Months ago I changed a tyre on my utility bicycle in street clothes. An unfortunate set of vulcanising stains are now on street clothes I'd like to wear more often. How do I remove dried vulcaniser from medium weight cotton cloth?

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    You can try acetone, available from a hardware or paint store. You can also occasionally find rubber cement thinner at an office supply place. (Of course, try that fictitious "inconspicuous location" first.) – Daniel R Hicks Oct 13 '13 at 22:08
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    Try freezing it and scrapping it with a sharp knife before using the solvent. Any bits that can be removed will be that much less for the solvent to remove. – mikes Oct 14 '13 at 1:16
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    Be careful to "not inhale" the acetone. Seriously. – andy256 Oct 14 '13 at 2:34
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    @andy256 Why, it makes for a wonderful lightheadedness after an hour or two, complete with slight nausea and sometimes hallucinations. – arne Oct 14 '13 at 11:57
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    Seems reasonable to me as well - it is a problem cyclists face. – Batman Mar 1 '14 at 6:57

I don't know if the clothing was cotton, cotton blend or what have you, but this has worked for me in the past:

  1. Using your fingernails or a dull knife or scraper, pick off as much of the excess cement from the fabric as you can. You can try gently pulling, scraping or rolling fragments as best you can
  2. I've used a little petroleum jelly rubbed on the cement to loosen it further. Repeat step 1.
  3. Use a spray solvent like Goo-Gone. Let it soak for a few minutes and repeat step 1. You may want to rinse with lukewarm water and repeat applications of the solvent.
  4. Launder your clothing as normal, using the hottest temperature recommended for the material. You may want to dab a bit of your normal laundry detergent on each glue spot before washing as well.

By no means will this always work. Depending on the fabric and dye, even if you get all the glue off the clothing you may still be stuck with visible spots or stains. But, if like me, you got cement on a favorite pair of work pants while fixing a flat on your morning commute it's probably worth the effort. If it doesn't work, you weren't going to wear the clothes much with the stains anyway.

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Petrol/lighter fuel might be worth a try...

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  • Regular petroleum solvents are highly unlikely to work on the stuff. They'll just turn it gummy. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 29 '14 at 1:43

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