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How To Remove Floor Adhesive [Check Out These 8 Methods!]

Thinking of remodeling your floor space? After the frustrating task of removing old flooring, you see another challenge. Now, you’re faced with blobs of old adhesive that’s giving you a headache.

How to remove floor adhesive?

We have prepared different types of adhesive removal techniques for you. Use a Mastic remover or mechanical grinder for concrete floors. Apply acetone and paint thinner on wooden floors. For vinyl, use heated vinegar and adhesive removers. You can use home remedies for tiled floors.

Not enough details? Don’t worry. We have prepared an in-depth guideline for you. Keep on scrolling to get to the good part!

Remove Floor Adhesive: 8 Unfailing Methods

We’ve categorized the removal techniques as per the floor type. Different floors might take different kinds of effort. However, the end result will be worth the wait!

Let’s check out what you have to do!

Concrete Floor

Cleaning concrete floors can be challenging. The adhesive used in the concrete subfloor is hard to remove. But we’ve got you a solution!

Glue and Mastic Remover

Firstly, pour boiling water on the floor and scrape off as much as you can. After that, you can use mastic removers to clean the rest. 

Using the low VOC ones will get the job done quicker. Because these are made especially for concrete floors. Moreover, it’s a safer option comparatively because it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.

Now, apply these on the whole floor with a garden sprayer or a mop. Wait for 45 minutes to an hour. until it dries up. Then use a floor scrubber and a concrete cleaner to clean it all. You might also want to remove any grout haze while you’re at it.

Mechanical Grinder

You should use mechanical removal machines as a last resort. When chemical strippers are ineffective, use a handheld grinder. Because comparatively, this is the most effective and fastest technique. But be very careful as it could cause stains or remove the polish. 

Afterward, you can use Muriatic acid to clean the concrete thoroughly

Wooden Floor

Wooden floors are very delicate and get scratched easily. Thus we have to use noninvasive techniques that’ll not damage your floorboards. Here’s what you can do to clean these.


Coat a cotton ball with acetone and rub it gently over the adhesive. Move it in a circular motion while applying pressure. Make sure you don’t get acetone on the floor. Lastly, wipe it using a dry cloth. 

Steam Cleaner or Heat Gun

Set up your steamer with the small nozzle at low speed on the heat gun. This will loosen up the adhesive. Don’t do this for more than 2 to 3 minutes; otherwise, it could discolor the floor. At last, wipe the adhesive off with a dishrag. 

Paint Thinner

You can also use paint thinner for this but only as your last resort. Pour the paint thinner on a non-abrasive nylon pad. Then quickly scrub the floor to remove the adhesive. Finish it off by wiping the floor with a floor cleaner.

Using paint thinner might strip away the floor wax. In this case, you have to recoat that particular area again. You can also paint your floor with Porter Paints or Sherwin Williams. It’ll fix it right up.

Vinyl Floor

Removing adhesive from vinyl can be tiresome. However, with the proper cleaning materials and chemical solvents, you can do it quickly.

Remember to soften your vinyl floor if it has hardened over time.

Heated Vinegar

First, take 100 ml white vinegar and heat it without bringing it to a boil. Without cooling it, transfer it to a spray bottle. Then spray this over the adhesive and wait for up to 15 minutes. The glue will come loose, and you can wipe it with a clean cloth.

Commercial Adhesive remover

All these commercially water-based removers are eco-friendly. You can find these in both spray-on or liquid forms. Pour or spray the remover directly on the adhesive. You’ll be able to see the immediate effect. Use a dry rag to wipe the glue quickly until it comes loose. 

For your convenience, here are some adhesive removers for the floor that you can use:

Product 1
Product 2

We have listed some of the best adhesive removers in the market.

Tile Floor

Tile floors are the easiest to clean. But first, you should check and fill the gaps between tiles and walls. You can use caulk or grout. Otherwise, it will sink into the mortar.

First, scrape off as much of the adhesive that you can. After that, soak the tile in boiling water and leave it on for 2 hours or so. the adhesive loosens up, peel it off. 

You can also use peanut butter to soften the adhesive. But wipe the surface quickly before the adhesive dries up. Olive or soybean oil should do the trick as well! 

You can also use hand sanitizers for this. Apply a decent amount and once the adhesive starts to loosen, wipe it off.

These are basically the methods you can use to safely remove adhesive from the floor. Be sure to use the technique as per your floor type. 


Question: How can I remove linoleum glue?

Answer: A heating gun can be used to soften the glue while scraping it away. Some older linoleum has a tar-based adhesive that. You can use mineral spirits to soften those.

Question: When nothing works on the concrete floor, what can I do?

Answer: If you’ve tried everything but can’t remove the stubborn adhesive, then install an overlay. You can also do an epoxy coating over the existing concrete floor. It will cover up the concrete defects and hide exposed aggregate.

Question: What can I do if adhesive sticks on a carpeted floor?

Answer: You can use mild hot water on the specific area where the adhesive is stuck. Then scrub off the loosened glue. You should not use boiling water as it will damage the carpets.

Final Words

We have basically explained how to remove floor adhesive in every way we know. Hopefully, this will work for you. But,  if nothing works you can always ask for professional help.

Good luck fixing your floors!