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How to Remove Carpet Glue From Concrete

Carpet adhesives have been designed to endure years of footfalls, scuffing, and pounding. You may be dissatisfied when you discover residual carpet glue on your subfloor after removing your old carpets and laying new flooring. These adhesives are typically quite reliable, but it’s because of this that concrete subfloor glues can be difficult to remove completely from a concrete subfloor. The following article will assist you in removing carpet glue off of concrete subsfloors safely and easily.

How to Remove Carpet Glue From Concrete

What Is Carpet Glue

How to Remove Carpet Glue From Concrete
The first step in replacing a carpet is to remove all of the old flooring. Make sure you read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any potential problems. When it comes time to replace your carpet, consider taking advantage of long-term solutions like glue or wall-to-wall carpets. Some carpeting has its own adhesive coating, while others require glue between the carpet and subfloor. You would usually spread glue using a shovel or another tool when applying it. Most recently, there has been an increase in the use of environmentally friendly carpet adhesives that come with a synthetic or acrylic rubber base.

If your carpet was installed before the 1980s, there’s a good chance that it contains asbestos in the adhesive.

Asbestos is a highly dangerous material because it causes cancer. As a result, you must remove asbestos with great care since it is carcinogenic. If you’re not sure what kind of glue your carpet is made up of, we recommend making use of an expert’s assistance.

Methods of Removing Carpet Glue

How to Remove Carpet Glue From Concrete
You have a variety of approaches to use while removing carpet glue from concrete. We’ve compiled a rundown of the more do-it-yourself-friendly options leading up to the most difficult and least accessible solutions. Some of these processes might be a bit more difficult, while others require the use of strong chemicals. We propose that you start with the first option and then proceed to the next one if necessary. By doing this, you can avoid wasting money and avoiding having to work with hazardous chemicals as much as possible.


To begin, you must scrape the carpet glue off. During the scraping process, you may not be able to remove all of the carpet glue, but you should make an effort to do your best.

You’ll need a razor-sharp scraper with a thin edge to remove the adhesive. When removing carpet glue from concrete, something like this stainless steel floor scraper will work well.

It will take some time and effort to complete this task. You may find the labour unpleasant, but you’ll want to keep at it in order to do your best.

Remove as much carpet glue as you can with your strength. If you’re exceptionally lucky, all of the carpet glue may be removed with only a scraper.

If you need to take a rest during the procedure, you can always come back to it later. Some individuals will have a buddy assist them in scraping this material because they don’t want to do it alone.

When the carpet glue has been completely cleaned, it’s time to evaluate how things have gone. If all of the carpet glue has been removed, you’ll be ready to install whatever new type of flooring you’re putting down.

It’s best if you do not ever need to remove old floor covering. If you do, though, and there are still traces of carpet glue on the floor, it’ll be necessary to go a bit further. Don’t worry; it’s still feasible to address this problem.

 Boiling Water

Sometimes, the simplest solution is to use boiling water to try to loosen up the carpet glue. This can be quite effective, and it could be just what you need to get rid of stubborn bits of glue that are adhered to the concrete floor.

Pour boiling water over the spots on the concrete floor where carpet glue remains adhered to. When pouring the boiling water, be cautious so you don’t get burned.

When transporting a pot or tea kettle that contains boiling water, it’s probably a good idea to wear gloves. There’s no sense in rushing things because of impatience and getting burned.

When applying the solution to the floor, be careful not to get any of the boiling water on you. To avoid splashing your legs, try standing back a bit.

It’s usually preferable to pour the pot or kettle on the floor from a lower position. Simply figure out how to best apply boiling water to the floor while remaining secure.

For best results, wait several minutes for the boiling water to blend with the glue. You may then try scraping the carpet glue off again using your scraper after this.

If the boiling water succeeded in removing the glue from the concrete floor, you should be able to do so using it again. If the glue isn’t coming off after using a different technique, you’ll need to try something else.


How to Remove Carpet Glue From Concrete
An iron is another alternative for utilizing instead of hot water. It makes sense that hot glue would be easier to remove than cold glue. On the region of afflicted concrete, lay down a single sheet of newspaper and then pass the heated iron over it until the newspaper becomes warm to the touch. Remove the newspaper after it has been heated and scrape away at the adhesive while it is still hot.

