How To Remove Glue From Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a great option for a lot of homeowners. It is easy to clean, durable, and attractive. However, leftover glue from the installation can damage the appearance. Removing the glue without damaging the flooring isn’t hard, but you have to know how to remove glue from vinyl flooring correctly.

The best way to remove glue from vinyl flooring is to use acetone to loosen the glue and scrape it away. Spray the acetone directly onto the glue and wait a few minutes for it to dissolve the bond. Then, push the glue away horizontally with a scraper.

In this article, you will learn step-by-step instructions to remove glue from vinyl flooring. You will also discover how the type of glue affects the way you remove it, how long it takes for the glue to dry, how to clean vinyl flooring after removing glue, and some of the products that you may want to keep in mind.

How To Remove Glue From Vinyl Flooring

How to Remove Glue from Vinyl Flooring

Glue can be an eyesore on vinyl flooring, but you likely have some on the surface after a vinyl floor installation. This is not a big deal as long as you know how to remove the glue from the flooring. Properly removing excess glue will eliminate those blemishes on your new, stylish flooring and won’t damage the vinyl.

Before you start, make sure that you have the proper tools that you will need:

  • Acetone (Nail Polish Remover)
  • Spray Bottle
  • Scraper or Putty Knife
  • Rag or Sponge
  • Gloves (Optional)
  • Mask (Optional)

Now that you know everything you need, it is time to begin.

1. Put on your gloves. This will protect the skin from irritation caused by acetone or glue. If you are not removing glue in a well-ventilated area, then it is also a good idea to wear a protective face covering or mask.

2. Put the acetone into the squirt bottle to make it easier to apply it directly to the glue. Using a squirt bottle makes it much easier to control the application of the acetone. If you do not have a squirt bottle, you can make your own by poking a couple of small holes in the cap of a regular plastic water bottle.

While we recommend acetone because it is the most effective household product for removing glue, you can also try vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or degreasing soap if you do not have acetone nail polish at home. These substances are better for gentle cleaning but can remove glue in some situations. There are also store-bought products for removing glue from vinyl flooring, like Goo Gone.

3. Before spraying the acetone onto your floor, you should test it in a place where it will not be visible. This will ensure that it will not change the color of the floor or cause any damage. After testing, you can spray the acetone directly onto the glue to loosen the bond between the flooring and the glue.

For corners or other compact or hard-to-access places in the room, you can also put the acetone on a rag or cloth to apply to the glue without getting acetone on the walls. After applying the acetone, you will have to wait a few minutes for it to loosen the glue enough.

4. After the glue is thoroughly loosened, you can work on removing it. Use the scraper to scrape the glue to the side without applying pressure on the floor. The motion should be parallel to the floor to force the glue away from its original position. If the glue is very thick, you may have to repeat this step to remove it all.

5. After removing all the glue, you will need to use a sponge or rag to clean away any particles and residue that may be lingering. This will also wash away any acetone that remains on your vinyl flooring.

Now that you know how to remove glue from your vinyl flooring, it is a good idea to look at other factors that may alter these steps.

Fresh Glue

If you can remove the glue while it is fresh, you avoid doing more work once it dries. You can also do it easily while you continue to install the vinyl flooring. Just make sure that you keep an eye on your work and where glue seeps to the surface or drips onto the flooring.

Use a dampened cloth or sponge to wipe and clean away the glue. If there is too much glue to wipe completely away with a cloth, you may have to push the glue using the rag or sponge onto a scraper. This will help you lift the excessive amounts away so that only a small amount remains to be cleaned easily.

Floor Seams

The seams of the flooring are the most likely place for the glue to squeeze away onto the surface. This is also a concern for flooring projects that last more than a day because there may be glue on the subfloor beyond the installed vinyl.

To remove this glue, you need a wooden board with a straight edge. This will flatten excessive glue that may protrude from the seam. Then, it will be laid into the seam and evened out so that it is no longer noticeable. You should not see any more glue in the crevice than with the other seams around the room.

Doing this while the glue is still wet can save you more work the next day when it dries. If your project takes more than a day, make sure you get rid of excess glue so that you do not have to go through the process of removing it when it is dried the next day.

Dried Glue

Once the glue is dried, it will be more difficult to remove. You will have to use a solvent solution to loosen it up before scraping it away (as described earlier). There are some other considerations to keep in mind as well.

Vinyl glue will usually dry transparent and come up without breaking. If this glue is thick enough, you may be able to peel it off as a single piece using a scraper or putty knife without using acetone. If this is the case, you just have to use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe away any remaining traces left on the floor.

Solvent glue or cement can also leave a residue. You should remove some of it without a solvent, but there may be marks of the remaining adhesive. You can use a paintbrush with the acetone to apply it evenly to properly loosen the glue for very thin portions. This will also work with glue that has been there for a long time before being removed and cleaned.

What are the Different Types of Glue for Vinyl Flooring?

There are different types of glue and knowing the type of glue to use on your flooring can be helpful. It can also help you decide the best course of action for removing any that spills over onto the surface of your brand new flooring.


This type does not have volatile chemicals that can be noxious and environmentally damaging. This is good for poorly ventilated areas of your home. Not only that, but they are generally easier to clean than other types, even when dry. The adhesive qualities can work well but are more likely to weaken when there is moisture, especially with spilled beverages or heavy mopping.


Polyurethane glues are also used for vinyl flooring and are strong and durable. They use isocyanate dissolved in a solvent. These are most commonly used for large areas of vinyl flooring but are even more popular with wooden floors.


Acrylic-based glues bond very well with vinyl floors. Not only that, but they don’t have any more volatile chemicals than most polyurethane types and will not weaken with moisture or temperature changes like water-based products. They do cost more than other adhesive cement and paste.

