3 ways to remove glue from concrete

3 ways to remove glue from concrete


Do you have kids who like to play around your concrete floors with glue? Or maybe you are doing renovation and glue has been used for adhering purposes?

There are times for homeowners and workers when you have to remove glue from concrete. A pretty common situation is that it has been used, as previously stated, to adhere something to the floor or wall-like carpet or tiles.

Seeing a floor full of glue might cause a fleeting moment of depression as you might not have a clear idea of how to get rid of it. For these kinds of situations, this guide is here to help you.

Removing glue from concrete

Removing glue from concrete surfaces presents many challenges. When faced with this dilemma, the following methods of how to remove glue from concrete may provide you with some effective solutions.

Remember while browsing these that the easiest way to remove glue from concrete might not be any of these, but a combination of these. Many times, when we work on construction and renovation projects, we have to use a fair bit of imagination to get some jobs done.

For your floor, it might not be convenient to use certain tools at difficult spots. For those, something else might need to be invented. Or you might not be able to use some chemicals or they are not available, so alternatives have to be looked up.

Chemical removers for concrete

The use of nonflammable chemical removers or chemical strippers on concrete surfaces has proven to be effective in helping to remove adhesives on concrete floors.

Chemical removers come in paste, liquid, or spray forms. They can be purchased locally where a home or commercial building products are sold or they can be bought online. When applying your remover, be careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions explicitly to get the results you need.

Chemical removers serve to soften the glue so it can be scraped off using a floor scraper or a putty knife. A floor scraper is much preferred here if you have a whole floor that you need to clean off glue.

A Putty knife would have you on your knees backbend for days. With a good floor scraper that has a sharp edge, you can do the removing on your legs with a straight back putting your whole body weight on the job.

Whichever method you choose, after scraping, the glue can be collected in a bag and thrown away.

Depending on the type of remover you use, the softening process could take anywhere from a half-hour to several hours. Removers that are citrus-based are more environmentally safe to use.

However, they also take much longer to get the job done, which can extend your work considerably.

DIY glue remover for concrete

You can also make your own adhesive remover by mixing denatured alcohol with hydrated lime powder to make a poultice and applying the paste directly on the adhesive covered floor.

Allow sufficient time for the poultice to dry. The poultice changes the texture of the glue to a brittle substance that can be removed by scrubbing with a stiff brush.

Mopping your concrete floor with hot water can also help to soften the old adhesive. You can add a tablespoon of dish detergent to your water and scrub with a floor brush to remove the glue.

The hot soapy water mixture serves to soften the glue so that it comes off when the floor is scrubbed.

If you choose to use this method, you can use boiling water as the hotter the water is, the softer the glue will become. It is cheap so there is no harm in trying

This process is time consuming and requires a lot of physical effort to completely clean the floor of all glue residue.

But in the end you will have a smooth, clean surface to work with in order to refinish your floor.

Good machine to remove glue from concrete is floor grinder

Mechanical removing of glue

Yet another option for how to remove glue from concrete flooring is to utilize a professional grinder and abrasive sandpaper. The grinder can be used to remove large adhesive ridges from the concrete, after which the sandpaper is applied to obtain a soft, smooth surface.

Now there are many kinds of grinders available. Generally, those that are used while standing can be harder to use for beginners, depending on the type a little. It doesn’t take strength, but balance is important for using the machine. If you’re moving it by using strength, you’re doing it wrongly.

The handheld grinders are easier to use, but doing whole apartment floors with them can be a lot of work for your knees and back. It will get the job done, but probably the floor needs to be resurfaced after that.

Also, when grinding your floor, it is better to work small areas at a time to ensure the job gets done right and all glue residues are removed. You also should have a vacuum attached to the grinder to avoid needless dust.

You should clean each area as you finish, by either sweeping or using a construction vacuum to clean glue debris away. The work is tedious and often lengthy, but will eventually culminate in an adhesive-free, smooth floor surface.


There are no short cuts to removing glue from concrete surfaces. You may find it necessary to combine various of the methods mentioned above for how to remove glue from concrete before you are successful in your task.

If there is lots of glue on the floor, a good tactic would be using a chemical remover or DIY remover to get the most off first. After that, use a mechanical grinding tool to get the surface fully clean.

All of this will take time as it’s a process with multiple steps so you need to have some patience. Depending on the resurfacing method and thickness of the layer, a little spots of flat glue inch or two might not matter.

The ground floor should be good for resurfacing after a good vacuuming. Once the job is done, you can refinish the floor the way you like for a more attractive, pleasing appearance.

If you’re interested in more guides, here is one for etching concrete if you would like to do that kind of decoration for your floor. Here is also a guide for polishing concrete as it can be done with resurfacing.