How to remove carpet glue from concrete

by Mar 22, 2021Cleaning

Removes glue rubber putty knife
Removing carpet glue with a spatula

How to remove carpet glue from concrete is a common question among homeowners trying to lift this infamous and strong adhesive that is made to attach the carpet to concrete floors.

It leaves a sticky residue that is difficult to lift with standard removal methods. If you are trying to remove carpet glue from concrete but without any success, this article is for you.

In today’s cleaning guide, I share 3 ways that save time and money and other alternatives if nothing else works. Without further ado, let’s take that glue off your floor.

How to remove carpet glue from concrete?

Removal of carpet adhesive set
A tool set for removing carpet glue

The warm and soft feeling that comes with carpet floors is the reason why people love carpets. But what if you want to remove your old smelly carpet and install a new one?

The first step is to remove carpet glue that sounds like a trip in the part, but which can easily turn into the worst nightmare. Luckily I’m here to help with some tips and tricks.

Other adhesives do not require special removal treatments, but carpet glue does. You can either buy a carpet glue remover or try the next methods and save money.

First of all, vacuum your concrete floor with a special vacuum for concrete floors to remove dirt and grime that can make removal more difficult.

Then fill a large bucket with a liter of warm water. The water does not need to boil. It must be warm to the touch. You use this foundation to make a solution for removing glue.

Add one cup of liquid detergent and two cups of ammonia. Ammonia is a super strong chemical used to remove certain stubborn stains. When combined with liquid detergent and water, it turns into a soap-washing cleaning solution. Use a brush or mop to touch all the ingredients.

When using ammonia, be careful to prevent damage. Meaning, wear protective gloves to keep your hands protected. And if necessary, also wear goggles and a face mask!

Extra tip: Never mix ammonia with bleach, as this combination can release toxic or lethal fumes. Use a powerful scrubber for life residues with the ammonia solution. Choose a scrub brush with thick and tightly compressed brushes. Then dip the brush into the solution and let it soak.

Place the brush on the floor and scrub the carpet glue away using vigorous and straight movements. Dip the brush into the solution each time it dries out and continue until you notice results.

When finished, rinse the concrete with plain water. Use a hose or mop for concrete floors. Finally, use a dry towel or some old cloth to wipe off excess moisture.

If the previous technique does not work, or if there is some carpet glue left and it plays hard to get, boil a pot of water on a hot stove.

The amount of water depends on the glue present. You must 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 care. If your pot has no outside handles, use a thick towel or oven mites when grabbing it.

Then lay a towel over the carpet glue instead of just pouring water directly on the floor. The towel allows the carpet glue to heat up and absorb moisture more evenly.

If necessary, apply more towels to cover the entire area. Although this process does not stain the towel, you still need to wash it afterwards. Spread the water evenly.

Let it sit for a while. When the place is hot, take the towels off. Use a scraper to lift the carpet glue as quickly as possible while the place is still warm.

Put your scrapper in front of the rest and press it hard to remove the stains. Repeat the process if the glue cools or hardens.

Last but not least, you can insulate a small piece of glue and use your iron to remove the residue. First find a small piece of glue and use a vacuum to remove the excess dirt.

Then place thin newsprint over the patch. Remember that this technique only works on stubborn and minor patches. Make sure the sides are flat, open completely and straight.

Do not use sides that are curled or torn. Finally, the newspaper is ironed using straight, long and sliding motions. Do not press down hard. Otherwise you can burn the newspaper down.

Repeat the process a few times until the sides become too hot to touch. Do not forget to keep your hands and clothes away from the warm soleplate. Scrape the carpet adhesive while it is hot.

When finished, use a concrete cleaner to remove dirt and grime and prepare your concrete floor for future repairs. If you notice rust stains, get rid of them as well.

Let’s watch this video to gather more understandings:

Watch video: How to remove glue on concrete floors

6 alternative methods that can save the day

Man removing carpet glue
Someone wearing a face mask while removing carpet glue

If the previous methods do not work, turn to chemicals! Sometimes commercial cleaners and heavy methods are the only way to remove stubborn stains such as carpet glue from concrete.

Glue remover

If hot water is not enough to remove carpet glue from your concrete, it is time to use a professional mastic remover or glue remover.

These products loosen carpet glue chemically. However, they can also be dangerous. Therefore, ensure proper ventilation in the room.

