How to Clean Spray Baste or Glue

I’ve written how to clean or remove spray baste gunk before, but since it is one of my most popular posts, I thought it deserved a refresh. This is not a debate on spray baste or spray glue. I love it for making bras and gluing tiny bits of lace to power mesh before sewing, or for stabilizing knit minky to a woven fabric.

Overspray happens. Here’s how we deal.

Clockwise from top left: quilting cotton, sheer poly-lycra-blend hatchi knit, poly minky, linen-cotton blend

Here are a number of fabrics you may be using with spray baste. I first encountered the gunk when making a baby blanket with minky.

Fabric with spray baste gunk

For this tutorial, I sprayed half of each fabric and literally dabbed them with dryer lint to recreate a worst-case scenario. Don’t worry, this will also work if you’ve already washed and dried your item, and your gunk looks like silly putty mated with an old bathrobe.

Use 70% Alcohol

I have both 70% and 99% alcohol on hand. The 99% is to remove gunk from metal on old sewing machines. We are not doing that. We want just enough solvent to remove the glue, but not possibly melt any fibers, if working with poly or elastics. Use 70%. I buy cheap toothbrushes just for cleaning. I suspect that is why there are medium and hard bristle options even after years of our dentists telling us to only buy soft bristles.

non-reactive surfaces

Use non-reactive cups and surfaces. Pour some alcohol into the cup, dip toothbrush into alcohol, and scrub.

spray baste removal

It will take a few dips and some scrubbing, but it is the best method. I’ve tried Simple Green, Biokleen, vinegar, dish soap, crying…nothing else works. Ronsonol lighter fluid or Goof Off would probably work, but I’m not comfortable putting those on fabric, especially when isopropyl alcohol is 99 cents.

Spray Baste Cleaned

After you give it a good scrub, let it dry. Feel it. If any sticky remains, give it a good scrub again with fresh alcohol.

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