how to remove carpet glue from wood flooring

Old 10-16-08, 09:18 AM
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how to remove carpet glue from wood flooring

pulled up carpet and pad on house just bought and there is nice oak flooring underneath. tried mopping with murphys soap to get the glue off of wood (in a swirly applied pattern) but no luck.
does anyone have any suggestions on how to remove the glue without ruining the finish of the oak flooring? thanks in advance
Old 11-25-08, 01:00 AM
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One lady said household ammonia worked for her, possibly because the floor was well waxed.

The best sounding tip I have read for removing carpet adhesive without damaging wood floor is to use dry ice. Here is the info I copied (sorry didn't copy the url):

"Swiss Rogue
 Posted document.write(''+ myTimeZone('Mon, 14 Nov 2005 09:37:31 GMT-0800', '14 November 2005 09:37 AM')+'');14 November 2005 09:37 AM 14 November 2005 09:37 AM Hide Post

If it's not too late for yet another "hot tip" to try -- how 'bout this one?

I've had numerous occasions to remove glued carpet, hardwood, etc. from concrete. I even own a "chipper" to help me with such tasks. A chipper is an electric device fitted with a removable/replaceable blade (razor sharp) that can prove quite helpful clearing concrete from glued down carpet, hardwood, vinyl, etc. You might make a round of calls to your local rental yards to see if they have such a device on rental.

Now, how 'bout a COOL TIP as well?

If you're stuck (sorry 'bout that -- I couldn't resist) trying to remove glued down carpet, vinyl, hardwood parquet or other material from hardwood flooring that you hope to refinish later, you may need to take a different tact with the removal methods you employ.

Heat guns can melt the glue and drive it between boards or even into the wood grain as can solvents which may also discolor the surface of the hardwood so deeply that sanding will not remove it all. In many cases, at least from my own experience, the cure an be worse than the disease. The chipper I spoke of earlier can help here as well but will often do more damage than you may at first realize. When the removal's all done you can find out way too late that you've totally ruined the hardwood you hoped to save underneath.

Try DRY ICE. It's amazing what it can do. You should probably call around first to locate a good (inexpensive) supplier for dry ice. Although it's available from many grocery stores in small quantities (great for keeping your frozen foods frozen when the electricity goes on the blink), it's better to buy it from the actual manufacturers (ice makers) if you have one in your town.

You have to be very careful handling dry ice -- it's extremely cold. Wear gloves or other protective covering. DO NOT LET IT TOUCH YOUR BARE SKIN. IT WILL FREEZE BURN BARE SKIN TO THE TOUCH.

The nice thing about dry ice is that when it melts it's gone. It leaves no residue. Unlike nomal ice that leaves water in it's path, dry ice evaporates into thin air (well, foggy air anyway). Dry ice is what they use in the theatre when they need to create the illusion of "smoke". Meanwhile dry ice will freeze the old glue, vinyl, etc. almost instantly allowing you to chip up pieces much more easily than not.

I typically use a medium-sized chunk (1/4 to 1/2 pound at a time) keeping the remainder in my freezer or in a special insulated box (styrofoam 2 - 4 inches thick). Be forewarned: It will continue to melt in the freezer and it will freezer burn items it lays against unless insulated by a packaging material (e.g. styrofoam -- it's cheap, easy to find and works very well).

I place the 1/4 to 1/2 pound piece in an old metal tray. One with handles at both ends. I set the tray and ice on top of the area I want to chip away next. After a few minutes time, the area directly underneath and around the tray becomes VERY BRITTLE and much easier to remove. Meanwhile, I move the tray and ice to ready another area while I chip away at the first spot.

Depending on the size of the floor I need to clean, I'll go through 5 to 10 pounds of dry ice per day. You don't need it everywhere. It's just nice to have handy. Anything helps to make a hard just a little easier.

Hope this helps."
Old 11-26-08, 06:03 AM
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Usually mineral Spirits will do it, unless it is real old and crystalized glue, then a scraping or sanding will be the only other alternative.

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