Carpets make floors beautiful, but when they get old, they lose their aesthetic value. It’s only then that you think of replacing it with a new one or leaving the hardwood floor exposed. However, removing your old carpet is not the hard part.
The tricky part is getting those carpet glue off your shiny wood floors. Since laying down carpet on wood floors require so much glue, there will be a lot left when you take the carpet off, and this can make your floor look untidy.
So what do you do? To maintain the beauty of your wood floor, you’ll need to get the carpet glue off. However, many don’t know how to get carpet glue off wood floors. This guide will provide quick and easy ways that you can use to remove carpet glues and restore the beauty of your wood floor.
All at a Glance
What’s Carpet Glue and Why Remove It?
A carpet glue or adhesive is a stiff and strong solvent used to adhere a carpet to a floor. Because of its toughness, removing it is difficult, and as I stated earlier, taking off carpet glue or adhesive off wood floors is not as simple as it looks. Glue varies – some glue looks more terrible than others.
Regardless of its looks, removing it is non-negotiable because it collects dirt. Plus, anything you would want to apply to the floor may not get past the glue.
Most of us would want to get rid of this carpet glue by all means, but we would like to do so without damaging the wood floor itself beneath. After all, removing the carpet glue was because of the floor in the first place.
Anyone who knows how to do research and is determined to get his hand dirty can do it correctly. When starting on projects like getting carpet glue off wood floors, it would be best to be fully prepared.
That includes having all the necessary tools and being adequately informed. If you are not ready or don’t have the required tools, you could be in for a very long day.
Talking about duration, the whole cleaning process shouldn’t take you more than a day. Much of this time is the waiting period between each step and other activities like eating, taking a break, etc. The duration could be more depending on the type of adhesive or glue.
Read Also: How to paint letters on wood with stencils
Steps To Get Carpet Glue Off Wood Floors
Since glue exists in a liquid state before it becomes dry, the best way to attack carpet glue is to find means of returning it to the liquid form.
This doesn’t mean that you should use soap and water to dissolve it because it wouldn’t work. You’ll need something more potent – a specific type of chemical solvents designed for removing glues by dissolving them.
Once the glue is liquified, it will be easy to remove it without damaging the wood floor because it must have lost its sticking property.
Before you kickstart, you need to identify the problem, which is the glue. There are different types of carpet glue, and you must know each one to address how to remove it properly. Glues can come in brown, which is called tar-based glue, and orange glue. Tar-based glues are the less used type but the strongest type. It is best removed with mineral-based solvents.
Orange glue is the more general one and less pervasive. You can remove this glue type with an adhesive remover. Alternatively, you can remove it by severe chipping, but you’ll have to be extremely cautious.
You’ll need the following tools to remove carpet glue off your wood floors successfully
- Adhesive/ Glue Remover
- Putty Knife/ Scraper
- Hard Sponge/ Paintbrush
- Rubber Gloves
- Nose mask
The following steps will teach you how to get carpet glue off wood floors.
Step 1: Prepare the Room
Because you will be applying strong chemicals, the room should be well ventilated. Open the windows and the doors if possible, to improve circulation.
Next is to put on your rubber gloves and nose mask. You are dealing with chemicals that might be corrosive, so to be on the safer side, it would be best to put on some protective gloves.
Step 2: Use the Solvent
If the glue is thick and yellow, you can use some scrapper to chip away some of the chunks. However, it would be best if you were careful not to chip away the wood. If you don’t want to use any scrapper, you can use an adhesive remover like Professional Strength Adhesive Remover for Carpet Glue.
Apply with a paintbrush or a sponge thoroughly over the glue. For how to use it, read the guidelines stated on the product’s label. Once you have applied the remover, give it time to set on the glue to loosen its adhesive property.
It would be best to apply the adhesive remover to a small area to determine its outcome. Once you notice that the result is positive, you can continue to apply to other sites.
After applying the adhesive, take a break. You can do this in the same room or a different room. Note that not all adhesive removers are manufactured equally. Some solvents are more toxic than others. That’s why you must apply the adhesive remover in a well-ventilated area and wear a nose mask.
Step 3: Scrape Away the Glue
After resting, use the putty knife to scrape away the old glue carefully. Start with the loosest sides, and then progress to the difficult ones. Once you realize that some adhesives won’t come off, please don’t force it off.