Also read the instructions on how to use glue remover correctly. Pay attention to the warnings or warnings for a 100% safe operation.

Sand the concrete

If any of the mentioned products or techniques show success, you are going in the right direction. But removing debris from the surface is not enough.

You will also need to lift carpet glue from the pores of the concrete. If it is trapped in the pores, nothing can get to it, so you need to sand your floor.

Hire a floor sanding unit with a grinding wheel or a floor grinder for this job. Use a heavy gravel to remove most of the carpet glue. Then switch to a finer gravel.

Finish the sanding with a finer gravel. However, be careful not to overdo the sanding. Otherwise you can grind more than necessary and uncover the unit.


If you are still struggling to lift the carpet adhesive after trying all the techniques described above, you will need to continue troubleshooting.

In this case, try a heat gun to loosen the carpet glue. If you do not have a heat gun available, try using a traditional iron, but handle it with care.

Cover the carpet glue with a newspaper or a thin towel beforehand. If you still have stains at this point, try applying a pattern or color scheme that has been scored.

You can also mix and use watercolor paint or a highlight coat between the sealing layers to hide any carpet stains.

Use Acetone

You can also lift carpet glue from the floors with acetone. This powerful product removes the sealant of metals like brass, so it is also great for removing stubborn glue.

However, since acetone is a powerful solution, it is very important to use the right cleaning tools. You will need a container, a mask and an old toothbrush and an old washcloth.

If the room is not properly ventilated, wear a face mask to prevent inhalation of harmful fumes. Begin by dipping your old toothbrush or another type of brush into a container of acetone.

Then scrub the site using acetone and toothbrush until the carpet glue is 100% gone or there is a little left. Wipe off any residue with the washcloth. Acetone has bleaching agents. Therefore, avoid adding it to your regular homemade concrete cleaners.

Steam cleaner

A steam cleaner is a machine that you can either buy or rent at your local home center. Direct the steam stream a few inches away from the glue until it is loose enough to scrape up.

I highly recommend steaming and scraping small stains for better results. This way you can tackle the glue while it is still soft. If you are facing a hard glue or a large area, use your piston saw equipped with a scraper to get the job done faster. This saves you a lot of time.

Reciprocating saw scraper blades can be found at most home improvement centers and online. Choose 2-4 inch wide knives for lifting carpet glue. They will do the hard work for you.

Watch this video to know more:

Watch video: How to remove carpet and vinyl glue the easy way

Related questions

How to remove construction glue from concrete?

First of all, loosen the joint or adhesive with a dryer, steam cleaner or heat gun. Then scrape off the construction adhesive using a flat spatula or spatula. Finally, wipe the floor with mineral spirits to lift any residue. If this does not work, try a glue remover.

How to glue the carpet down from the concrete?

Remove carpet upholstery and carpet glue with a scraper or spatula. If there is still glue on your floor, use a solvent such as alcohol or acetone. Let it sit for 30 minutes.

Then use a scraper to remove the residue. If this does not work, pour hot water over the glue to loosen it. Then scrape it while hot. If nothing works, buy a good glue remover. Or hire professionals to do the job for you. They charge up to $ 5 per square yard or $ 0.56 per square foot.

How to remove white glue from concrete?

This glue is water based. This means that it is easier to lift than carpet glue. Just mix boiling water and soap. Then pour the mixture over the concrete to be cleaned. Let it absorb for a while. Scrub the glue away with a scouring pad. Allow the floor to dry and repeat if necessary.

How to remove brown glue from concrete?

Old carpets are attached with a brown adhesive that is harder to lift than regular carpet glue as it is not water based. You can either sand or scrub brown glue off. Or use Coca-Cola. Just moisten your floor with cola. Let it absorb for a while before cleaning or scraping off the residue.

How to remove yellow floor glue from concrete?

The longer the glue has been there, the harder it becomes to lift. First, determine what type of glue you are dealing with. Then try some of the removal methods I mentioned above.

If nothing works, buy a carpet glue remover. The best approach is to try to match the right remover with the type of glue. And if possible, be within brands. Follow the label instructions.

Scrape it while 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, if you are facing a stubborn adhesive, invest in a good carpet adhesive removal. 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, do not forget to check out the rest of my cleaning instructions and learn how to clean other stains and keep your home tidy.

Do you have any cleaning advice for me? If so, leave a comment. Let’s chat-chat. Also, do not be selfish and share this article with your friends.

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