Removing Stubborn Urethane Adhesive From Your Hardwood Floors With Ways

If you ever relocated to a new house, manufactured or repaired something yourself, you have likely used urethane adhesive. Nowadays, urethane adhesives are widely used. Due to its versatile nature can be used with glass, plastic, wood, concrete, etc. It provides a strong bond with a less curing period, making it popular for commercial and personal uses.

So, how do you can be removing stubborn urethane adhesive from your hardwood floors? Hardwood floors are a popular choice for house floors. You might choose it for its aesthetic value. On the other hand, urethane adhesive is used in sub-flooring, finishing carpentry, fixing floor carpets, etc., and a bad job can leave strain marks of the glue. It becomes very hard to remove the glue once it is cured.

Removing Stubborn Urethane Adhesive From Your Hardwood Floors With Ways

How To Determine Your Grit Sequence

Urethane adhesive can be a real pain to remove from hardwood floors. That’s why it’s essential to determine the grit sequence before starting. The higher the grit number, the rougher the surface before removing the adhesive. Clearance must always maintain.

Otherwise, damage may occur to flooring or sub-flooring during removal. To clean and prep the surface, use a # 6 or # 8 sandpaper for cleaning and prepping. Then, use a finer grit if needed. And finally, use a solvent (routinely) to remove adhesive residue. Happy hardwood flooring removal!

Ways You Can Remove the Stubborn Urethane Adhesive

Removing stubborn urethane adhesive can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques and tools, it is possible to get rid of it effectively. Remember to always wear protective gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when using solvents or applying heat. If you’re unsure about which method or product is suitable for your specific situation, consult with a professional or seek advice from an adhesive manufacturer. Here are a few methods that you can try:

1. Heat: Applying heat to the adhesive can help soften it, making it easier to remove. You can use a heat gun or a hairdryer on its highest setting to warm up the adhesive. Be careful not to overheat the surface as it might cause damage.

2. Solvents: There are various solvents available in the market specifically designed to break down urethane adhesive. Acetone and isopropyl alcohol are commonly used solvents for this purpose. Apply the solvent to a cloth or sponge and gently rub the adhesive until it starts to dissolve.

3. Razor blade or scraper: If the adhesive has hardened, you may need to physically scrape it off using a razor blade or scraper. Be cautious not to damage the surface underneath while scraping.

4. Soaking: In some cases, soaking the area in warm soapy water for an extended period can help loosen the adhesive. After soaking, gently scrub with a brush or sponge to remove any remaining residue.

Hot Water & Towels:

Hot Water & Towels

Let’s start with the simplest technique; with a towel and hot water. Urethane adhesive has a certain melting point. If you can offer enough heat to the adhesive, the adhesive will melt and can be easily removed. You may complete the process in the following ways:


  • First, 4-5 cups of water are to be taken in a pot. Heat the water to its boiling point.
  • A towel is now to be soaked in the hot boiling water. The towel can be an old or used one.
  • Now, you should place the hot water-soaked towel over the surface area where the adhesive needs to be removed. You should place it there for 3-5 minutes.
  • After the mentioned time, the adhesive would be melted and can be wiped away using the towel.
  • At last, you can use a scraper to remove the remaining stubborn chunks of adhesive.


Make sure you don’t burn your hand while handling the hot towel. Also, while scraping, make sure not to scrape the wood layer.

Heat Gun:

Heat Gun

You may also use a heat gun according to the previously mentioned principle of melting away the adhesive. It is to be completed in the following ways:


  • The heat gun is to be taken as close as possible to the floor with adhesive. Heat is to be supplied in this way until the adhesive is seen to melt.
  • A clean rug or mop is to be used to remove the adhesive.
  • You may use a scraper to remove the remaining chunks of adhesive.

Propane Torch

Propane Torch

It is a torch that uses propane gas as its fuel. It can apply flame or heat. You can use it by applying heat to the surface, loosening the urethane adhesive by melting it. Later, the adhesive may be scraped up by a scraper.

Precaution: Try not to overheat; otherwise, it can burn the wood.