How Long Does Vinyl Glue Take to Dry?

As you install your vinyl flooring, some glue will likely spill over onto the surface. Knowing how long you have before the glue dries can be helpful, so you know when you need to go back to remove it to avoid it drying and becoming more of a pain. While you will want to check the recommendations on the specific glue product you choose, there are some general times that you can use.

Typically, good-quality flooring adhesives will take around 24 hours to dry but can take up to 48 hours to fully cure. Some polyurethane glues may dry a little faster than other types. However, the drying time will also be changed by the humidity and temperature in the room or rooms of installation.

The longer you wait to remove the glue, the more the glue will dry and the harder it will be to clean it off. Try to avoid leaving the glue overnight and it will be easiest if you can wipe it away immediately. Even after a short period of 6 to 8 hours, you may find that it is already much harder to remove the glue than it would be if you wiped it away immediately.

Will Acetone Damage Vinyl Flooring?

Acetone has the potential to damage vinyl flooring and you should always look for the type of vinyl flooring and manufacturer recommendations before using acetone to remove the glue. You should also test the acetone on a small out-of-the-way location of the floor first.

Acetone evaporates so rapidly that it is unlikely to do much damage to the floor. Just make sure not to leave it on the flooring for any longer than you have to because it can stain the vinyl or even dissolve the vinyl base. Still, many vinyl floors can withstand a small amount for a short period.

Can You Use Goo Gone on Laminate Flooring?

You can effectively use Goo Gone on laminate and vinyl flooring. It should not damage the surface and might be good for removing excessive glue marks. However, the brand only recommends using Goo Gone for hard vinyl. If you use soft vinyl flooring, then it is best to avoid using this product.

How to Get Superglue off Vinyl Floor

Super glue is not so easy to remove because it is meant to be a permanent adhesive. Still, there is a way to get super glue off your vinyl flooring.

The first thing you should do to remove the superglue is put an ice cube over the affected area. This freezes the superglue and when it freezes, it contracts and shrinks. In some cases, this will break the bond to the vinyl.

Next, you can use a scraper or razor to chip off the larger pieces of super glue. Just make sure that you do not chip into the vinyl flooring (or your finger). Only do this to remove the upper layers of the superglue and not to scrape against the flooring itself.

Now, you can use sandpaper to remove the remainder of the super glue. Make sure to use fine-grit sandpaper and avoid applying too much pressure. You will want to choose sandpaper with a grit of at least 320, but higher grit is less likely to scratch the flooring. With soft vinyl, you want to move the fine-grit sandpaper in a small circular motion. For hard vinyl, you can apply a little more pressure.

This should remove the rest of the super glue. Then, you will just have to clean the area. If you accidentally sand some of the flooring, polish products can touch it up enough so that the impact is not noticeable.

How to Clean Vinyl Flooring

How to Clean Vinyl Flooring

After you remove the glue from your new flooring, you will still have to clean the area as well as the rest of the floor. There may be remnants of adhesive that appear as a stain or discoloration. It is best to clean the floor as soon as the excess glue is removed.

The first step to cleaning the flooring is to remove any dirt and other debris from the surface of the vinyl. Use a vacuum or broom to remove all the loose materials. Make sure to remove it all to not mix with the cleaning solution you use in the next step.

Fill a container with warm water and mix 2 to 3 drops of dishwashing detergent. Never use harsh cleanings like ammonia or scouring powders that can damage the vinyl. You can use a degreasing option though, especially in the kitchen. If you choose a product, be sure to read the label to ensure it is safe for your floors.

If mopping with the solution does not remove all the glue stains, there are some steps you can take to do so. For water-based glue, you can use a paste made out of water and baking soda to scrub the stains away. For other types or tougher glue stains, you can use a microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol.

How to Keep Vinyl Flooring in Good Condition

To keep the vinyl flooring in good condition, you have to make sure you take proper care of it. There are some things you can do to make your floor last longer and stay attractive and functional.

First, make sure that you clean the floor often. When doing so, do not use abrasive materials or corrosive chemicals. You can also throw a rug at each entryway to prevent excessive dirt and other debris from ever touching the vinyl floor surface.

Second, a lot of homeowners have issues with damage like scratches or dents caused by heavy furniture. Try using soft feet or placing rugs under furniture to avoid this type of problem. You should also remove any caster wheels because they can end up scraping or scratching the flooring as well.

Finally, never use too much water or liquids on the flooring. When water makes its way into the seams and vinyl flooring connections, it can deteriorate the glue and weaken the bond. Instead, only use a damp mop that does not push excessive amounts of water into the seams.

Best Products for Removing Glue from Vinyl Flooring

Bostik Adhesive Remover

Bostik- Best Ultimate Adhesive Remover 32 oz.While this product is designed for hardwood floors, Bostik Best Ultimate Adhesive Remover also works well with many different vinyl flooring products.

It works best with polyurethane adhesives and does not need to be mixed or diluted before use.

This product is also reasonably priced and goes a long way.

Goo Gone Adhesive Remover Spray Gel

You can’t go wrong with Goo Gone and it is safe to use with most vinyl flooring. This Goo Gone Adhesive Remover works best with smaller amounts of glue but is strong and effective. Plus, it even comes with 2 bottles and a sticker remover for an affordable price.


Many homeowners love vinyl flooring because it can be attractive, easy to install, and affordable. However, dried glue stains can impact the aesthetic and make the room look tacky (pun intended), so it is a good idea to know how to remove glue before starting your vinyl flooring project.

Written By: Yevgen

YevgenI'm a DIY nut, and the founder and chief editor here at Weekend Builds.
This site is a result of my DIY passion, and to share the joys I have experienced fixing, building, and creating things over the years.

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