We are doing some renovations to a home we just purchased. The carpet had hardwood flooring under two layers of carpet. The bottom layer of carpet was glued down by a dark amber colored adhesive. Does anyone know how I can remove the adhesive from a hardwood floor? I have tried mineral spirits to no avail. I also tried some hot soapy water. It worked to some extent but it there was still a lot of scraping needed to get it up.

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3 Answers 3


Re-did some floors a couple of years ago with the same situation, two layers of carpets on hardwood floor with the bottom layer glued down. We used heat gun and scrapers to remove most of it, and then some glue remover on the worst parts. After doing this the person that came in and re-did our floors said that was not needed, especially the glue remover. He said the sander would have taken it all off.

So I would still probably try scraping up as much as possible and then let the sander do the rest of the work.

  • 1
    Awesome! What glue removed did you use? I would like to avoid sanding as much of the glue as possible so I dont gum up the sandpaper Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 16:11
  • I can't remember off hand, it was something from Home Depot. One thing I remember the guy doing the sanding told us was the remover gets into the wood and when sanding it releases this all back up into the air for people to breath in, which is probably one reason he wasn't found of it. Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 16:14
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    Floor sander tends to start with sandpaper that is not easy to gum up. And not buying a bunch of glue remover will pay for quite a few spare sheets of sandpaper as well. Sanding or scraping is about the only effective way to go here, IME.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 16:18
  • I tried using sandpaper and also a drywall screen on a small area using my palm sander, also to no avail. Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 16:39
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    Go rent a floor sander. A palm sander .vs. a floor sander is like a swallow .vs. a 747... African or European swallow? I don't know. Ahhhh!
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 21:17

I use WD40 and it comes right up. Let it soak for five minutes then scrub.


Removing carpet glue off otherwise decently-finished hardwood floors without resanding the whole lot - I used a random orbit sander (a palm sander would have been more efficient probably) with scouring pad attachments and some soap - floor cleaner works well too. It takes off the adhesive without taking off the varnish.

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