Dry Ice:

Another interesting and unconventional way of removing urethane adhesive is by the aid of dry ice. Dry ice is very cold and can harden and make the adhesive crack. You can use it in the following way:


  • With the help of gloves, a piece of dry ice is to be taken on a metal tray. The metal tray must be big enough to cover the area under operation.
  • The metal tray with the piece of dry ice is to be placed directly on the adhesive.
  • After 1 minute, the adhesive will be hardened enough to scrape off. With the help of a scraper, you should remove the hardened adhesive.


Dry ice is corrosive to the skin, and so you must use gloves and goggles. The method mentioned above can prove ineffective depending on the nature of the hardwood and the used urethane adhesive. In that case, various chemical agents can be used to remove urethane adhesive strain from the hardwood floor, which is described below:

Adhesive Remover:

Adhesive Remover

One can find various adhesive removers in the market. There are also specific removers for urethane. Such as Sentinel 922, Dritac, Roberts 5505, Titebond Adhesive Remover, etc., are few examples. These chemicals are comparatively easy to use compared to other methods of removal. It is used in the following way:


  • First of all, you should soak the surface with the remover either by a mop or by spraying. It should be made sure that all the target area is soaked.
  • It would help if you gave it time to settle. It can be from 10-15 minutes. As a result, the adhesive will become somewhat lost.
  • It would help if you used a mop to scrape the adhesive from the floor. Different parts of the mop should be used in this case; otherwise, the adhesive may overlap and make things messy.
  • A second mop can also be used to dry scrape. The mopping should be repeated until all are removed.
  • You may find that there are chunks of the adhesive still stuck on the floor. In that case, a scraper can be used to remove the hard pieces. At last, the area should be washed with cloth and warm water.

Precaution: Arrangements should be made so that the remover does not enter the gaps between the boards.

The scraper should be carefully used so that the surface underneath does not incur any damage.

Mineral Spirits:

Mineral Spirits

If you are looking for a lower-budget solution, the use of mineral spirits can be perfect for you. It is less costly than other petroleum distillates and more refined than its substitutes like paint thinners, turpentine, etc. You will not face bad odor, voltaic organic compounds.

Mineral spirits will help to lose the adhesive. You can use it to remove adhesive similar to the way of the adhesive remover.


  • Mineral spirits should be poured onto a mop, and the surface area should be wiped with it.
  • The surface area may also be soaked first and then rubbed off with the mop or rug.
  • A clean mop is to be used to remove the spirit.
  • An electric fan may also be used to dry it up as quickly as possible.

Precaution: Precaution should be taken so that the spirit does not soak down into the grain of the wood.

Methylene Chloride

Methylene Chloride, also known as dichloromethane, is a powerful weapon in removing the adhesive. It is mainly used for industrial purposes. Nevertheless, you can use it at your home.


  • A cotton ball or mop may be used.
  • Soaking the mop or cotton in Methyl Chloride should be rubbed on the surface to remove the adhesive.

Precaution: Methylene Chloride is a very volatile and reactive chemical. Precautions such as gloves, goggles, and masks must be taken before using them.


Alike Methylene Chloride, acetone is also a powerful agent and is used in industries for removing adhesive. You may also use it at home because it is highly effective. It is commonly found as nail polish remover.

It is also safer than methylene chloride as it is less volatile and causes very little trouble to the central nervous system upon exposure. Acetone has the capability of breaking down glue and ultimately removing it.


  • Soaking the surface area with acetone, a mop or cotton bud, or a piece of cotton should be used to rinse the place thoroughly.
  • The surface should be later washed with soapy water or rubbed gently with a toothbrush.

Precaution: Acetone is a good exhaust. So, while using it, good ventilation of the room must be ensured.

Denatured Alcohol:

Denatured Alcohol

Denatured alcohol can be used as a substitute for acetone. It is a form of ethanol with added additives to ensure that it is not used for consumption.

It has proved to be a spot and grease cleaner. It can also remove hard surface dirt and strains.


  • Alcohol can be used similar to the way acetone is used.
  • Gently rubbing the surface with adhesive with a cloth soaked with denatured alcohol will do the trick.

Precaution: Direct contact with the skins, eyes, and mouth should be avoided by wearing gloves, masks, and goggles while using. Ventilation should be ensured in the room while using.