It’s not uncommon for a concrete repair to take several attempts, especially if you have a huge section of concrete to address. When using a hot iron, keep in mind that it can burn your skin.

You may also soften the glue with a heat gun, making it simpler to remove. Soften the glue with the heat gun until it is flexible, then scrape it off. Work on one small area at a time to avoid the glue from cooling and reverting back to its rigid form.

Ammonia and Detergent

Ammonia is a powerful chemical that may be used to remove the glue from concrete, but you’ll have to dilute it first. To make a solution of two cups of ammonia and a pail of warm water with several generous squirts of dishwashing detergent, combine them in a bucket. When working with ammonia, which emits hazardous vapors, you must use rubber gloves, a face mask, and goggles.

After you’ve completed removing the glue, clean the surface with a stiff bristle brush to remove any remaining adhesives. The soap and ammonia solution will cause the glue to soften and release from the concrete. Wipe the surface with a cloth after swabbing it, then repeat the process until all of the glue has been removed. Rinse the concrete with fresh water and a mop once you’ve finished removing the glue.


If you’ve tried all of the above and still don’t know how to get rid of carpet glue, it’s time to employ the big weapons. To begin, try using acetone; however, solvents such as turpentine and paint thinner can also be used to dissolve carpet glue from concrete. Acetone has poisonous vapors that are flammable, so a respirator is required to keep hazardous fumes away from your lungs. You’ll also need safety goggles and gloves to guard against solvent drying out your hands.

To achieve this procedure, a bristle brush should be used rather than a scraper.

Pour a quarter of a cup of acetone into a tray and lay your brush on top. Brush the concrete with your solvent-soaked brush. The acetone should melt the residual glue off the surface, allowing it to be easily removed. The brush also aids in removing the glue from the surface by sweeping it away. If required, repeat the process using a clean cloth to remove any residue. Use a toothbrush instead of a scrubbing brush if you’re working with a little spot.


Taking the time to sand the floor before laying new flooring is highly advised. This is because the concrete flooring may still contain carpet glue in its pores.

Many people will hire a sander from a local company to get the task done. If you believe that having one would be beneficial to you, you may also buy a floor sander.

Floor sanders are not only expensive, but they may also be difficult to manage. If you don’t do a lot of major projects that require sanding, then it might not make sense to buy them. When renting floor sanders is necessary, they are frequently much more cost-effective than purchasing them individually.

Remember that you don’t have to sand the concrete floor too aggressively. All it takes is a little bit of sanding to prevent carpet glue from being an issue.

You may probably get away without sanding the floor, but it isn’t always a bad idea. If you’re willing to put in some additional effort, this is an excellent method to remove any last carpet glue residues that might cause difficulties in some cases.

Best Glue Remover for Concrete

Fortunately, several goods have been created to assist with the removal of adhesives from surfaces. While every available product may claim to be effective, many do not deliver on that promise. We’ve compiled a list of the top adhesive removers on the market to help you choose the best solution for removing glue.

BLUE BEAR 500MR Mastic Remover for Concrete Surfaces

The adhesive remover includes a non-flammable solvent that emits almost no odor and is safe to use. It's comprised of soybeans grown in the United States, and it was created specifically to remove carpet glue and vinyl. It can also be used to remove ceramic mastic and asbestos mastic. In conjunction with a scraper, it is quite successful at removing mastics and flooring glue. Removes asbestos, vinyl glue, traditional carpet adhesives, and more. Virtually no odor and less than 3% VOC.

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Goo Gone Pro-Power Spray Gel Adhesive Remover

Goo Gone Pro-Power Spray Gel Adhesive Remover
This is a tried-and-true household favorite for removing a range of adhesives, residues, and other sticking surfaces. It's been created to remove adhesives from materials like as concrete and is safe enough to use near textiles and carpets without damaging them. This product may be used on a wide range of surfaces to eliminate most types of adhesives.

