How Can Dried Contact Cement Be Removed?

On a house or outdoor surface, the best way to remove dried contact cement is by sanding with a wire brush. The way to remove dried contact cement depends entirely on the surface it is on.

For household surfaces, there are a few other methods to try:

  • Use a heat gun to soften the contact cement, then rub and roll it off.
  • A solvent made specifically for glue removal, generally containing toluene or xylene, will also soften the contact cement. The rub-and-roll method can be used to remove the residue.
  • For surfaces that won't be harmed by water, power-washing is fast and nontoxic.

Any of these methods can release dangerous particles or fumes. They should be used with caution and the proper safety equipment, such as a mask or respirator.

On skin, use an oil-based food or beauty product, such as vegetable oil or baby oil. On fabric, scrape off as much of the dried contact cement as possible. If the fabric is washable, pretreat with a stain remover. If not, blot with a dry-cleaning solvent.

For nonwashable fabrics, it may be necessary to blot the spot several times to remove it all. If the dry-cleaning solution leaves a mark on the fabric, sponge it lightly with dishwashing soap in warm water, then blot with cold water. Repeat until the mark is gone.