How to Remove Urethane Glue

Written by barbara stanley
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How to Remove Urethane Glue
Care should be taken to ventilate the vapours of glue or white spirit while working. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Urethane glue, widely used to glue wood and laminate flooring, is sticky and dries to a white crystalline substance. Using a wet throwaway wipe will remove the glue while it is still wet. Once the glue has dried, cured, white spirit are needed for clean-up. Heat from a heat gun--65.6 degrees C. or higher--will loosen the glue enough to pull two glued pieces apart. White spirit are needed to remove dried glue from your skin. Use rubbing alcohol to remove the white spirit from your skin.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Work gloves
  • Old washcloths or throwaway wipes
  • White spirit
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Heat gun
  • Electric belt-sander or sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Wet an old washcloth to remove the unwanted glue as you work, or use water-based throwaway wipes. Clean excess urethane while it is still wet to prevent the need for more involved cleaning after the glue has cured.

  2. 2

    Wet an old washcloth or throwaway wipe with white spirit to remove urethane glue that has cured. It may be necessary to scrape away as much of the dried glue as possible before using the white spirit. Multiple wipes may be needed to completely remove all glue.

  3. 3

    Heat two substances glued with urethane when white spirit will not work alone to weaken the hold. Hold the heat gun about 10 inches away from the surface, moving it back and forth to prevent excess heat in one spot for too long. Check the glued items every two or three minutes to see if the glue has weakened enough to pull them apart.

  4. 4

    Pull apart the two surfaces once the heat has weakened the hold. Use minerals spirits to remove the glue from both surfaces. A sander may be needed to completely remove the glue from some surfaces, such as hardwood floors.

  5. 5

    Remove dried urethane glue from skin with white spirit on a washcloth or wipe . After removing the glue, use rubbing alcohol to remove the white spirit from your skin to prevent a chemical burn.

Tips and warnings

  • "Hardwood Floors" magazine recommends using the white spirit on a scrap piece of board before using it on your finished floor.
  • In lieu of an electric sander, wrap a piece of sandpaper around a small board--just large enough to fit comfortably in your hand. Glue the two ends of sandpaper underneath the board. Allow the glue to dry, then sand the urethane glue residue.
  • Do not use a hand-held blow-dryer to heat the glue for weakening. The temperature does not get hot enough and doing so may cause the motor of your blow-dryer to burn out.
  • Do not use a heat gun to loosen the glue from any skin area.

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