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Orange Sol 10022 Contractor Solvent

 Orange Sol 10022 Contractor Solvent
This solvent is great for getting rid of carpet glue and is also non-flammable, producing very few toxic fumes and a pleasant odor. This adhesive remover has the highest possible eco-friendliness grade because it efficiently removes floor and carpet adhesives as well as silicone glues. The solvent does not contain any water, which means it is entirely composed of active components. It also contains no xylene, benzene, or chlorinated solvents.

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Tips and Tricks to Remove Carpet Glue From Concrete

  • Make sure you apply heating glue to a clean, dry surface. Keep in mind that as the glue cools, it becomes more difficult to remove. Work on a little section at a time to avoid frustration.
  • It’s a good idea to use WD-40 on concrete floors if you’ve spilled something sticky on them and want it gone. Spray some of the lubricant onto the afflicted region and leave it for 30 minutes. It might soften the glue and make removing it simpler using a hard-bristled brush or a scraper.
  • A reciprocating saw with a scraper attachment can help you speed up the scraping process. When using a reciprocating saw with a scraper blade, make sure the flat edge is pointing downwards and the bevel edge is facing upwards.
  • Regardless of the method you choose to remove it, we recommend waiting a few minutes on the afflicted region before scrubbing or scraping at it, as this will allow the glue time to soften.
  • While some techniques recommend progressively heating the glue, one may try using dry ice. The use of dry ice on the adhesive might make it brittle, making it easier to remove with a scraper. Dry ice must be handled with caution, however. Place dry ice on a baking sheet and place it over the area of concern. Allow for a few minutes before attempting to scrape off the glue.
  • When choosing a glue or mastic remover, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you’re using the proper one for the job. Before applying it on the entire surface and possibly causing damage, we recommend testing out carpet glue remover on a discrete area to determine whether it works.

There are several ways to get rid of carpet glue off a concrete floor. Some procedures are more successful than others, but it’s important to start with the least costly, non-toxic options and only use the more intense methods if you can’t remove the adhesive. Most importantly, when working with hazardous materials, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Remove Asbestos Carpet Glue Myself?

Asbestos was a popular building material from the early 1900s until recently. It's been shown in recent years that asbestos exposure can cause respiratory issues. This is especially true if asbestos is discovered while demolition or removal, as this causes the dust of asbestos to become airborne and therefore may be breathed in. If you have any doubts about the type of adhesive used under your carpeting, we recommend you contact a professional help.

How Do I Remove Carpet Adhesive From My Wooden Floors?

When removing carpet glue from hardwood floors with a scraper, you must exercise caution since you might inadvertently scrape away pieces of wood. The same concerns apply if you opt to use a floor sander; work carefully and slowly to avoid injuring the underlying floor.

When Should I Get Professional Assistance?

It might take a long time and work to get the old carpet glue off of the concrete. However, if you put out the effort described above, your efforts will be rewarded. If you can't remove all of the adhesive from the concrete floor and don't feel comfortable with abrasive techniques, we highly recommend hiring a professional carpet removal business.

Why Should I Remove Old Carpet Glue?

Carpet glue is harmful to your health and the environment. It not only looks terrible, but it also attracts dirt, dust, grime, and can be a hindrance when laying down laminate flooring or new carpets. Old adhesives can reduce the performance of the adhesive in the new flooring and result in an uneven surface area, which is quite undesirable.

Can I Use Denatured Alcohol to Remove Carpet Glue?

Denatured alcohol is a fantastic alternative for removing and softening carpet glue from concrete. You may use denatured alcohol in place of the acetone process. Although denatured alcohol is combustible and hazardous, you should wear goggles and gloves while working with it to prevent harm.

Final Thoughts

It should be simpler to figure out the best method after learning how to remove carpet glue from concrete flooring. There are various things you may try that will accomplish the task.

In some cases, you’ll be able to simply remove the carpet glue from the floor using just a scraper. If this doesn’t work, then you can try to use boiling water to loosen the old carpet glue up.

Other options include solvent-based glue removers, which are non-toxic and efficient in removing most types of duct tape. Adhesive removers can also be effective; however, they should only be used carefully in certain methods. You may also try using a heat gun to warm up the glue and make it simpler to remove.

After you’ve tried all of the techniques, it should be feasible to get rid of all of the carpet adhesive from the concrete flooring. Even if getting this work done is a pain in the ass, you’ll be ecstatic when it’s over.

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