How to Remove Tile Adhesive From Walls

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to Remove Tile Adhesive From Walls
Adhesive is always much easier going on than coming off. (carpet installation image by Greg Pickens from

New tile in your kitchen or bathroom can really brighten up the room's appearance. If you've finished taking down your old tile and now face the tile adhesive that's all over your walls, don't worry. Using supplies from the local hardware store, you'll be able to remove the tile adhesive from your walls and be ready to put up new tile.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Work gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Razor blade
  • Liquid fabric softener
  • Old cleaning towels
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Sponge

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Wear work gloves and safety goggles for this project. Keep them on at all times, as hard adhesive pieces can get in your eyes or cut your skin as they fly about.

    How to Remove Tile Adhesive From Walls
    Safety goggles protect your eyes. (safety at work image by Paula Gent from
  2. 2

    Chisel large chunks of tile adhesive off the walls. Place the chisel at the edge of the piece of adhesive, holding it at about a 15 degree angle. Use your hammer to gently tap at the end of the chisel to pry off the adhesive. Give a few taps until the tile adhesive becomes loose enough to fall off or be scraped off with the end of the chisel.

    How to Remove Tile Adhesive From Walls
    A chisel and hammer help to loosen large chunks. (cold chisel image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from
  3. 3

    Scrape off smaller bits of tile adhesive using a sharp razor blade. If you can't scrape the adhesive off after a few tries, use the chisel and hammer for that piece.

    How to Remove Tile Adhesive From Walls
    Always be careful with razor blades. (razor blade image by jimcox40 from
  4. 4

    Apply undiluted fabric softener to the walls using an old but clean towel. The fabric softener will break down any remaining adhesive. Fabric softener is free of the harsh chemicals found in adhesive removers.

  5. 5

    Fill a bucket with plain, warm water and use a sponge to wipe down the walls. This will remove the fabric softener as well as any last trace of adhesive.

    How to Remove Tile Adhesive From Walls
    Sponges are handy for most cleaning jobs. (sponge image by Leonid Nyshko from

Tips and warnings

  • Lay plastic dust sheets on your floor and over kitchen counters or bathtubs to make cleaning up easier.
  • Wear old clothing while removing tile adhesive and always wear safety goggles.

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