Model collectibles remain popular today, especially the models we put together ourselves.
It gives people a sense of pride to have put together a model correctly, but using super glue can come with a disadvantage.
Sometimes, super glue will leave a haze on plastic.
This residue clouds up clear plastic, making the whole model less enjoyable.
Luckily, you no longer have to worry about super glue haze messing up your model.
We’ve done the research, and learning how to remove super glue haze from plastic is easy.
All you need are a few household cleaning items to remove the residue and get back to enjoying your model collectibles.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need a few household cleaning items to remove super glue haze from plastic.
Now that you have everything you need, read on to learn how to remove super glue haze from plastic items.
1. Apply some petroleum jelly on a Q-tip
The residue left on plastic from super glue can be off-putting, especially on the plastic windows of a collectible model car or another set.
Before gluing the whole model together, check all the plastic for any haze.
It’s easier to remove the residue if you find it before closing the model entirely.
If you find some super glue residue, apply a little petroleum jelly to the end of a Q-tip.
The Q-tip will allow you to work in the small spaces inside your plastic model, and the petroleum jelly will remove the super glue haze.
2. Apply petroleum jelly directly to super glue haze
Apply the petroleum jelly directly to the super glue haze using your Q-tip.
Rub the petroleum jelly over the whole affected area to make sure to remove all of the superglue residues.
3. Clean the plastic thoroughly
Once you have completely applied the petroleum jelly, use a fresh Q-tip to remove the excess petroleum jelly.
You may need to use two or three Q-tips to remove all of the petroleum jelly, depending upon the size of the affected area.
Pro tip: Once you have removed all of the petroleum jelly, check the plastic once more for any remaining super glue haze. The petroleum jelly should have removed all the residue, but if you see a little has remained, apply a little more petroleum jelly to the area. Repeat steps one through three to altogether remove the haze from your plastic.
The below video demonstrates how to remove super glue haze from plastic.
2:28—Put a little petroleum jelly onto a Q-tip.
2:43—Apply the petroleum jelly to the super glue haze.
3:06—Wipe off the excess petroleum jelly.
3:46—Use a second Q-tip to continue to clean the plastic until the haze is gone.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prevent super glue haze from forming on my plastic items?
There are a few things that cause super glue haze.
One of those things is the quality of the superglue you are using.
Cheap super glue has bonding agents that almost always leave a residue.
Using the slightly more expensive super glue on your projects will help reduce the amount of super glue haze you need to remove.
You can tell which type of glue is by the number of glue bottles in a package.
The packages with one or two glue bottles tend to be higher quality than those with ten bottles.
Another way to prevent super glue haze is to limit the amount of moisture in the air while working with the glue.
Make sure there is plenty of airflow while the glue is setting, and don’t work in an overly cold location.
Cold air tends to allow moisture to settle on the plastic, causing super glue residue to settle on your plastic.
Working near a desk lamp can create enough heat to prevent that from happening.
As long as you can maintain airflow around the superglue and a warm environment, you should be able to prevent super glue haze on most, if not all, of your plastic.
What can I use to get rid of super glue haze if I don’t have any petroleum jelly?
If you do not have any petroleum jelly, you can soak the affected area of plastic in vegetable oil or dilute distilled white vinegar.
Allow the affected area to sit in the oil or vinegar for several hours, and then clean the affected area with rubbing alcohol or acetone.
This cleaning method is strong enough to soften super glue and eradicate it.
Be careful with this cleaning method, though, that you do not accidentally dissolve the glue itself.
As long as you apply this solution only to the hazy parts of the plastic, your model should be acceptable.
Can I use the same process to remove super glue residue from other materials?
Removing super glue haze from wood or metal requires a slightly different process than removing the residue from plastic.
First, apply some acetone to the superglue residue.
The acetone usually found in nail polish remover should work well, but you should test it on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not damage your project.
Allow the acetone to sit for no more than 10 minutes, and then gently scrub it off with a soft bristle toothbrush.
Once the haze is completely gone, dab the area with soapy water to remove any lingering traces of acetone.
If the acetone does not entirely remove the super glue residue or the acetone will damage your metal or wood project, gently apply a heat gun to the affected area.
The heat gun will turn the residue transparent, allowing the glue to still hold the metal or wood together without the haze over the whole project.
Keep the heat gun at a low temperature to prevent any heat damage to your project, and enjoy watching the super glue haze permanently fade.