Removing Glue From Floors With Goof-Off And Citristrip


How do I remove glue from hardwoods that had ceramic tile over the hardwoods? How do I remove carpet matting or padding that is stuck to the hardwoods? And last but not least, how do I remove linoleum that stuck to the hardwood floor after removing the linoleum? Besides scraping is there any solvents or products to use that will not harm the floor?


Dear Daniel

Try warm water and a pH neutral cleaner with a paint scraper first, this is the safest, and may dissolve some adhesives. I discuss these cleaners in the maintenance article in the ‘How To’s’ section of this site.

If that fails (and it probably will) you can then try odorless mineral spirits, and if that fails lacquer thinner. And lastly Goof-Off (, they make some adhesive removers also). Squirt the solvent under the glue and try pushing it off with a good quality putty knife. In some cases a heat gun and the putty knife may also work, there are lots of different glues out there. Oh, and the heat gun is best for the linoleum, just heat and lift with a long handled putty knife so you don’t burn yourself.

If all that proves ineffective try a safe paint stripper (Citristrip at Also read my article on this great stuff in the ‘Product Reviews’ section of this web site. But as a last resort you can use some of the more dangerous methyline chloride strippers, just leave the house as the stripper does its work.