How to Get Dried Liquid Nails Off Your Skin in 7 Easy Steps

Liquid Nails is a potent adhesive. This power makes it useful in construction or repair work, but that powerful grip can be worrying when it gets on your hands. Fortunately, if you know what to do, it isn’t hard at all to remove Liquid Nails from your skin.

Here’s how you can remove Liquid Nails from your skin:

  1. Take off any clothes that have Liquid Nails on them
  2. Use a clean cloth to remove any wet Liquid Nails
  3. Get some mineral oil, vegetable oil, or petroleum jelly
  4. Apply the oil to the dried Liquid Nails
  5. Gently rub away the adhesive
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as needed
  7. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water

Read ahead for a more detailed breakdown of each of these steps.

1. Take Off Any Clothes That Have Liquid Nails on Them

This one is pretty straightforward. By leaving on clothes stained with Liquid Nails, you risk getting more on your skin or other garments or letting the glue cure and stick to you. Additionally, removing the clothes provides better access to your skin to allow you to clean it.

Suppose you don’t feel like you can remove the clothes without getting more glue on yourself. In that case, it may be best to cut your losses (literally) and use some scissors to remove your clothes.

2. Use a Clean Cloth To Remove Any Wet Liquid Nails

A clean cloth will help you get off the glue. Just make sure it’s clean and doesn’t have any oils or perfumes in it that could interfere with the glue removal process.

Cotton is the best material for this application because it absorbs liquid and leaves no oily residue. You can also use a soft paintbrush and slightly damp fabric to scrub the glue before using a cloth. A paper towel will be too flimsy.

3. Get Some Mineral Oil, Vegetable Oil, or Petroleum Jelly

You can find these products at a hardware store, department store, or drugstore. They are all completely safe to apply to your skin and are common ingredients in skincare products. (If you’re not sure what petroleum jelly is, it’s usually sold under the brand name “Vaseline.”) In a pinch, petroleum jelly might be the easiest of the three to acquire.

Mineral oil is more specific, but you’ll probably find it in the beauty section, the hardware section, or a department store. Mineral oil is very versatile. Sometimes used as a lubricant in machinery, it also has a range of other uses, including skincare. It can also prevent dust from sticking to surfaces.

Vegetable oil is a blend of liquid oils pressed from plants. This oil is a good choice for cooking, but it has many other uses. You can find it in any store with a grocery or cooking section.

You don’t have to use one of these three products. You can purchase specialty products for removing hardened glue at many hardware stores. Still, vegetable oil, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly are probably the easiest to find.

If you’re curious how the oil works to remove Liquid Nails, you can learn more here.

4. Apply the Oil to the Dried Liquid Nails

Now that you have all the supplies, you can apply the vegetable oil, mineral oil, or petroleum jelly near where you’ve been working with Liquid Nails.

Have an open bottle ready to use, as well as a clean cloth. You can also use the cloth with the oil on it. If you use a cloth, be sure to clean it before removing Liquid Nails because you don’t want any excess oil to contaminate your work area.

Now that the oil is on the glue, you can start working with it. The oil soaks into the bond and makes it soft and pliable enough for you to remove. Don’t be afraid to work as aggressively with the oil and cloth to get as much glue off as possible, but be careful! It’s easier to damage your skin in this process than you’d think.

As you do this, the oil will tend to soak into your skin and help soothe and moisturize the area. If you’re unsure if this has been successful, rinse off any excess oil with soap and water before proceeding.

5. Gently Rub Away the Adhesive

Apply gentle pressure with the oil-dampened cloth or brush (or even fingers if that’s what works), rubbing in small circular motions. This combination of factors will slowly dissolve the dried adhesive. It will allow you to clean your skin without getting more glue on you.

6. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 As Needed.

It can be challenging to tell if all the glue is off until you wash away the oil, so don’t be discouraged if you have to reapply. You should notice after the first time that there is less glue on your skin.

After the second time, you should remove it using just mild rubbing with the cloth. If you still have trouble, use more oil. You can also consider using a lubricant that’s easier to work with than petroleum jellies, like mineral oil or vegetable oil.

7. Wash Your Hands Thoroughly With Soap and Water

Wash your hands with soap and water to get rid of any oil on your skin. Washing will also remove any leftovers of the glue. When washing your hands, if you notice more glue, don’t be frustrated – we both know Liquid Nails is hard to remove. Just go back to steps 3 and 4 and try again.

What if That Doesn’t Work?

If you completed all seven steps and still have adhesive on your skin, you might have used a latex-based adhesive. Check the packaging to be sure.

If it was latex-based, you should remove it with a cloth, soap, and water.

If Liquid Nails remains on your skin, don’t worry! It will disappear in a few days as your body does its job of gradually shedding your skin. It will not harm you in the meantime, but it may be mildly annoying.


Liquid Nails is excellent for fixing things if you’re in a pinch, but don’t get it on your clothes or skin. Using the tips above should allow you to get it off if you get the glue on yourself by accident.