How to Remove CA, Super Glue, Krazy Glue, etc.

By | February 12, 2017
Super Glue Cyanoacrylate

Super Glue Cyanoacrylate

CA (cyanoacrylate /ˌsaɪ ə nəʊ ˈækrɪ leɪt/) glues—also known by the brand names “Super Glue” and “Krazy Glue”—are good stuff! They are a family of strong, fast-acting adhesives with industrial, medical, and household uses.

CA has a short shelf life if not used—about 12 months from the date of manufacture if unopened, one month after opening.

A very thin layer of CA bonds more effectively than a thicker one that does not cure properly.

When added to baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), CA forms a hard, lightweight adhesive filler (baking soda is first used to fill a gap then the CA is dropped onto the baking soda). This works well with porous materials that CA does not work well with alone. This method is sometimes used by modelers to assemble or repair polystyrene foam parts. The reaction between CA and baking soda is very exothermic (heat-producing) and also produces noxious vapors.

CA bonds many substances, including human skin and other tissues. Have you ever glued your fingers together while using CA? I haven’t done it yet, but I assume the “yet” will be significant sooner or later. Anyway, I found this information about removing CA on the Super Glue Corp. website.

Removing Super Glue

Super Glue is renowned the world over for the strength of its bonds, its versatility of use, and easy application. Whether a hole needs a seal or a crack needs repairing, Super Glue is the first thing that craftspersons, hobbyists, and contractors use for all their construction or repair needs.

Because Super Glue is so strong and bonds so fast, some people may find that they have accidentally glued two fingers together, or found that that small piece of balsa wood or plastic from a model they were building has completely bonded to their skin! Not to worry, for even though Super Glue is incredibly strong, it has one weakness: acetone.

Acetone is often found in household nail polish remover, and a small amount on the end of a Q-tip or cotton swab applied directly to the glue should dissolve the bond without damaging the skin. Be very cautious in gently peeling the skin apart as in removing a bandage from the skin; pulling the skin apart may rip the skin! Read the label to make sure that the remover actually contains acetone, as more and more manufacturers are turning away from the chemical because of the growing popularity of acrylic nails (which are loosened by acetone).

Be careful—straight acetone will discolor a number of fabrics and can mar the finish of laminated counter tops (mainly the darker colored ones). Straight acetone defats the skin; wash with soap and water after use and apply hand lotion to replenish the skin and remove any dryness effects. Use acetone sparingly and cautiously with these tips in the following situations:

  • Clothing/Fabrics
    Use acetone and an old toothbrush, reapplying the acetone a number of times and brushing to remove it layer-by-layer. Work on outside and then on inside. May not come off entirely.
  • Counters, tables, floors, etc.
    Use acetone to soften glue and then start working at the glue. Brush, scrape, shave, peel, sand or whatever mechanical means is available to work the glue off. Reapply acetone and continue to work at the glue.
  • Glass
    Standard Super Glue is not recommended to be used for glass bonding applications. If bonded, soak in water until parts come apart.

The best suggestion is to properly cover your work area with metal foil before use—and always work with Super Glue and other adhesives in a well-ventilated area!

Should Super Glue bond to any body part where acetone should not be applied, such as the lips or eyes, the following steps will help you get out of any sticky situation!

  • Skin
    Immerse bonded areas in warm, soapy water. Peel or roll skin apart; a spatula or teaspoon handle or even a pencil will help. Remove cured adhesive with warm, soapy water (may take several applications). Fingernail polish remover with an acetone base has also been successful for removal of cured adhesive from skin.
  • Lips
    If lips are accidentally stuck together, apply a generous amount of warm water and encourage maximum wetting and pressure from saliva from inside the mouth. Peel or roll (do not pull) lips apart. It is almost impossible to swallow the adhesive as a liquid. The adhesive solidifies upon contact with saliva (moisture) and could adhere to the inside of the mouth. Saliva will lift the adhesive in 1–2 days, avoid swallowing the adhesive after detachment.
  • Eyelid
    In the event that eyelids are stuck together or bonded to the eyeball, wash thoroughly with warm water and apply a gauze patch. The eye will open without further action within 1–4 days. To our knowledge there has never been a documented case of adhesive in the eye causing permanent damage. Do not try to force eyes open.
  • Eyeball
    The adhesive will attach itself to the eye protein and will disassociate from it over time, usually within several hours. Periods of weeping and double vision may be experienced until clearance is achieved. Use of water to wash eyes repeatedly may assist in aiding more rapid removal of the adhesive. WE SUGGEST THAT ALL INCIDENTS OF EYE EXPOSURE TO CYANOACRYLATE ADHESIVE (SUPER GLUE) BE DISCUSSED WITH A PHYSICIAN.

Source: “Removing Super Glue”. Super Glue Corp. Web. Accessed February 12, 2017.

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