If you’re a professional carpenter, or even if you like doing your own DIY work from time to time, there’s a good chance that you’ve had to work with carpet glue from time to time. If this is the case, then you have a general understanding of how difficult it can be to remove carpet glue from, well, just about anything. You see, carpet glue is one of the strongest adhesives out there, meaning it can take quite a bit of elbow grease to remove it from unwanted surfaces. With that being said, removing carpet glue from concrete is obviously not the easiest thing to accomplish, but it can definitely be done. If you’re in a bit of a bind and you have carpet glue on the mind, keep reading to discover some helpful advice to help you remove that impossibly sticky substance from your concrete floors.
Removing Carpet Glue from Concrete
Scrubbing the Glue Off of Your Concrete Floors
One of the most efficient ways to remove carpet glue from concrete is by actually scrubbing the glue from the surface of the concrete. While that certainly doesn’t sound like a pleasant activity, it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. If you’re desperate to get that unsightly carpet glue off of your concrete floors, then follow these simple instructions and you should have the glue off of your floors in no time.
- Using a large bucket, measure out approximately one gallon of water. While the water should be too hot for you to touch, it doesn’t need to be so hot that it’s actually boiling. This hot water will act as a base to create a glue removal solution.
- Your next step is to add two cups of ammonia and one cup of liquid detergent to the hot water. Make sure to keep in mind that ammonia is an extremely strong chemical, so it’s important to take proper safety precautions while you’re using it. Any time you use ammonia you have to make sure that you always use gloves and/or safety goggles at all times. It’s also important to never mix ammonia with bleach, which can cause toxic fumes to be produced, and to always ventilate the room that you’re using the ammonia in. If at any point you feel lightheaded while working with ammonia, take a break, go outside, and double-check to make sure that your workspace is properly ventilated.
- Before you get to work removing the glue, head to the store to purchase a heavy-duty scrubber that has thick, tightly compacted bristles. Once you have your brush handy, dip it into the solution you just made and allow it to soak in the mixture for a moment or two. After you’ve allowed the brush to soak up a good amount of the solution, place it onto the floor and scrub away the leftover glue. Always use straight, forceful pushes when scrubbing away at the glue to ensure that all of the glue comes off of the floor. And, of course, if your brush dries out, dip it back into the solution and allow it to soak again.
- The final step is to use water to rinse the concrete floor with water. Pour water onto the area where the glue once was, and using a clean rag, wash off the ammonia and any excess glue that still may be on the floor. Once you’ve cleaned the floor of the ammonia and glue, use a dry, clean towel to clean up any water that is left over on the floor.
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Softening the Glue Stuck on Your Concrete Floors
1. Fill a large pot with water and allow it to get hot enough to come to a boil on the stove. While the amount of water you use is entirely dependent on how much glue you actually need to remove from your floor, a good rule of thumb is to boil at least one cup of water for every one inch of glue stuck to the concrete. So if you have several spots that need to be scraped off of the floor, make sure that you boil at least a few cups of water.
2. Instead of pouring the water directly onto the floor, lay down a clean towel on the area that you need to clean the glue off of. The towel needs to be as flat and straight as it possibly can be because it will be used to heat up the glue residue and absorb the moisture more evenly. Of course, it’s more than alright to use more than one towel to thoroughly cover the area if you have a rather large area to clean. While this process won’t ruin any of your towels, you will most likely need to clean your towels in the washing machine once you’re finished with them to ensure that there is no glue stuck to your towels.
3. It goes without saying that boiling hot water can be a bit dangerous to work with, so make sure that you carefully pour the boiling water onto the towel and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes or so. It’s important to remember that you need to spread the water out evenly on the towel to ensure that it soaks in thoroughly. Once the area is warm to the touch and not extremely hot, remove the towel from the area.
4. Using a long-handled scraper, which can be purchased at any hardware or home goods store, remove the glue residue from the floor before it cools down. With the trailing edge face up, place the scraper in front of the patch of glue and push it down to remove the glue residue. If the area cools down, boil some more water and repeat the process until all of the glue is gone. You will continue these steps until all of the glue is gone. Once you’re finished, make sure to clean up any excess glue or water with a fresh, clean towel.
Ironing the Small Patches of Glue From Your Floor
- The first thing that you want to do while using this method is to find a contained patch of carpet glue and remove the excess debris from around it. This means that you should attempt to remove any glue, dirt, or other debris from the area that you’ll be working in. This method works best for floors that have small patches of glue residue that are extremely stubborn or hard to remove, rather than floors that are completely covered in carpet glue.
- Using thin pages of newspaper, cover the area you want to remove the glue from. It’s important to take the time to make sure that the newspapers are straight, flat, and fully opened to ensure that every inch of the space is covered. Also, keep in mind that you should never use pages that are torn or crumpled.
- Using a hot iron, iron the newspaper in long, straight gliding motions. To avoid burning the newspaper you should never press the iron down too hard. Repeat this process multiple times until the newspaper is too hot to the touch. Hot irons are obviously extremely hot, so it’s important to make sure that you’re being careful at all times while completing this project.
- As soon as you’re done with the ironing portion of the project, remove the newspapers from the floor. This is when you’ll remove the rest of the glue residue from the floor. You’ll complete this by using a long-handled scraper. Once you’ve removed the newspapers from the floor, place the scraper onto the ground, and making sure that the trailing edge is face-up, push the scraper into the glue. If the glue cools down and becomes too tough to remove, put down a fresh piece of newspaper and repeat the ironing process over again.
It goes without saying that removing carpet glue from concrete isn’t exactly a walk in the park and it’s certainly not a stroll down the coastline. Removing carpet glue from concrete can be a strenuous, frustrating process, but it’s certainly not impossible. Before you get to work scraping that stubborn glue from your floors, make sure that you have all of the necessary equipment. This will ensure that the job will be done as smoothly as possible. Once you’ve decided on the method of removal that you’re going to use, head to the store to purchase the equipment that you’ll need to get the job done. If you’re not exactly sure of what you’ll need, you can always recruit the help of one of the clerks at the hardware store to ensure that you purchase the correct products.
Now that you have everything you need, like the scraper and/or ammonia, it’s time for you to get to work! Take a deep breath, grab some water and another set of helping hands, and get started! As long as you take proper safety precautions and take breaks when you need them, you should be able to get the glue off of your floors in no time at all!