How to Get Rubber Cement Off of Clothes

by Laurie Meekis

Rubber cement is an adhesive made of solvents and latex polymers. It is easy to work with and performs best with paper products for arts and crafts. Rubber cement is not safe for young children to use unsupervised. It is toxic if ingested. It needs to be used in a well-ventilated area. The fumes can cause a dangerous high. Rubber cement can stain fabric, and it will take some work to remove spillage from clothing.

Items you will need

  • Dull knife (optional)
  • Dry cleaning solvent (optional)
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Pre-wash laundry spray or rub-on stain remover
  • Laundry detergent
Step 1

Wash your hands. Remove any rubber cement from your hands before you begin to clean the rubber cement off your clothing.

Step 2

Use your fingernails and pick off the excess rubber cement from the fabric. Work it off the material by rolling and gently pulling the pieces of glue from the clothing. Try using the blade of a dull knife or a dull dinnerware knife to help remove the chunks of glue if you cannot get it all off with your fingers. Be careful not to cut the fabric if you use a knife blade.

Step 3

Remove any stubborn rubber cement that remains on the clothes by rubbing petroleum jelly into the adhered rubber cement. Work off the glue by rolling it back and forth until it loosens from the clothing. It may come off a piece at a time.

Step 4

Apply a spray-on or rub-on stain remover to any leftover stains. Pre-wash applications designed to help remove spots from clothing need to soak into the stain before the clothes are thrown into the washing machine.

Step 5

Add your regular laundry detergent to the load of wash and launder the stained clothing.

Tips

  • An additional way to remove the spot is to use dry cleaning solvent rubbed into the stain. Wash the clothing with lukewarm water and detergent after you apply the solvent.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

Laurie Darroch-Meekis is an award-winning freelance writer. She has written over 1,000 published pieces online and off since 2005 and has many more in progress. She holds a bachelor's degree and was educated in the United States and abroad.