getting adhesive off oak floor

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Old 02-22-15, 08:36 AM
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getting adhesive off oak floor

About fifty years ago someone glued down 12x12 vinyl squares on my oak floor. I can pull up the squares but the adhesive is thick and still sticky. All I can think of to get rid of the adhesive is solvent or sandpaper. Neither seems like a good idea.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 08:48 AM
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Solvent is the best way to go, but the type you need depends on the finish on the floor and the type of glue you need to remove. I would try a product like Goof Off. That will remove just about anything with ease. They make it in a couple different formulas. The key thing is to test it on the floor finish in an inconspicuous area like a corner first. Just put a drop of it there and wait a few minutes to see if it reacts to the finish and removes it. If it does not soften or damage the finish in any way, you should be good to go. You could also try paint thinner, but again, I would test it first just to be safe.

Sanding would work, but you would end up having to refinish the floor, and you would go through miles of sandpaper because it would be gummed up so fast from the glue. If you are re finishing the floor anyway, it really don't matter too much what the solvent does to the finish.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 09:15 AM
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Sounds like you don't plan to refinish the floors. If you do, the adhesive doesn't matter.

If you plan to just clean the floors, then Keith has the answer. I just wanted to add that the Goof Off or Goo Gone is Citrus Based and might actually be good for the finish. Lemon oil is great for cleaning and renewing furniture.

I would still do a spot test though to see the results and what you're up against.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 09:35 AM
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Brian, I don't know about what they sell in CA, but everywhere else Goof Off is a solvent not citrus. I'm not sure if it's mineral spirits or naptha or what, but it say highly flammable on the can and smells sort of like lighter fluid.

Goo Gone is citrus, but about the only thing I've found it good for is removing paper price tags. Even then, the Goof Off works better if the underlying surface won't be harmed.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 09:43 AM
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Supposedly there are solvents that will remove the glue. There are some that you can pour on glued down carpet and it will release the glue. I just have not ever needed to use it. Google removing carpet adhesive and you will get a ton of hits as it is so prevalent in commercial settings.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 10:36 AM
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Yeah Vic,
I'm wrong. I quoted Goof Off as citrus based and I've never used it. Goo Gone is citrus. I "assumed" it was citrus and you know what assume means.

I know one thing, Naphtha will remove sticky stuff. It's much better than Goo Gone if the surface can handle it.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 10:36 AM
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Ok, I didn't think of oils or citrus, or both. I'm not worried about the finish but I don't want to use something very flammable because I have to breathe it and don't want to burn down the house. It's my kitchen floor which I'll be walking on during the process. I expect to do a small piece at a time too. Several square feet. The floor is about 10x15. I'll check out your suggestions and report back in a few days.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 11:15 AM
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I don't know for sure but since 'goof off' is used to soften/remove dried latex paint I suspect it's alcohol based as denatured alcohol does the same thing.

IMO sanding and refinishing the floor is the best way to go.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 12:02 PM
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As I said, Goof Off comes in a few different formulas, some are quite harsh and toxic, others are water based and non toxic. The one you choose depends on what your are removing and how much time you want to spend doing it.

You can see what they have to offer on their site here.

Goof Off
 
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Old 02-22-15, 03:32 PM
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I didn't realize that goof off had that many products. While everyone recommends it [me included] along with 'oops' for removing dried latex paint, I use denatured alcohol instead because it's one of the thinners/solvents that I always have on hand.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 03:57 PM
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Just to add, don't try using rags initially for such a huge area.... I would pour on or mist the area with the solvent of your choice, then use a stiff putty knife to push/scrape most of the adhesive off. Only when you get most of it removed should you switch to rags.

If you plan to refinish, just use a razor floor scraper.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 10:08 AM
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Tried the Goo Gone Pro-Power today and it does work better than just oil or strong cleaner like Purple Power or similar cleaners. The Goo Gone even cleaned the scraper I used so the adhesive didn't stick to it. Someone suggested mineral spirits but a quart was $8. A gallon was about $15. Jeez, gasoline is down to about $2 so I can't see spending so much on turpentine or mineral spirits. That stuff used to be so cheap you could take a bath in it. Anyway, I'll have to develop the correct technique but I think the Goo Gone will be the help I need. Thanks!
 
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