How To Remove Rhinestones From Clothes

Rhinestones can add sparkle and glamour to your clothing, but there may come a time when you want to remove them for various reasons, such as cleaning, restyling, or replacing damaged stones. This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to safely remove rhinestones from clothes without causing damage to the fabric.

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Clothing item with rhinestones: Ensure the garment is clean and dry before starting.
  2. Flat, sturdy surface: A table or countertop will work.
  3. Needle-nose tweezers or pliers: To help pry off rhinestones.
  4. Paper towel or fabric scrap: To protect the fabric during the removal process.
  5. Acetone or nail polish remover: For stubborn adhesive (only if safe for your fabric).
  6. Cotton swabs or Q-tips: To apply the acetone sparingly.
  7. Mild soap and water: For cleaning the fabric after removal.
  8. Soft cloth or towel: To pat the fabric dry.

Step-by-Step Guide:

1. Prepare Your Work Area:

  • Lay the clothing item flat on your work surface.
  • Place a paper towel or fabric scrap under the rhinestone area to protect the surrounding fabric.

2. Examine the Rhinestones:

  • Take a close look at the rhinestones. Are they glued individually, or do they appear to be part of a larger design?
  • Determine if the rhinestones have a visible backing or if they are directly adhered to the fabric.

3. Start Removing the Rhinestones:

  • If the rhinestones are individually glued, use needle-nose tweezers or pliers to gently grasp the edge of a rhinestone.
  • Carefully pry it off the fabric. Be patient and avoid using excessive force to prevent damaging the fabric.
  • If the rhinestones are part of a larger design, start at one edge and work your way slowly, repeating the process for each stone.
  • For rhinestones with visible backings, gently peel them away from the fabric. Take extra care not to tear the backing.

4. Deal with Adhesive Residue:

  • If there’s adhesive residue left on the fabric after removing the rhinestones, you can use a small amount of acetone or nail polish remover.
  • Dab a cotton swab or Q-tip into the acetone and apply it sparingly to the adhesive.
  • Gently rub the adhesive until it loosens. Avoid saturating the fabric with acetone, as it can damage some fabrics. Always do a patch test in an inconspicuous area first.
  • Wipe away the loosened adhesive with a clean cloth or cotton swab.

5. Clean the Fabric:

  • After removing the rhinestones and any adhesive residue, wash the garment with mild soap and water according to its care instructions.
  • Rinse thoroughly and allow it to air dry or follow the care label for drying instructions.

6. Final Touches:

  • Once the clothing item is clean and dry, examine it to ensure all traces of rhinestones and adhesive are gone.
  • You can now wear your clothing item as is or restyle it as desired.

Safety Tips:

  • Always work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Test any chemicals like acetone or nail polish remover on a hidden or inconspicuous area of the fabric first.
  • Some fabrics, like delicate silks or satins, may be more prone to damage during rhinestone removal. Exercise caution and consider seeking professional help for such items.

7. Alternate Methods for Stubborn Rhinestones:


Sometimes, the removal process may cause minor damage or leave behind small holes in the fabric. Here’s how you can repair such damage:

  • For small fabric tears or holes, consider using a fabric glue or adhesive specifically designed for repairing garments. Follow the product instructions carefully to mend the damaged area.
  • If the fabric is delicate or has significant damage, consult a professional tailor or seamstress for proper repair.

9. Repurposing Rhinestones:

Rather than discarding the removed rhinestones, you can repurpose them for future projects. Store them in a safe container until you’re ready to use them again. Rhinestones can add flair to accessories, shoes, or even other clothing items.

10. Preventing Future Issues:

To avoid dealing with stubborn rhinestones in the future:

  • Check the care label of any new clothing with rhinestones to understand the recommended cleaning methods.
  • Store rhinestone-adorned clothing items carefully, hanging them rather than folding to prevent the stones from pressing into the fabric.
  • When washing rhinestone-embellished garments, turn them inside out to protect the stones and use a gentle cycle or hand wash.
  • Consider removing rhinestones from clothing before washing or dry cleaning, especially if the fabric is delicate or if you have concerns about the adhesive weakening.

Removing Rhinestones with Heat

MethodMaterials NeededStepsProsCons
IroningIron, Cloth1. Place cloth over rhinestones. 2. Iron on low heat.Quick and easyMay damage delicate fabrics.
Hair DryerHair dryer1. Apply heat to rhinestones. 2. Peel off.No risk of fabric damage.Requires patience.

Removing Rhinestones with Solvents

MethodMaterials NeededStepsProsCons
AcetoneAcetone, Cotton1. Apply acetone to cotton. 2. Rub on rhinestones.Effective on most adhesives.May discolor some fabrics.
WD-40WD-40, Cloth1. Spray WD-40 on cloth. 2. Rub on rhinestones.Works on stubborn adhesives.Strong odor, use in well-ventilated area.

Removing Rhinestones with Freezing

MethodMaterials NeededStepsProsCons
FreezingPlastic bag, Freezer1. Place clothing in a plastic bag. 2. Freeze for several hours.Safe for most fabrics.Requires freezer space.
Dental FlossDental floss, Goo Gone1. Slide dental floss under rhinestones. 2. Apply Goo Gone.Minimal risk of fabric damage.Time-consuming for many rhinestones.

Removing Rhinestones with Soaking

MethodMaterials NeededStepsProsCons
SoakingWarm water, Soap, Soft brush1. Soak in warm, soapy water. 2. Gently scrub with a soft brush.Safe for delicate fabrics.May not work on strong adhesives.
VinegarVinegar, Water1. Mix vinegar and water. 2. Soak, then scrub.Environmentally friendly.Vinegar odor may linger.

Removing Rhinestones with Thread and Needle

MethodMaterials NeededStepsProsCons
ThreadThread, Needle1. Thread needle with strong thread. 2. Insert under rhinestones and pull.Precise control.Requires patience and skill.
Heat GunHeat gun1. Apply heat gun to loosen adhesive. 2. Use thread to lift rhinestones.Effective on stubborn rhinestones.Risk of damaging fabric if not careful.

By following these additional steps and tips, you can make the rhinestone removal process more efficient and minimize the risk of damage to your clothing. Whether you’re aiming to refresh your wardrobe or customize your attire, safely removing rhinestones is an essential skill for any fashion enthusiast.

How To Remove Rhinestones From Clothes

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