Else, you may damage the wood. Instead, apply more adhesive remover on the glue with a rag or sponge and scrub the remaining areas off lightly. If the bond still refuses to come off, use more adhesive remover until it’s completely gone.
Step 4: Clean Up the Area
The next important thing to do at this time is to wash the area with soap and water. After washing with soap and water, you should allow the site to dry for at least 24 hours. If you have plans to tile the floor, you should consider doing the next step as it’s very vital.
Step 5: Sand the Area
Sanding off the area is smoothening the floor out of any uneven surfaces or small particles. Use a light-grain sander for sanding the floor areas. Do this carefully to avoid damaging the wood.
How to remove glue from hardwood floors naturally
Heating the Glue
If you are not conversant or uncomfortable with the solvent method, heating the glue is another effective method. This method only requires three things; heat gun/ blow hairdryer, towels, and hot/ boiling water.
To use this method;
- Soak a towel inside boiled water.
- Apply the soaked towel to the glue.
- Lay the towel on the glue for ten to fifteen minutes.
The heat will loosen the glue’s sticking properties and melt it. You can use a heat gun or a blow hair dryer to heat the glue, holding it close to the glued areas. However, this method is time-consuming.
Scrap away the old glue with a putty knife, starting with the loosest one to the more stubborn ones. If the glue refuses to come off, try soaking the towel in hot water and applying it to the glue. Do this as many times as possible if the glue remains stubborn.
Using White Vinegar
This is another alternative to using a chemical-based solvent. The process is similar to heating the glue, only that you will be using white vinegar this time. White vinegar is a natural, mild acid, non-toxic solution that can dissolve carpet glue without using chemicals.
Though vinegar has a pungent odor, it’s not as strong or as harmful as that of chemical-based solvents. Moreover, the smell disappears once it dries.
The best thing about vinegar is that it’s cheap and sold everywhere. You can get it at any grocery store.
Tools That You’ll Need
- Warm water
- Paint scraper
- White vinegar
- Varnish (optional)
Follow the steps below to get the glue off your wood floors using the vinegar method.
- Remove as much adhesive as possible. White vinegar isn’t as strong as a chemical-based solvent, so you’ll be needing to do some scraping. Be careful not to damage the wood floor during this process.
- Mix one-half of white vinegar with hot water. Apply the vinegar solution on the carpet glue using a towel or brush with soft bristles. Make sure the solution touches all the areas you want to get rid of the adhesive from.
- Let it sink for ten to fifteen minutes. The vinegar solution will soften the glue and dissolve it.
- Remove the dissolved glue from the floor and allow the floor to dry.
- If you want to protect the floor from stains, you can sand it and apply a coat of varnish.
Using the Freeze Method
Who would ever think this method would remove carpet glue? Well, it does work, but you have to be cautious.
Tool That You’ll Need
- Dry Ice/ Water Ice
- Putty Knife/ Scraper
- Put some dry ice or water ice in a pan, and place it on the glued area.
- Wait for about ten to fifteen minutes to let the glue freeze.
- Remove the pan. If the adhesive is frozen, use a scraper to break the glue apart and lift it off the floor.
- Vacuum the floor.
Like I previously stated, you need to be cautious when using this method as you may lift off some parts of the wood floor in the process.
Using the Sanding Method
This method involves using sandpaper to sand off the carpet glue. Sandpaper can get rid of carpet glue in hard-to-reach spots that freezing or heating won’t be able to.
The sanding method is stressful but works well on wood floors with stubborn carpet glues. However, you’ll need to be careful while sanding so that you don’t sand off the wood itself.
Tools That You’ll Need
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Medium-grit sandpaper
- Coarse-grit sandpaper
- Putty Knife
- Wear your safety gloves
- Sand the glue with the coarse-grit first for stubborn areas.
- Use the medium-grit and then the fine-grit for less stubborn areas and as you approach the wood.
- After sanding with the fine-grit sandpaper, chip any remaining glue with a putty knife.
- Vacuum the area of debris and clean off the dust with a damp cloth.
The key to removing old carpet glue from wood floors is patience, and identifying the method that works best for you. There’re several methods you can use to remove glue from wood floors, as explained in this post.
If you want your wood floor to remain beautiful and shiny after removing your carpet, all the methods described here will do that effectively. Now, you know how to to get carpet glue off wood floors.