The Best Ways to Remove Glu Adhesive From Wood Floors

wood image by Andrii Oleksiienko from

Various types of adhesives leave a glue residue on wood floors once the label or item is removed from the floor. Wood floors show this gummy residue by attracting dirt, pet hair and clumping up in the area of the adhesive. When removing the adhesive residue, take care not to mar the underlying wood floor.


For natural wood floors, using an oil-based solvent not only removes the sticky gunk but also helps add moisture and shine to your wood. You can use a variety of oil or oil-based items found around your house, including vegetable oil, olive oil, butter, tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil. Apply the oil into a clean rag, and wipe the surface repeatedly to moisten the glue stain. For tough stains dribble the oil over the adhesive residue, and allow it to sit overnight. Allowing oil to sit on a laminate wood floor may break the moisture seal and swell the floorboard, creating more damage. Only use this method with saturate floors that are solid wood.

Cleaning Solvents

Cleaning solvents help to break up the adhesive and destroy the bond it maintains with the wood floor. Nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, kerosene and paint thinner are excellent solvents for removing sticky adhesive residue. Pour some of the solvent into a clean rag, and position it over the glue adhesive, giving it a few minutes to absorb into the glue. Within minutes you can wipe away the glue. As with the oils, don't allow solvents to sit on laminate floors for extended periods, which can saturate the laminate, causing swelling and floor damage.


Some glue residue is resilient to all efforts of oils or solvents. In this case use a scraper in conjunction with one of the softening methods using the oil or solvent. If that still doesn't work, add heat to the glue to further soften the adhesive. Apply heat from a heat gun or a hair dryer. Keep the dryer 6 to 8 inches away from the surface, heating the glue adhesive for a minute. Once it is heated, wipe the glue away with a cloth or scraper. If all else fails, sand the surface to get all residual glue off.

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