scraper (for stains on plastic) and manually scrape the dried glue off as much as you can.
Whenever glue is applied over a surface, it dries up in a while, leaving a crusty spot on the surface. Most of the crusty parts present on the top can be scraped off manually using a razor blade or scraper (or even your nails, though it is better to use a tool).
By the time you are done with this procedure, half of the glue stain will be gone, and you can solely focus your energy and chemical on the parts deeply embedded into the surface.
The next part of our procedure is to replenish that dried glue surface. However, this is one of the delicate parts of the procedure, as you would need to be careful about how to wet the mark.
You have to grab a clean cloth and dampen it with water and dish soap. Then, lay the soap-laden cloth over the glue mark and cover it all off using a plastic wrapper or tape. Once done, wait a few hours to allow soapy water to liquefy the glue mark completely.
After giving the mark adequate time to soak, move on to the next step!
If you have properly soaked the surface, this part of the procedure will be very effective.
The softened glue should come off easily and quickly with a disposable cloth. However, you should be careful while removing the glue using a cloth. Make sure not to rub the surface while cleaning the marks as this can spread the glue stain further and increase the surface area, leading to dryness again.
We recommend “blot” using the cloth, hence the name of this procedure. By now, most of the glue should be gone!
By now, most of the glue marks will be washed away by the blotting and scraping techniques. But what if there are some stubborn freckles present over the surface that just won’t come off? Relax, hydrogen peroxide has got you covered.
Hydrogen peroxide is a robust yet straightforward way to deal with glue marks over all types of surfaces. All you have to do is take a clean cotton swab and dampen it with a hydrogen peroxide solution. The solution of hydrogen peroxide we are using here is the common 3% one.
Now blot it over the glue mark the same way you did in the soap water blotting technique. Feel free to replace the cotton swab once it has too much glue on it.
By repeating the above set of procedures, you will indeed remove all and any types of glue stains from a myriad of surfaces! However, we should warn you about using hydrogen peroxide over dark and heavily dyed surfaces.
As it is a common bleaching agent, chances are it may react with the surface’s color. So make sure to check with a minimal amount of hydrogen peroxide over the surface for any discolorations.
Though a plus point you get from using hydrogen peroxide as a debonding agent is its capability of removing color as well as adhesiveness of the glue! So if you are suffering from spillage of colored glue, hydrogen peroxide has got you covered as well!
Using Hydrogen Peroxide To Remove Adhesives From Various Surfaces!
Now that we have gone over some of the perks of using hydrogen peroxide to remove glue stains and how exactly you can do it yourself at home, we can look at various types of surfaces that hydrogen peroxide removes glue from.
These surfaces are some of the most common ones that face glue stains, maybe due to their composition or how they make up most of the surfaces we do other tasks on.
More often than not, the glue stains we discover over plastic items (like an old broken toy that we fixed) are once the glue has completely dried up and become a part of that subject. However, you can effectively remove the glue stains with the right tools and management techniques.
Removing glue stains from plastic is as hard as people might think. With the course of scraping, damping, blotting and debonding, you can effectively clean off all kinds of glue marks, even those caused by super glue.
The best debonding agent when it comes to plastic items is alcoholic swap and hydrogen peroxide if the stain is too strong.
Just like plastics, metals also suffer from glue stains, and due to their lustrous surfaces, the stains are much more prominent than plastic surfaces.
With the right tweaks here and there, you can also remove all kinds of glue marks from metallic surfaces. For stainless steel, we suggest skipping over the scraping part of the procedures as it may cause permanent scratches.
And for shiny and colored metal surfaces, we recommend checking with hydrogen peroxide before beginning the procedure.
Hydrogen peroxide is the best blotting agent when it comes to removing glue stains from metallic surfaces because of its strong nature!
Glue stains are some of the most stubborn and feared stains to have on fabric, in addition to paint and polish stains. And rightly so, because once these liquids contact air, they lose their moisture and become a crusty coat that cannot be washed or cleaned.
For most fabrics, the procedure of scraping, damping, and blotting works just fine. With petroleum jelly along with water in the damping part of the procedure, you can remove all kinds of stains with just blotting.
For exceptionally stubborn stains, make sure to check hydrogen peroxide’s reactivity with your fabric. And check the manufacturer’s care label before using any other methods.
Safety Precautions You Must Know!
While hydrogen peroxide is a relatively mild and more domestically used chemical, you should not be careless with it. Because mild or severe, a chemical is a reactive species and can lead to adverse side-effects if not used with precautions.
The best safety tip we give to our hydrogen peroxide users is to monitor the concentration of the chemical they are using or picking up from the market. Because more often than not, sellers do not label their hydrogen peroxide concentrations, and a higher concentration can result in unwanted side effects.
For all household-related procedures, 3% hydrogen peroxide is the way to go. Not only at this concentration, hydrogen peroxide is safe to use but also strong enough to kill any germs or remove any form of glue from all types of surfaces.
Another pointer that we have also advised in the above sections is to check how hydrogen peroxide reacts with the surface on which you are using it before applying.
As this chemical also has specific bleaching properties, hydrogen peroxide can decolorize or smudge dark surfaces or those which are heavily dyed.
So it is always a good idea to drop a speck of hydrogen peroxide over a colored surface before thoroughly bathing it in the chemical.
One last piece of advice that you should follow for a safe and effective hydrogen peroxide-oriented cleaning is to make sure that the hydrogen peroxide solution you are using is fresh and not expired.
Generally, hydrogen peroxide bottles last for less than 6 months once opened because of their easily dissociative nature.
You can check if your bottle of hydrogen peroxide is expired or not by pouring some of it down the sink and observing for any sizzling or bubbling sounds in the drain.
Sinks like that present in the kitchen contain enough organic matter to initiate a bubbling reaction, verifying that the hydrogen peroxide you have is active!
The Final Verdict
Glue stains are some of the most notorious stains to have over a surface.
Not only are they tough to remove, but the gadgets and equipment used to remove them are either useless or make them worse. Hydrogen peroxide is the only safe chemical we can think of that can complete this task so flawlessly.
Hydrogen peroxide can be declared a magic potion that can perform so many tasks that it is hard to enlist. As we have seen from the article, removing glue stains has now become one of them.
If you are someone who extensively experiences glue stains or has kids at your home that do that for you, order a set of hydrogen peroxide bottles today!