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How to remove wood glue from car's exterior? (wish Tom and Ray were here, they'd have fun with this one)

The other week my garage became my workshop as I built a simple table out of 2x4s, plywood and 1x4s.!AqQ2rec8yg-clB3jZWkFLMduFrVd

During the project, I needed a wet rag to wipe away excess glue (Titebond III, which is waterproof). My car was steps away in the driveway, full of water beads from the rain. I took a (clean) rag and wiped off some of the water from the window and hood.

That worked so well that I did it again when I needed to rinse out the rag. Except now the rag had glue in it.

As I should have considered, some of the glue got onto the car. (No argument, I am an idiot.)

The hood and some of the roof now have dull spots instead of the shiny Blizzard Pearl (white) I’ve come to admire (on the 2011 Toyota Venza).

I’ve tried washing off the dull spots – the glue – with regular car wash soap and a lot of elbow grease but it hasn’t worked.

Sure don’t want to ruin the paint using solvents or abrasives.

Ideas, please?

DuPont Prep-Sol would normally be used in this situation.

But brake parts cleaner will do the same thing.

Spray some on rag and wipe off the glue. It may require a little elbow grease.

Then wax the surface.


Or use a bit of lacquer thinner on a rag…it will come right off. Don’t worry, it won’t damage the paint since the composition of modern paint is not lacquer based.

The thing about wood glue is that it sticks well to wood but not to metal. I’ve never tried dissolving it with chemicals but if that doesn’t work, I’d take it to a detailer unless you want to try it yourself. Using liquid detailer, clay bar, and a razor would be the approach to remove it, and then polishing the spots to blend in.

Find the Titebond web site and use their contact source before you do anything . They may have solved this for someone else.

Some of the woodworkers said use a heat gun but another said to try the glue remover. It evidently works ok on the yellow stuff but Titebond iii might be a whole 'nother issue. At any rate you can get it at Woodcraft stores or on line but might be worth asking first if it’ll work or not.

Yep, contact titebond through their website or Facebook. Their chemists are great with questions like this and seem to relish the more unusual queries.

I did that a week ago and haven’t heard back.
Suspect they’re still not done laughing.
And I can’t see anyone else ever doing something this dumb.

Bing, thanks. Hadn’t known about this product, but their website tells us the stuff might work.
I’ve emailed their sales dept, asking if it would damage the finish of the car.
Standing by for a reply.

(A few hours later…) Got a long detailed reply from them, saying it should work and including “It is important that you test this process in a small area and put the DGG only on the glue, not smearing all over the car.” I’m not sure I’m capable of such finesse.

That’s what I thought, too, so I did email them. More than a week now, and no reply.

If this were my car, I’d try a clay bar first to see if that worked.

Looks like the right thing to try.

But it comes, according to the link you gave, only in gallon, pail and drum containers.

All I need is a cup, at most a pint.

Leads me to think a trip to the auto parts store is in order, to find something similar in smaller sizes.


Before buying a chemical, just dip a rag into the lawn mower’s gas tank and rub at the glue with that. It won’t hurt the paint as long as you wash it off and then wax it after it gets the contaminants off.

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For the first time since buying our electric lawn mower ten years ago, I’m regretting it. No gas in the house.
I could ask my neighbors but then I’d have to explain why I want to dip a rag into their gas tank, and then they’d know for sure I was an idiot.
But yeah, a little gas is worth trying. Will find some ASAP. Thanks.

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Get some trim wood, stick it all over the car and convert to a Woody.

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They may already think that , I know mine do . :wink:

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I’m working on trees and my trailer right now but geez, I’ve got about 10 gallons of gas in both mixed and unmixed variety. Plus I’ve got a gallon of Prep-sol, plus enamel reducer, plus lacquer thinner, etc. My bar clamps are filled with Titebond II (not 3) so I certainly could try some of these things, but I’m going to guess right now that none of this stuff is going to have any effect on the Tightbond.

If I had that problem I’d start by trying a little gasoline on a clean cotton cloth. Try it first in an inconspicuous spot, to make sure it doesn’t damage the surface. Be sure to wash & rinse the area with soap and warm water after. Observe all gasoline safety precautions.

If you have little beads of glue, another idea is to hold an ice cube on the bead. The thermal contraction can be enough to break its hold on the metal surface.

Try Goof-Off

Asked my bud next door if I could dip a cloth into his mower’s gas tank. “Sure, but why?” “I can’t tell you. OK, it’s to get some wood glue off the car.” “You’re welcome to the gas, but try this first.”

He gave me a can of (and some rubbing compound if it didn’t work).

The rubbing compound wasn’t needed. The glue is gone.

This isn’t a plug for the product, but believe I’m going to buy a can for myself, if only for the bugs and tar every vehicle picks up.