How to Remove Liquid Stitch from Clothing

by F.R.R. Mallory ; Updated September 28, 2017

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Liquid stitch is a type of adhesive used to glue two pieces of fabric together instead of sewing them. Most liquid stitch products are considered permanent adhesives and they are not intended to be removed by the consumer once they are applied. However, sometimes it is necessary to remove liquid stitch, and this is not an easy process.

Soak a cotton swab in a strong multi-purpose hand cleaner that is safe for use on fabrics. Apply the swab to the adhesive area. You may need to saturate the adhesive and scrub with the swab to determine if the cleaner will dissolve your particular brand of liquid stitch.

Wash your fabric with laundry detergent and cold water. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely before trying a second adhesive removal product. If the multi-purpose hand cleaner does not remove the adhesive, try saturating a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol. Scrub the adhesive area briskly. Keep in mind that these removal products should never be mixed chemically and that the removal process may discolor your fabric.

Saturate the adhesive more if you notice any changes in the adhesive. Daub away dissolved adhesive with a clean cotton swab to keep the residual adhesive from reattaching to the fabric when it hardens.

Wash, rinse and dry the area each time a removal product doesn't work before trying the next one.

Saturate the adhesive with lighter fluid if the rubbing alcohol did not remove the adhesive. Use the lighter fluid outside and away from any open flame or hot object. Follow the same method of saturation as with the rubbing alcohol, then wash, rinse and dry.

Apply methyl ethyl keytone (MEK) to the adhesive area if the lighter fluid doesn't work. As with the lighter fluid, be careful to work outside in a well-ventilated area. Protect your hands from direct contact with the chemical. Remove any remaining adhesive residues with clean cotton swabs and discard all materials as recommended by your local disposal company.


  • Because there are many different brands of liquid stitch products, the exact composition of the adhesive used in your brand may be difficult to determine. You can sometimes email the manufacturer of your product for removal suggestions, but this may take several weeks or the manufacturer may not make any recommendations.

    Any of the adhesive removal products may discolor fabric, so try to keep the area being cleaned to a minimum.

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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.