Will Acetone Remove Liquid Nails? [5-Step Removal Trick]

Acetone will remove liquid nails but it may not be the best solution for the job, since acetone can discolor a wide variety of working surfaces. Instead, you can use petroleum jelly, mineral spirits, or baby oil, since all of these options are as effective as acetone. Simply apply your chosen solution to liquid nails and allow it to sit for 12 hours. This will soften the liquid nails so it can be scraped off. Then, scrub the area with your removal solution and a scrub brush, to get rid of any remaining Liquid Nails residue.

Will acetone remove Liquid Nails?

Will Acetone Cause Damage While Removing Liquid Nails?

Acetone is a powerful solvent that can soften Liquid Nails for removal, but it is also strong enough to cause damage or discoloration to many surfaces. Never use acetone on plastic, vinyl, shower walls, or tub surrounds. The acetone can cause the surface to warp and discolor. Concrete and uncoated tile (such as stone and granite) will be discolored by acetone. Acetone strips away paint and epoxy along with Liquid Nails. Acetone can cause damage when you are removing Liquid Nails from drywall, but this damage can be patched with joint compound.

  • Acetone works to remove Liquid Nails but it may damage the working surface as well.
  • Plastic, vinyl, concrete, some types of tile, painted surfaces, and drywall will all be damaged by acetone.
  • Consider using mineral spirits, petroleum jelly, or baby oil to remove Liquid Nails from certain surfaces.
  • All solvents that remove Liquid Nails have the potential to discolor the working surface, but some may be less damaging than acetone.

In some cases, you can use a less powerful cleaning agent to remove Liquid Nails. Mineral spirits are not as damaging as acetone but they can be used to remove Liquid Nails. Petroleum jelly and even baby oil can be used to remove Liquid Nails. However, each of these products has the potential to damage or discolor different surfaces. So, dab a small portion of the product of your choice in an out-of-the-way area to see if it causes discoloration. Use the one that causes no damage. Any of these solvents can be used to remove Liquid Nails by following the steps below.

5 Steps to Remove Liquid Nails with Acetone

Dried Liquid Nails is one of the most stubborn construction adhesives you can find. Rather than try to pry Liquid Nails off a surface, use these steps to cleanly remove Liquid Nails with acetone or any other solvent:

Put on Protective Gear

Before you use acetone, put on chemical-resistant gloves. These butyl rubber gloves are the best choice, since they will resist acetone better than other materials. Latex gloves also offer decent resistance to acetone. Nitrile gloves are not acceptable—the acetone will eat through them. Because acetone is harmful to the skin, make sure it does not make contact with your skin, eyes, or clothing.

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Apply Acetone to the Liquid Nails

Dip a disposable brush or sponge in acetone. Then, thoroughly coat the dried Liquid Nails with acetone. If you are removing Liquid Nails from a wall or other surface, the acetone may drip off. In this case, consider coating the Liquid Nails in petroleum jelly instead. It will stay in place better than acetone and also works to soften Liquid Nails for easy removal.

Wait for the Liquid Nails to Soften

After applying acetone, wait 12 hours for the Liquid Nails to soften. The acetone has to gradually break down the chemical bonds in the Liquid Nails, which takes some time. To accelerate the process, apply an additional coat of acetone to the Liquid Nails every 2–3 hours. After 12 hours, prod the Liquid Nails with a screwdriver or scraper. If it is soft and dents easily, it’s ready for removal.

Scrape the Liquid Nails Off the Surface

Once the Liquid Nails is soft, use this scraper to remove it from your working surface. Work carefully to avoid scratching or cutting the working surface. When scraping off the softened Liquid Nails, make it your goal to remove most of it. It is normal if there is some residue remaining on the surface at the end of this step.

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Scrub Away the Residue

To remove the last remaining Liquid Nails, douse the bristles of this scrub brush with acetone. Then, scrub the surface to remove the remaining Liquid Nails. If there is still stubborn residue, you can use your scraper to peel the Liquid Nails from the surface. Once you’re done, wipe the surface with a clean cloth and allow it to dry.

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Can You Use Acetone to Remove Dried Liquid Nails?

You can use acetone to remove dried Liquid Nails from a working surface. To do this:

  • Put on a pair of rubber or latex protective gloves.
  • Paint acetone onto the dried Liquid Nails.
  • Allow the acetone to work for 12 hours, to soften the Liquid Nails.
  • Scrape away the softened Liquid Nails with a putty knife or scraper.
  • Use acetone and a scrub brush to remove any leftover Liquid Nails residue.

Before using acetone to remove Liquid Nails, consider the work surface. If you do not care about the appearance of the surface, acetone is great for removing Liquid Nails. However, acetone is a powerful solvent that will discolor and damage plastic, vinyl, certain tiles, and even concrete. So, you may want to use a more gentle solvent when possible.

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