Home » How To Remove Gorilla Glue From Wood? | Complete DIY Guide

How To Remove Gorilla Glue From Wood? | Complete DIY Guide

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Broken furniture, sculptures, and wood, in general, do not have to be thrown away. You can repair this damage by using strong enough glue that will not easily give way and up steps gorilla glue.

Applying gorilla glue is one thing; removing it is another. This brand of glue is known widely and is used to repair damages to several materials.

Excess gorilla glue around the joint can be unsightly and make the surface uneven. An uneven surface may prevent you from doing some finishing on the wood. The need to remove gorilla glue will always be there; the problem is how to do this effectively.

Removing the glue requires a delicate process that will ensure the wood is not damaged in any way. So instead of employing brute force for this stubborn glue, a more subtle approach is required. Luckily, there are several methods you can use to remove gorilla glue from wood.

Gorilla glue may be as rugged as it gets, but removing it doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what you’re doing. In this piece, we’ll show you how to remove this notoriously strong glue from wood without damaging any part of the glue. But, before we jump into this, what is gorilla glue?

What is Gorilla Glue?

What is Gorilla Glue

Gorilla glue is an adhesive that was first sold in 1994. An American brand based in Sharonville, Ohio, makes this glue. Gorilla glue is a polyurethane adhesive with water and heat-resistant abilities.

It can also be sanded, painted, stained and more. This flexibility and superb strength make it the go-to glue for DIY lovers and woodworkers alike.

Gorilla glue is easy to find in any home improvement store around you. You can use the adhesive outdoors and indoors because of its water and heat resistance. However, the glue contains chemicals that can be harmful if it comes in contact with certain parts of your body.

How to Remove Gorilla Glue From Wood?

How to Remove Gorilla Glue From Wood?

When you want to remove gorilla glue, its strength becomes the biggest challenge. When you apply this glue to the wood surface, some excess comes from the area.

You’ll have to remove the excess gorilla glue from the area, so there’s a smooth and even area. It would help if you also did this without damaging the wood. Several methods you can use to achieve this aim, including those for removing wet and dry gorilla glue.

1. Cleaning Wet Gorilla Glue

Cleaning Wet Gorilla Glue

Wet gorilla glue is quite easy to remove, which is not far-fetched. Gorilla glue will begin solidifying in minutes, but it takes 24 hours to dry out completely. Therefore, cleaning the glue when it is still wet is best. Here are the steps to achieve this:

Step 1: Wipe Off Excess Glue with Paper Towel

Use a paper towel or tissue paper to wipe off excess glue from the surface. The aim is to clean as much glue as possible with this simple step before completely removing the glue.

Please do not use a towel or rag, as it’ll only leave you with another material to clean. Dispose of the paper towel after cleaning the glue.

Step 2: Damp Paper Towel with Acetone and Wipe Again

Take another paper towel and dampen it with acetone. You can use nail polish remover as it contains a good amount of acetone. You can also use paint thinner or pure acetone to dampen, not soak the paper towel.

However, using pure acetone can be too strong and lead to fading color and removal of finish on the wood. Instead, rub the paper towel gently on the glue, applying some pressure till you’ll remove the glue.

Step 3: Scrape Off with Putty Knife

The acetone softens the gorilla glue and makes it easy to scrape off any remaining residue with a putty knife.

You have to be careful here, so you don’t create a dent on the surface while trying to remove the glue. Place the knife end flat on the surface and scrape off any gorilla glue still there.

2. Chipping Off Gorilla Glue

Chipping Off Gorilla Glue

This is a method you can use to remove dried gorilla glue. This method involves using a sharp object like a razor and your nails to break off the glue without damaging the wood.

First, you have to raise the fried glue at the edges – paying attention not to scrape the wood. Then, use the sharp object to raise the edge.

Next, break off the raised parts in small portions till you’ve removed all the gorilla glue on the wood. You’ll find this method quite effective if you’re dealing with completely dried glue on a flat surface.

Also Read: How To Fix Polyurethane Mistakes?

3. Cleaning With Mineral Spirits

Cleaning With Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits can be harmful and destructive to your clothes. Wear protective gear like gloves when handling this liquid. Wet a rag with mineral spirits, and place that damp cloth on the part of the gorilla glue you want to remove.

Leave this cloth on the glue for about 5 minutes, softening the glue and making removal easy.

Take the wet rag to scrub off the now weakened glue from the surface. Do this continuously till you’ve removed all the gorilla glue. Add more mineral spirits to the rag when you feel it is low.

4. Wipe with Paint Thinner

Wipe with Paint Thinner

Paint thinner is one of the best ways to remove gorilla glue from the wooden surface as long as that surface has not been finished with polyurethane. Paint thinner on wooden surfaces finished with polyurethane will scrub off the polyurethane.

Rub paint thinner on an end of a rag and rub that end on the gorilla glue. Repeat the process by adding more paint thinner to the rag and rubbing the glue.

Paint thinner has that choking feeling, so it is best you open all the windows and use them in a well-ventilated area. Use other safety measures like gloves.

5. Sanding the Gorilla Glue

Sanding the Gorilla Glue

Sanding wood is common practice, sanding gorilla glue? Not so much. One of the properties of gorilla glue that makes it quite the catch is its ability to be sanded.

However, not many people are aware of this. To remove gorilla glue from wood, you can use sandpaper, ideally 80-grit sandpaper.

This rough sandpaper helps to remove the glue quickly, and its lack of attention to detail will not be a problem since the glue tends to come off together. Use the sandpaper to scrub the gorilla glue surface consistently until you’ve cleared the glue.

However, you should pay attention so you do not sand the wood underneath. Sometimes, sanding the wood, albeit slightly, is inevitable with this method. Therefore, it is best if you use this method for the unfinished wood.

6. Apply Goo Gone on the Gorilla Glue

Go gone is an adhesive remover that you can use to remove gorilla glue from wood. Pour the goo gone on the gorilla glue and allow it for about 20-30 minutes. This will soften the glue and make it possible to come off with the right amount of pressure.

Dampen a rag with hot water and scrub the gorilla glue. Do this with a lot of pressure to remove the glue. You will need to place the wood with the glue in a comfortable and stable position, making it easy to apply the right amount of pressure without injuring yourself.

The aim is to raise the glue off the wood; sometimes, a fine-grit steel wool pad will be enough to remove the glue.

Also Read: How to Apply Polyurethane to Wood?

FAQ’s to Remove Gorilla Glue From Wood

People always have many questions about removing the rugged gorilla glue from wood. Often, these questions are similar to each other and continue to reoccur. This is why we’ve created a section answering people’s most common questions.

How Long Before Gorilla Glue Dries?

Gorilla glue starts to dry in minutes. Typically, by 15 minutes, it would’ve solidified enough to see the joint hold for light repairs. However, it takes about 24 hours to dry completely. The drying time is the difference between working with wet glue and dry glue.

Can Alcohol Remove Gorilla Glue?

Rubbing alcohol on gorilla glue can remove it. You’ll need to allow it to soften the glue and use a rag to scrub.

Can Vinegar Remove Gorilla Glue?

Vinegar can remove gorilla glue by dissolving it when it comes in contact with dry glue. Although it is best suited for unfinished wood, it is mild and wouldn’t cause noticeable damage to the wood finish.


You do not have to damage the wood trying to remove this notoriously strong glue off its surface. Instead, you can use several methods to get the gorilla glue off the wood. This is especially essential if you want a tidy and aesthetically pleasing finish. The good thing is that these methods often require little to no extra cost, with most of the materials easily accessible.