This is the one thing that nearly all woodworkers do including me, is wipe off excess glue on our shirts or pants. My wife caught me out the other day doing this and she said that it will never wash out. So I decided to do some tests and find out will Titebond wood glue wash out of clothes?
Once Titebond wood glue has fully dried, it will not wash out of clothing. Titebond 2 & 3 are polyurethane-based and are water-resistant and cannot be removed through normal washing. Titebond 1 is also very difficult to remove once it has dried.
I decided to do a few tests on some old cloth to see what would happen. My results are below.
Can I Remove Dried Titebond Wood Glue From Clothing?
Titebond wood glue will not wash out of clothing if it has fully dried first. You will need to make sure to remove as much excess glue in water before it dries. Your clothes need to be washed immediately after the glue has been applied.
I Did A Test To Find Out
- I used a cotton cloth as that most closely resembles the types of clothing we would wear.
- I placed a generous portion of the 3 main types of Titebond wood glue on the cloth. Titebond 1, Titebond 2 and Titebond 3.
- As you will see from the below photos, I left the main portion of the glue just sit on the cloth, and then the edges I pushed into the cloth and wiped it. I figured this would closely resemble someone wiping glue onto their clothes.
- I then let the glue dry for 30 hours to ensure it was completely set. I wrote an article explaining if Titebond dries clear
- Then I placed the cloth into the washing machine on a regular warm wash with a normal amount of washing powder. I don’t believe the type of powder nor whether you use liquid or powder will change the outcome.
As you can see the Titebond 3 on the left of the image, has barely even changed. That is to be expected as Titebond 3 is waterproof glue. Titebond 2 is water-resistant and has only a small noticeable difference. Titebond 1 was almost removed during the wash cycle. I did pick at the remaining Titebond 1 glue and it was very difficult to get off.
Titebond wood glues cannot be removed from clothing if the glue has dried before the clothing is washed.
I also put the cloth back through the washer for a second time and that made no difference to the glue. I still could not remove it.
Yes, I’m sure I could have tried different material types, but by judging how well the glue stuck, I doubt it would have made any difference to the outcome.
Is Titebond 3 better than Titebond 2? I wrote this article to explain.
Does Washing Soften The Wood Glue So It Can Be Removed?
It seems that the glue was much softer when removed from the washing machine. However, I tried peeling some of the glue off and I only managed to get a small piece off. The remaining glue would not budge.
Titebond wood glue really grabs onto the fibres of your clothing and makes it impossible to remove.
While the Titebond 1 wood glue was the least stuck, it appears that allowing it to dry onto the clothing before you wash them, will result in permanently stained clothes.
How Do You Remove Dried Titebond Glue From Clothing?
The truth is that dried Titebond wood glue cannot be fully removed from clothing. Repeat washing on the hottest setting on your washer may help soften the glue, but a stain will almost always be left.
I found that a mixture of Acetone, Vinegar & Water does soften the wood glue, but it does not dissolve it. You may be left peeling bits of glue for months to come and will likely have a permanent stain on your clothes.
Does Vinegar Remove Wood Glue?
From my tests, vinegar may soften wood glue but will not work in removing dried wood glue. Once the dried wood glue has embedded itself into the fibers of your clothing, it will never come out!
How To Prevent Your Clothes From Being Ruined
I recommend your wear an apron to protect your clothes. I wrote about why you should wear an apron here.
The next best thing is to keep a damp rag in your workshop when you are doing glue-ups. If you accidentally get glue on your clothes, thoroughly wipe it off IMMEDIATELY. Then soak your clothes in water for 4 hours before washing them.
This will ensure all the glue has dissolved before it has a chance to dry. A warm or hot wash cycle should then completely remove any of the remaining glue.
Will Wood Glue Ruin Clothes?
Dried wood glue if left on clothes will most certainly ruin them. If you can remove the bulk of the glue you will be left with a permanent stain from the glue. Always remove the wood glue before it dries if you want to save your clothes from being damaged.
I know there are many articles out there claiming that you can remove wood glue from clothes. This may work if you get it out before it dries. The truth is, I have done the tests (as above) and can prove that Titebond wood glue if left to dry, cannot be removed from clothing.
Whilst you may be able to pick off the bulk of the glue after washing, you will always be left with a stain. Remember to wear an apron or wipe off the glue with a damp cloth before it dries.