Removing Adhesive Residue on Carpet

An adhesive is a chemical, typically liquid or semi-liquid, that adheres or bonds items together. Adhesives come from either natural or synthetic sources; glue on tape, masking tape, duct tape, etc. and can come in many forms, drying adhesives, pressure sensitive adhesives, contact adhesives, hot adhesives, multi-part adhesives, one-part adhesives, natural adhesives, and synthetic adhesives. If it is used on carpet for whatever reason, maybe as a protector for paint or to do a quick patch-up job on ripped carpet, the residue will remain on the carpet in a matter of days if left to sit. Read on to learn about removing adhesive residue on your carpet.

Cleaning Confetti

Removing an Adhesive

The residue of glue is sticky and can attract dust, dirt or any particulate to the carpet thus creating a new stain. Not to mention the texture can be incredibly annoying. First, it’s important to understand what the chemical makeup of glue is in order to understand how to remove it. Adhesives are primarily a made petroleum-based chemical so the best chemical to use is a petroleum-based product. The most commonly used product is “Goof Off” which can be found at any Home Depot, as well as lighter fluid, De-Solv-It, and rubbing alcohol. If one doesn’t work, simply try another. As with any stain removal technique, you will want to try a test application on a small, inconspicuous spot to be sure it does not damage the color or fibers of your carpet.

  • First, scrape off as much as the adhesive as possible
  • After testing your chosen chemical in a hidden area, apply a small amount of cleaner to the residue, working in sections no bigger than 12 inches
  • Then, while wearing rubber gloves, gently rub the fibers of the carpet to work in the cleaner and loosen up the residue
  • Gently rub the fibers with the soft cloth to remove the residue. Continue working with clean areas of the cloth until the debris is gone
  • Now, move on to the next section, repeating the process
  • When the entire area of the residue is removed, it’s time to remove the cleaning product
  • Wash the area with a mild soap and water mixture. Moisten a soft cloth and gently wipe the area until the cleaner is gone
  • Allow the area to completely dry
  • Then finally, vacuum to restore the fibers to their normal texture

It’s very important to know that when using products designed to break down adhesives, ensure that you only moisten the tops of the fibers. If the product soaks into the carpet backing, it will dissolve the glue that holds the carpet together and causes a much bigger problem.

Removing Craft Glue

If you have children, or you’re a messy scrapbooker, this could be a common problem. Leaving glue on your carpet makes it extremely easy for dirt and debris to cling to the area, especially over time. Also, if you don’t remove the glue right away, it becomes even more difficult to remove, therefore it’s important to find the best solution to get the adhesive off immediately! For this solution, we’ll be using distilled white vinegar, and as always, be sure to test a hidden area to see how your carpet will react to the solution.

  • First, remove any excess adhesive. As much of the glue that you can. Even if it has dried, still attempt to remove residual glue. If the glue is fresh, dab at the spot with a towel to soak up as much of the glue as you can. If the spot has dried, use a damp towel instead, and make sure the water on the towel is warm enough to cause the glue to soften.
  • Next, pour distilled white vinegar into a cloth and wipe the area for at least a minute, adequately wetting the area.
  • Leave the vinegar on the spot for at least 15 minutes. You can also use equal parts water and vinegar if you prefer. However, you may need to leave the mixture overnight. The vinegar should cause the adhesive to start peeling off fairly quickly and easily.
  • Use a wet cloth to remove any adhesive and let the area sit to dry.

An alternative to white vinegar is to use dish soap.

  • Combine approximately one tablespoon of dish soap with one cup of warm water
  • Use a cloth to apply the mixture directly to the residual adhesive
  • Then, gently scrub the spot and be careful not to apply too much pressure, as you don’t want the glue to get pushed deeper into the carpet
  • Lastly, pat the spot dry with another cloth and let it sit

Not many things feel better than walking on a soft, clean, carpet in your home. Sometimes these processes can be tedious unless you have the proper equipment, and if you run into an issue removing adhesive residue on your carpet, don’t hesitate to call. I’m happy to help.

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