Superglues were the answer to many industrial and domestic problems, but most of us have discovered one of their annoying disadvantages – when they drip or smear onto the wrong surfaces they seem impossible to remove.
There is nothing worse than fixing an item and laying your superglue down perhaps on the window sill and finding that it has dripped all down the new radiator that you purchased from a company like Aluminium Radiators UK. Incidentally, if you are looking for a new radiator take a look at stockists such as apolloradiators.co.uk/designer-radiators who will be more than happy to help you. Removing superglue from metal surfaces is easier than you’d think and here is one method of going about it.
First, protect other surfaces and assemble the tools and materials you need. These are clean lint-free cloth, acetone, a small paint scraper, and a hammer. Acetone is an ingredient in many household products such as nail polish remover, so you can use these instead of pure acetone.
Moisten the glue with the acetone, using a clean cloth to apply it, or you can moisten a section of the cloth and leave it on top of the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes to soak in. The acetone will not dissolve the glue, but will gradually loosen its grip to the metal surface.
Once the superglue has softened, carefully attack it with the scraper, gently tapping with the hammer if necessary. You can also use the hammer to squash the glue as this helps make it malleable, and may even slip it from the surface. If these techniques aren’t sufficient, give the glue raps with the hammer. If it has been sufficiently weakened by the acetone, it will break up and come away.
Finally, clean up the residue. Your acetone laden cloth will remove remaining smears of glue and leave a clean polished surface.
A common reason for needing to clean superglues from metal surfaces is because the bond has failed. In order to redo the job, you have to get rid of the old clinging glue. If this is a recurring problem, you need to identify a more reliable adhesive solution.
Fortunately, manufacturers of adhesives usually have them tested by a rating agency that applies standard test procedures (see https://www.astm.org/Standards/adhesive-standards.html). You can get these test results from the manufacturers. Don’t be afraid to contact manufacturers and suppliers direct.
Identifying the best adhesive for your particular job is difficult. Packets in the DIY store rarely display sufficient impartial information. Epoxies are often chosen but have numerous disadvantages, so choose suppliers who provide the best advice.