Removing Glue From Hardwood Floors



Hi, we have just ripped up some hideous carpet to find wood floors under it–BUT, they are in desperate need of work but I don’t know what, how, etc. It looks like there is rubber backing stuck on it in places and a grayish looking coating of something, and probably a little carpet glue. Is there anything I can do (please don’t say put the hideous carpet back) to clean up the floor?

Thank you for your help.


Dear Beth

You may be able to remove the glue with odorless mineral spirits, or lacquer thinner if that fails. And lastly a product called Goof-Off at Use a clean white rag at first, then a non abrasive white scrub pad. For really big gobs you may have to use a dull putty knife to push off the softened glue.

In the worst case you can chemically strip the glue off the floor, and be sure to read about this process in the Floored News section. This will remove all the floor finish from that area, so this may be part of stripping the whole floor.

You should really read my floor maintenance article, also in the Floored News section of this site. It will show you how to identify old finishes and possible fix them up without having to re-sand the whole floor.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.