How to Remove Adhesive From Ceramic Tile

A simple pattern made from ceramic tile on a floor.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Nail polish remover
Lighter fluid
Paint thinner
Mineral spirits
Protective gloves
Razor blade

If decorative work is being carried out near ceramic tiles, it can be incredibly easy to splash small spots or spill an entire pot of glue over them. Spillage needs to be cleaned up quickly but doing so is relatively simple and only requires a small amount of effort.

Step 1 - Clean the Small Spots

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If there’s just a small spot of glue on the tile, you can use nail polish remover to remove it. Put some of the liquid on a cloth and rub the spot. It will soften the glue and afterwards you should be able to remove it by applying pressure with your thumbnail under the edge of the glue. When you’ve finished, clean the tile with soap and water to remove any last traces.

Step 2 - Clean Up Larger Areas

natural colored ceramic tile floor

Where you have a larger area of glue, you will need to soak a cloth with something that will soften the glue. Lighter fluid, paint thinner, and mineral spirits will all do the job, but don’t mix them together or use them with bare hands. Lay the cloth over the glue and leave for 15 minutes. This will allow ample time for the liquid to work the adhesive.

Remove the cloth and take your razor blade to it. You should either use a single-sided razor blade or a double-sided blade with a holder covering one of the sides. Start scraping the glue off, always working away from you for maximum safety.

Clean the blade often as you work and you should be able to remove most of the glue this way. Soak the cloth again and reapply, leaving it again for a short while before scraping again. Repeat the process several times until you’ve been able to scrape off all of the glue. This process will actually work on most types of adhesive, so keep it in mind for any other spills as well.

Use soap, water, and a clean cloth to clean the entire area that was covered by glue to take away all the last traces of stickiness. If you don’t, dust and lint will stick and the tiles will look ugly in no time at all. When you’re using these liquids with a cloth, keep them away from flames and don’t smoke in the same room as they are very flammable.

Step 3 - Remove Super Glue

tube of super glue

When people are working with super glue, drops sometimes spill by accident. Because of the high strength levels of super glue, you will use a slightly different method of removal. Unless it’s a large area, you should be able to take it all off with just a razor blade once the glue is dry.

Step 4 - Additional Tips

Make sure your cloth is completely soaked in your liquid of choice, as this will help it soak into the glue fully. Don’t try to rush; instead, scrape gently. Luckily, the hard finish on ceramic tiles means that the razor blade won’t scratch them, but you should still take care. Also, you’ll want to have several razor blades on hand to start using a new one as soon as the old one becomes blunt.

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