Let It Jell, Then Shave It Off
Look at any woodworkers' forum and you'll likely find a debate about the best way to remove glue squeeze-out. Some woodworkers insist that you should clean it up immediately with a damp rag. Others let it dry completely, then scrape it off. We think that in most cases the best method is to wait about 30 to 60 minutes—just until the glue turns a darker color and changes to a gel—and then shave it off with a sharp chisel. This will remove almost all of the glue without making a mess. You may still have a little cleanup to do, but it's a lot less work than cleaning up wet glue or removing hard glue.
Remove Excess Glue With an Abrasive Pad
It can be difficult to remove excess glue with a rag. And if you don't get it all off the surface when it's wet, the dried glue can show up as light spots when you finish your project. But a synthetic abrasive pad, dampened with water, works perfectly to remove the glue. Dip the pad in a container of water. Unlike a rag, which is hard to rinse glue from, the pad has a loose synthetic weave that releases glue easily. After rinsing out the pad, shake it to remove most of the water. Then use it to scrub off excess glue. When you're done, dry the surface with a clean rag. Green abrasive pads are found with the cleaning supplies at grocery stores, hardware stores and home centers.
Remove Hardened Glue With a Paint Scraper
We've all been there. You glue up your project and then quit for the night. The next day you discover the rock-hard glue and realize that you forgot to scrape off the glue squeeze-out. Don't despair. A sharp paint scraper makes fast work of hardened glue. Either a sharp steel scraper or, better yet, a carbide paint scraper will pop off all those glue beads in a heartbeat.