How to remove carpet glue from concrete is a common question among homeowners who try to lift this notorious and strong adhesive made to fix carpet to concrete floors.
It leaves behind a sticky residue that’s difficult to lift with standard removal ways. If you’re trying to take off carpet glue from concrete but without any success, this article is for you.
In today’s cleaning guide, I will share 3 ways that save time and money and other alternatives if nothing else works. Without any further ado, let’s take that glue off your floor.
How to Remove Carpet Glue from Concrete?
The warm and soft feel that comes with carpet flooring is why people love carpets. However, what if you want to remove your old, stinky carpet and install a new one?
The first step is removing the carpet glue which sounds like a walk in the part but can easily turn into the worst nightmare. Luckily, I’m here to help with some tips and tricks.
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Other adhesives don’t require special removal treatments but carpet glue does. You can either purchase a carpet glue remover or try the next methods and save money.
Scrub the Carpet Glue
First and foremost, vacuum your concrete floor with a special vacuum for concrete floors to remove any dirt and debris that can make the removal process harder.
Then, fill a large bucket with one gallon of hot water. The water doesn’t need to boil. It should be hot to the touch. You will utilize this foundation to make a glue removal solution.
Add one cup of liquid detergent and two cups of ammonia. Ammonia is a super strong chemical utilized to remove certain stubborn stains. When combined with liquid detergent and water, it transforms into a soapy cleaning solution. Utilize a brush or floor mop to stir all the ingredients.
When using ammonia, be cautious to prevent any injury. Meaning, wear protective gloves to keep your hands protected. And if necessary, put on safety goggles and a face mask too!
Extra tip: Never mix ammonia with bleach since this combination can release toxic or deadly fumes. Use a heavy-duty scrubber to life residue with the ammonia solution. Opt for a scrubber brush with thick and tightly compacted brushes. Then, dip the brush into the solution and let it soak.
Put the brush on the floor and scrub away carpet glue using forceful and straight motions. Dip the brush in the solution every time it dries out and keep on going until you notice results.
Once you’re done, rinse the concrete with plain water. Use a hose or mop for concrete floors. Lastly, use a dry towel or some old fabric to wipe up excess moisture.
Soften the Carpet Glue
If the previous technique doesn’t work or there’s some carpet glue left and it’s playing hard to get, boil a pot of water on a hot stove.
The amount of water depends on the amount of glue present. You should boil at least 240 mL of water for every 1 inch of glue.
Boiling water can burn your hands, so handle your boiled water with caution. If your pot has no external handles, use a thick towel or oven mites when grabbing it.
Then, put a towel over the carpet glue instead of just pouring water directly on the floor. The towel will allow the carpet glue to heat up and take in moisture more evenly.
If necessary, apply multiple towels to cover the entire area. Although this process won’t stain the towel, you will still need to wash it afterward. Spread the water evenly.
Let it sit for a while. When the place is warm, take off the towels. Use a scraper to lift the carpet glue as soon as possible, while the place is still hot.
Put your scrapper in front of the residue and press it vigorously to remove the stains. If the glue cools or hardens, repeat the process.
Iron Small Glue Patches
Last but not least, you can isolate a small patch of glue and utilize your iron to remove the residue. First, find a small patch of glue and use a vacuum to remove the excess debris.
Then, put thin sheets of newspaper over the patch. Keep in mind that this technique works for stubborn and smaller patches only. Make sure the pages are flat, opened fully, and straight.
Don’t apply pages that are crumpled or torn. Finally, iron the newspaper using straight, long, and gliding motions. Don’t press down harshly. Otherwise, you can burn down the newspaper.
Repeat the process a few times until the pages get too hot to the touch. Don’t forget to keep your hands and clothes away from the hot soleplate. Scrape the carpet adhesive while it’s hot.
Let’s see this video to collect more understandings:
6 Alternative Methods That Can Save the Day
If the previous methods don’t work, turn to chemicals! Sometimes commercial cleaners and heavy-duty methods are the only way to remove stubborn stains such as carpet glue from concrete.
If hot water isn’t enough to remove the carpet glue from your concrete, it’s time to utilize a professional mastic remover or glue remover.
These products will chemically loosen the carpet glue. However, they can be also dangerous. Therefore, ensure proper ventilation in the room.
Also, read the instructions on how to utilize the glue remover properly. Pay attention to the warnings or cautions for a 100% safe operation.
Sand the Concrete
If some of the mentioned products or techniques show success, you’re headed in the right direction. But removing the residue from the surface isn’t enough.
You will also need to lift the carpet glue from the pores of the concrete. If it’s trapped in the pores, then nothing can’t get to it, so you need to sand your floor.
Rent a floor buffing unit with a sanding disk or a floor sander for this job. Utilize a forceful grit to remove the bulk of the carpet glue. Then, change to a finer grit.
Finalize the sanding with a finer grit. However, be careful not to overdo the sanding. Otherwise, you can sand more than necessary and uncover the aggregate.
If you’re still struggling to lift the carpet glue after trying all the techniques outlined above, you will need to keep troubleshooting.
In this case, try a heat gun to loosen the carpet glue. If you don’t have a heat gun on hand, then you can try utilizing a traditional iron but handle it with care.
Cover the carpet glue with a newspaper or a thin towel beforehand. If you’re still left with stains at this point, try applying a scored pattern or color schemes.
You can also mix and utilize watercolor paints or a highlight coat between the coats of sealer to disguise any carpet glue stains left.
You can also lift carpet glue from your floors with acetone. This powerful product takes the sealer off of metals like brass, so it’s also great for removing stubborn glue.
However, since acetone is a strong solution, it’s very important to use the right tools when cleaning. You will need a container, a mask, and an old toothbrush, and an old washcloth.
If the room isn’t properly ventilated, put on a face mask to prevent inhaling the harmful fumes. Begin by dipping your old toothbrush or another type of brush in a container of acetone.
Then, scrub the place utilizing the acetone and toothbrush until the carpet glue is 100% gone or there is little remaining. Wipe down any leftovers with the washcloth. Acetone has bleaching agents. Therefore, avoid adding it to your standard homemade concrete cleaners.
A steam cleaner is a machine that you can either buy or rent at your local home center. Point the flow of steam a couple of inches away from the glue until it’s loose enough to scrape up.
I highly recommend steaming and scraping small patches for better results. This way, you can tackle the glue while it’s still soft. If you’re facing a tough glue or a larger area, utilize your reciprocating saw fitted with a scraper attachment to get the job done faster. This will save you a lot of time.
Reciprocating saw scraper blades can be found at most home improvement centers and online. Opt for 2-4-inch wide blades for lifting carpet glue. They will do the hard work for you.
Watch this video to know more:
Scrape It While It’s Hot
Hot water, a scraper, and some detergent can do wonders for your concrete floor. This combination can lift carpet glue in no time.
However, in case you’re facing a stubborn adhesive, please invest in a good carpet glue remover. Or hire professionals to do the job for you.
Hopefully, this guide on how to remove carpet from concrete using various techniques and products can help you solve your cleaning problem.
If you liked this article, don’t forget to check the rest of my cleaning guides and learn how to clean other stains and keep your home in order.
Do you have a cleaning tip for me? If so, drop a comment. Let’s chit-chat. Also, don’t be selfish and share this article with your friends.