How to remove cyanoacrylate adhesive?

Laurie Gibbons
Adhesive Removal, Adhesive Selection and Use
July 22, 2019

As we discussed here, there are three basic ways to remove adhesive. Mainly, dissolving, heating, and stress.

To remove cyanoacrylate adhesive most effectively, a combination of all three ways may be used.  The deciding factors on which is most appropriate are:

  1. What are the surfaces bonded?
  2. How much time do you have?

On many surfaces, soaking the adhesive in warm water will help you pry the pieces apart or remove the adhesive from one surface.  In either case, it is good to remember that standard cyanoacrylates are very brittle, they form strong bonds in shear but have little impact strength and virtually no elongation.  Try to peel things apart instead of pull in shear.

Water is effective, but this may take a good bit of time.  If the surfaces permit, you could soak the bond in acetone (don’t heat the acetone, the fumes are awful).  For other surfaces, a cyanoacrylate solvent such as CA Solvent 100 is more appropriate.

How to remove cyanoacrylate adhesive from various surfaces:


If you’ve bonded your eyelids or lips, get medical attention.  If you’ve bonded your fingers, soak in warm soapy water and gently roll them together (as if you were rolling a pencil between your fingers).  Don’t pull them apart as you’ll likely take the skin right off of one of your fingers.


If you can take the time to use water, this may be your best option.  Both acetone and CA Solvent 100 can stress and cloud several plastics.  It is best to test the solvent on the plastic prior to use.


The good news here is that cyanoacrylate adhesives don’t bond well to glass so you can generally scrape it off with a razor blade.  If the bond appears strong, you can use water, acetone, or CA Solvent 100 or simply wait a couple of days (the bond will degrade) and try again.


Unlike glass, cyanoacrylate bonds to metal are strong.   The good news here is that metals can resist high temperatures so boiling water, or room temperature acetone or CA Solvent 100 will work.

If you need assistance in removing Permabond Cyanoacrylate Adhesives on other materials contact Permabond.

How to Remove Cyanoacrylate

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