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How To Remove Glued On Carpet: Explained!

Most carpet installers use mastic to hold the carpet onto the floor. The glue is really good but the problem is sometimes they use a bit too much glue, making it hard to remove the carpet.

How to remove glued on carpet?

Removing a glued-on carpet can be done in 7 steps. First, cut the carpet with a utility knife and remove it. Then, scrape off the concrete adhesive and pour hot water. After that, use a chemical glue remover and sand the area. Finally, use a heat gun if the glue still hasn’t come off.

But there’s more to the process. If you have a spare minute, let’s find out about the details-

How to Remove Glued On Carpet?

Carpet adhesives are great at what they do. They hold the carpet onto the floor with all their strength. But a lot of people don’t protect their carpet stairs from dirt. So, it gets too old too early. That’s when you think of removing it.

While it is possible, the process will take some time and a lot of effort. But don’t worry because with our instructions it’ll feel like a breeze. Here’s what you need to do-

Step 1: Cut the Carpet with a Utility Knife and Remove it

Removing the carpet is easy. Use a utility knife to cut it into strips. Then you can easily peel off each strip. The real work is in the glue removal process. 

Step 2: Scrape off the Concrete Adhesive

First, you’d want to scrape off as much concrete adhesive as you can. The best tool for this job is a scraper with extra sharp razor edges. But the scraper can’t work alone so make sure that you buy some elbow grease. 

A lot of people say that the scraper is all they need to scrape off all of the adhesives. Well, that might be possible. But why do extra work when you can do it efficiently, right? 

So, remove what you can and move on to the next step. 

Step 3: Pour Hot Water

A lot of glues tend to get loosened up after it’s in contact with hot water. But at the end of the day, it all depends on the glue and how old it is. So, it’s a 50-50 situation whether it’ll work or not. 

Boiling water is the easiest and most used method as it won’t have any toxins. You can also use it to remove candy stains from carpets. So, boil a big pot of water and start pouring it on the dry glue. 

Even though it’s free you should be extra careful while you pour it. Boiling water can cause severe burns if you somehow splash it on your hands. Wear a pair of rubber gloves for extra protection. 

After pouring it on the ground, wait 10 to 12 minutes for the hot water to do its magic.

Step 4: Scrape Away the Remaining Glue

Now that the glue is softened, it’s time to repeat the scraping process. The process is the same as before. Grab your scraper and start removing the glue. 

Although if you want to make your job easier, you can try using a concrete floor scrub brush. These things do a great job of scrubbing away any kind of glue. You’ll find a lot of options on the internet. 

Step 5: Use Chemical Glue Remover

Until now, we’ve discussed the easy and simple method of removing carpet glue from floors. It’s not uncommon that these methods don’t work for a lot of people. 

At the end of the day, you have to admit that these are basically DIY methods. However, before you apply any glue removers, you should always try out the easy methods. 

While chemical strippers are very good at what they do. But the thing is, they can be quite hazardous to breathe and apply. And the risk increases when you’re working in an enclosed space. 

Moreover, glue removers containing petroleum are flammable. So, if you’re working with floor scrubbing machines, you need to level up your precautions.

That’s why always read the instructions manual to find out how you can use the product. We can try to show you how you can use it but chances are it won’t match with your glue remover brand.

Finally, after you use the glue remover, remember to dispose of the container properly. As we’ve said before these are hazardous products. So, we should try to do what we can to protect the environment, right?

Step 6: Sand the Area

You might wonder why you need to use a sanding machine even though you used a glue remover. You see, glue can get stuck under the concrete floors. Without sanding the floor it’s not possible to remove those.

The best part is it won’t be a problem if you don’t own a floor buffing machine. You’ll find a lot of people who rent out these kinds of machines only for a few bucks. However, make sure to get the sanding disk too.

Now comes how you can do it. First, you should try using aggressive grit. This way you’ll get rid of most of the glue. After that, you can use a finer grit to finish the process. Something in the 300 range should be more than enough. 

However, it’s important that you don’t sand off too much. Sanding the concrete is never a good idea.

Step 7: Use a Heat Gun

Before we start, we should tell you that you have to follow this only if you still haven’t been able to remove the glue. The heat gun will soften the glue, making it easier to remove. 

However, if you don’t have one, you can always opt for an iron. Just make sure to cover the floor with a thin cloth. 


Question: Do I need to carpet glue before installing a laminate floor?

Answer: Yes, you should always remove any kind of carpet glue before installing a laminate floor. While it may seem harmless to install another floor over it. But it’ll start to deteriorate after a few years.

Question: Can I remove carpet glue with paint thinner?

Answer: It’s an unconventional method but yes, you can use paint thinners to remove carpet glue. Just make sure that you use a good scraper.

Question: Will vinegar remove carpet glue?

Answer: Many tutorials on the internet suggest using vinegar for this purpose. But we’d advise you against it.

Before We Go

That’s been it. We hope we showed you everything about how to remove glued on carpet. Removing carpet glue is a painful process. But if you want to install new flooring, it has to be done. 

Good luck!