If you've purchased an older home, you may have found a hidden treasure: hardwood floors are hidden beneath the wall-to-wall carpet. Removing carpet is a pretty straightforward project; the problems many homeowners encounter are after the carpet has been removed and the hardwood is exposed. One of the most frequent dilemmas is found when the carpet has been installed with double-sided carpet tape, as the tape is designed to outlast the life of the carpet and will seem to be permanently attached to your new hardwood floor.
Using a plastic putty knife and taking care not to gouge or scratch the floor, scrape the top layers of carpet tape off the floor. The residue from the bottom side of the tape will remain on the floor.
Spray a liberal amount of water-displacing spray such as WD-40 onto the adhesive residue, taking care to saturate the adhesive. Avoid allowing the lubricant to flow between the hardwood planks.
Place a paper towel over the adhesive area. This will keep the water-displacing spray concentrated on the work area without evaporation. Allow to stand for 15 minutes.
Using a lint-free cloth and working with a circular motion, rub the area vigorously. The adhesive will come off freely.
Repeat the process until all tape residue has been removed. Clean the area with wood flooring cleaner as recommended by the manufacturer.
Always test a hidden area of the floor before using chemicals on the main area of the floor. If you have a large area to clean, work in 3-foot sections at a time.