Monday, August 8, 2022

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How to Get Carpet Glue Off Wood Floors?

So you have decided to make changes and transform the overall look of your house? And in order to do so, you opt for removing the carpet and letting the hardwood floor beneath add to the aesthetics of your home.

But wait what’s that? It is not the beautiful, shiny hardwood floor that was expected. Instead, what you find under the carpet is thick, dirty, and stubborn carpet glue all over the floor, making it look disgusting.

While installing a carpet most of the time a strong carpet adhesive is used so that the carpet stays firmly in place. But in such cases, it is not easier to move or remove the carpet every now and then to change the settings. Not because pulling the carpet is way too hard but because the adhesive you will come across underneath will ask for a hell of labor to remove. 

Well, don’t get upset! 

If you have made your mind up, then you can get the glue off the wood floor but this will demand effort and prudence. Yes where it asks for effort, it also requires you to be careful so that you don’t damage the hardwood floor. Therefore, it is better to do the proper research beforehand.

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DIY Methods To Get Carpet Glue Off The Wood Floor

Here in this article, you will find different methods that can help you get the carpet glue off the wood floor without doing any damage to the wood floor.

So what are you waiting for? Just dig in!

1. Getting Rid of Carpet Glue by Freeing Approach

In this method what you do is to freeze the glue by using dry ice and then with the help of a scrapper chip it off the hardwood floor. Keep repeating the spots that are too stiff until done.

Things you would need:

  • Dry Ice or Water Ice (if dry ice is not available)
  • Plastic Scrapper
  • Shallow Pan
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Vacuum without a beater bar

Take a shallow pan and fill it with pieces of dry ice. You can also replace dry ice with water ice if you are unable to find dry ice. Place this on the glue for 10 minutes or until the glue is frozen. Grab the scrapper and start taking the glue off the wooden floor. Next, clean the mess with the help of a vacuum.

While opting for water ice in place of dry ice be aware that water ice would take more time.

2. Eliminating Carpet Glue by Heating Technique

There is another course of action, totally opposite to the cold-based cleaning method and that’s by using heat for eliminating carpet glue. There are two ways to use the heat-based solution. One involves the use of a heat gun and the second is by using hot water.

Let’s discuss both separately.

Using a Heat Gun or Blow Dryer:

Things You would need:

  • Heat Gun or Blow Dryer
  • Plastic scraper
  • Damp rag
  • Safety gloves

Get your hands on a heat gun to make the hardened glue soft so that it could easily be cleaned off the wood. Place the heat gun closer to the glue and start heating the glue. It will start melting therefore use a scraper to remove the mushy glue. Remove the scrapped glue and use a damp rag to clean the floor.

You can replace the heat gun with a blow dryer, but it will take longer as the air blow will not be strong. Repeat the process until it’s fully clean.

Using Hot Water:

Things you would need:

  • Aluminum Pan or Towel
  • Hot water
  • Plastic Scrapper
  • Damp Cloth

Boil water and soak a towel in hot water. Take it out and spread it over the glue for some time. The glue beneath the towels will start losing its grip and easier to clean. You can also take hot water in an aluminum pan and put it over the glue. Leave it for some time and when the glue is not hard anymore start getting away with the glue. Remove the debris and clean with a rag.

3. Sanding as a Plan of Action:

Sanding is yet another technique that you can resort to for getting away with the years-old carpet adhesive. This is a procedure in which grit paper is rubbed over the glue while being careful of damaging the wooden floor underneath. 

Things you would need:

  • Sandpaper – Coarse grit, Medium grit, & Fine grit.
  • Electric Sander
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Protective Glasses
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Damp Cloth for cleaning

When sanding it is advised to start with coarse-grit paper, then turn to medium coarse and lastly when you are closer to the wood opt for the light fine paper. This is because the glue layer is thicker when you start and thinner while coming towards the end. For sanding all you have to do is rub the sandpaper onto the glue. Once done, vacuum the mess and clean with a damp cloth. You can use an electric sander for scrubbing the glue in bulk.

4. Dissolve and Wipe Off Glue with Solvents:

Here comes another procedure that is easiest of all but this one comes with risks of damaging the aesthetic vibe of the hardwood floor beneath if not tackled properly. Chemical solvents dissolve the glue into liquid form and thus it is easier to get off the wood floor. We are talking about using chemical solvents for the purpose of removing the glue from the floor. Solvents being made up of chemicals are risky and require a lot of care while using. 

Before choosing a solvent, it is mandatory to know the type of glue or adhesive you are going to use it on. The question here is that how can you tell about the nature of the glue which is now all dried up? Well for assessing that, you have to notice the color of the glue. If the color of carpet glue appears to be yellow then it is general carpet adhesive. On the other hand, if the color of carpet glue is tan, light brown, or dark brown then it is tar-based glue.

The technique for using solvent on both kinds of carpet glues is the same, but the type of solvent to be used on both vary. For general carpet glue, you will have to get a solvent that is citrus-based and for that tar-based, the suitable solvent is based on mineral spirits.

Things you would need: 

  • Suitable Chemical Solvent
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Protective Glasses
  • Paint Brush
  • Clean Cloth

Apply solvent onto the glue with the help of a paintbrush. Let it sit on the glue for some time or as mentioned on the solvent packaging. The glue will start dissolving and turn and lose its grip on the hardwood floor. Now scrape the glue away with the help of a scrapper. Remove the waste and wipe the floor with water. Let the wooden floor dry for the next 24 hours with proper ventilation. 

Some of the precautions you must take before jumping into the use of solvents are:

  1. Be sure to open all the windows and doors so that there is proper ventilation. Also switch on the fan so the air keeps on moving and you don’t have to suffer because of the strong smell.
  1. Make sure that the solvent you are going to use is suitable for the hardwood floor and is not damaging to it. For this purpose apply and test it in the corner or the place that comes under furniture.
  1. Must follow the manufacturers instructions as every chemical based solvent has its own set of protocols.


Surely by now, you know how to get carpet glue off the wood floor and what method will suit you the best. If you found this article on how to get carpet glue off the wood floor useful then do let us know in the comments. Saying that we are signing off it’s time for you to attack the stubborn glue. Good Luck!

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