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We have taken up the carpets in a house we just bought to reveal the lovely dark floorboards, but what we have (what i guess) is old dried glue around the edges.

The hardened glue is yellow and when you scrape it with something sharp, it scrapes away and it seems to have a powdery consistency, but is hardened like cement.

I have read some stuff online about using vegetable oil to soften it etc but that has had no effect.

I don't want to scrape it off for fear of damaging the wood underneath.

I have also read lots of things warning from using solvents as that could damage the wood also.

So, the upshot is i don't really know the ideal solution here and would love any advice that can be offered!

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Some pictures would really help here. – Daniel Griscom Oct 8 '17 at 19:09
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High-potency paint/glue stripper based on dichloromethane will most likely work, e.g. Super Decapant I had a friend smuggle to me from Canada. Since dichloromethane is banned in Europe for consumer stripping products, MEK-based stripper (common here) is a weaker alternative (also found in the US). Finally, superglue remover typically based on NPM and acetone will very likely work (it does on most polymers), but is more expensive. (And on the banning note, the EPA wants to ban it as well as dichloromethane)

Xylene which is found in some but not in all "mineral spirit" compositions works on some glues/polymers. It will not remove cured alkyds for example (whereas MEK will) and works slower than acetone on superglue.

Whatever you get, read the MSDS and protect yourself accordingly. None of this stuff is good for your health. Also, they all attack some plastics, so be careful what else you get it on.

  • Wow, what an amazing answer! Thanks @Fizz !My concern with using Mineral Spirit is that i don't know what it will do to the wood underneath, however, i'll try it on a small area and see what the outcome is. Thanks!! – John Oct 7 '17 at 17:20
  • @John: nothing bad. It will get absorbed but evaporate after a day or so at the most. Mineral spirits is the thinner used in alkyd ("oil based") paints normally used to paint wood. The more potent paint/glue removers will evaporate even quicker. – Fizz Oct 7 '17 at 22:31
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The best thing is to try a little bit in an inconspicuous area of the floor to see if it works before doing the rest of the floor.

I just finished cleaning up my floors- I had carpet pad glue all over the floor. For me, two things worked: mineral spirits, and Wil-Bond.

Keep in mind that your surface may be different, your glue may be different. It's also possible that the glue will pull up the protective coating on the wood, or even some of the wood itself. In that case, you may need to re-stain and/or re-surface the wood.

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