How to Remove Carpet Glue


Carpet glue can be pretty stubborn when it is time to remove the carpet from your concrete subfloor. Ripping the carpet itself is not an easy job, and so is removing the adhesive that was used to secure it in place. If you want the new glue to form a strong bond with the subfloor, it is essential that, first of all, you create a smooth and clean surface.

The expensive off-the-shelf products are designed to make this whole process easy for you, but they are known to emit harmful fumes. On the other hand, their environment-friendly counterparts lack the necessary components to help remove the glue effectively. The best way to go about this is by manually removing the carpet adhesive.

It is important to note that carpet glues made in the 80s or earlier usually have asbestos – a carcinogen. In case you suspect that your carpet’s glue contains asbestos, avoid removing it yourself. Instead, hire the services of an asbestos abatement professional.

Materials and Tools Required

Procedure Summary

Using the 5-in-1 razor, sparkling knife, and scraper, scrape off as much adhesive as you can.

In case of any tough glue that will not budge, use boiling water or steam to break the bonds

If the floor is still not smooth and clean, you can use the reciprocating saw fitted with a scraping tool.

Step By Step Procedure for Removing Carpet Adhesive

Step 1: Begin With The Scraper Tool You Have

In this step, you will need to scrape away as much adhesive as you possibly can using a scraping tool of choice. You may not succeed in removing all the glue from your subfloor in this step, but you will do away with the big chunks. It is a great start before you can move to the other procedures for removing carpet adhesive.

You can use a spackling knife, paint scraper, razor blade, or 5-in-1 tool in this method. Just ensure that the tool you use has a good handle with a comfortable grip. For safety and to secure your hands, you will have to put on work gloves. It is also a great idea to put on your knee pads since you will be kneeling for a while.

Step 2: Using Heat, Soften The Tough Adhesive

In case you cannot scrape away all the carpet adhesive, use heat to soften the stubborn glue. The heat helps break the bonds that hold adhesives to the subfloor, making it easier to scrape away. You can apply the much-needed heat using either steam or boiling water. Wear your work gloves and rain or work boots for protection from heat. Pour a significant amount of boiling water to cover the carpet adhesive, then leave it for 5 to 10 min. to soften the glue.

Step 3: Scour Away The Remaining Adhesive.

When the adhesive starts softening up, you can begin working it out of the floor using a scraper. Divide the job into sections so as to allow you to remove the glue easily before it cools off and becomes tough again.

When done, use a piece of clothing to soak up the water to help the floor dry up faster.

Other Methods For Removing Carpet Glue

In case the manual method does not work out as you had expected, do not worry. There are other tools you can use to achieve the desired results.

Using a movable steam cleaner has always yielded results quicker. Just visit your local home center and rent this powerful tool to make the work easier.

In case you are dealing with a pretty stubborn adhesive that cannot come off with just hot water, you can consider using a reciprocating saw. It usually comes fitted with a highly effective scraper tool for the task.

These kinds of saws are available online and can also be rented from local home centers. The saw should be held at an angle low enough to enable it to scrape off all the glue. With this tool, the stubborn glue does not stand a chance.


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