Some other means that might work in removing urethane adhesive are given below:

Citrus Stripper:

Citrus Stripper

Citrus Stripper is a powerful latex and oil-based paint, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane remover. It contains no harsh or bad fumes and is very effective. You can get it to work on multiple layers of any surface it keeping it for some time. For this, this is ideal for urethane adhesive. It is to be applied in the following way:


  • After taking the citrus stripper into a container, a paintbrush is used to apply the chemical on the surface.
  • The surface area then should be covered with some plastic and kept like that for 24 hours. This will allow the citrus to reach and work on multiple layers.
  • At last, a scraper is to be used to peel off the adhesive from the hardwood floor.

The scraping should be done in the direction of the wood grain.

Natural Oils:

Natural Oils

As a cheap household solution, natural oils can be used to remove the adhesive. Mayonnaise, lemon juice, peanut, and white vinegar can be used in this case.


  • Use the oils mentioned above one at a time.
  • Allow it to sit for 20 minutes.
  • Use a mop to wipe away the adhesive.

Magic Erasers:

Magic Erasers

Magic erasers can be a useful tool in removing adhesive. If the adhesive is not in a blob form, magic erasers can very well do the job.


  • The product must be first soaked in water.

Then it is to be swiped along with the adhesive glue with firm hands.

Paint Thinner:

Paint Thinner

Though the original purpose of the paint thinner was to remove paints, it can be used to remove the glue. Paints also work as a type of adhesion. Therefore, the paint thinners might as well remove the urethane adhesive.


  • Paint thinner is to be applied with a brush.
  • After taking an appropriate amount of paint thinner, it is applied to the whole surface containing the adhesive thoroughly.
  • Later, the surface can be wiped with a mop.

Precaution: The containers should not be filled up to the brim. Their vapors need room to expand, and an over-full container can potentially burst.

Charcoal Lighter Fluid:

Charcoal Lighter Fluid

Charcoal Lighter Fluid is a form of kerosene that is mainly used in lighting barbecue coal. But, it can also act as an excellent solvent for removing adhesive. It is convenient to use because it evaporates cleanly and leaves no residue. Procedure By soaking it in a towel or simply spraying it over the adhesive followed by strong-handed wiping, the adhesive can be removed.

Precaution: It is highly flammable and so should be kept away from any types of flames.

Adhesive Heat Gun:

Adhesive Heat Gun

An adhesive heat gun is a heat-providing electric tool that is specifically designed to remove adhesives. If the urethane adhesive is not cured or just cured, the adhesive heat gun might do the trick.


  • Working your way on the entire surface with the adhesive, heat is to be applied.
  • By applying heat through it and using a scraper later, the adhesive can be removed.

Precaution: Be sure to check the amount of heat applied.

Wood Deck Removal Machine

Wood Deck Removal Machine

Wood deck removal machine is an electrically fueled palm-held adhesive remover machine. It has proved to be a very effective way of removing thick layers of paints and adhesives.

Such a device will minimize the labor in scraping the adhesive out used in virtually all other methods.


  • It should be run over the required surface.
  • It can take up to 4 rotations to significantly remove the adhesive.
  • Later, a little scraping may be required.

How Do I ‘Water-Pop’ My Hardwood Floor?

How Do I 'Water-Pop' My Hardwood Floor?

Urethane adhesive can be a real pain when it comes to hardwood flooring. Not only is it hard to remove, but it can also be very stubborn. If you’re struggling to get rid of it, don’t worry – there are a few ways to go about it. One of the simplest is to pour a pot of hot water on the floor and insert a flexible tube into the drain opening.

Then, use a household scrubber to clean off any residue on the floorboards. If that doesn’t do the trick, try ‘water-popping.’ This involves running the faucet until the water boils and pouring it over the tube to wet all the adhesive surfaces. Finally, use a hardwood floor cleaner to clean it all off.

We Take Care Of The Equipment You Rent.

We Take Care Of The Equipment You Rent.

There’s no need to suffer when it comes to urethane adhesive on your wood floors – we have the perfect solution. Our team of experts can quickly and easily remove the bond with our equipment, leaving your floors clean and smooth. So no harsh chemicals or scrubbing require – we do it all for you.

Our machine is designed to be gentle on your floors, so you can relax and enjoy your newly clean floor. Don’t wait any longer – call us today and let us take care of the equipment you need for a successful urethane adhesive removal.


You want your hardwood floor to be clear and shiny, but the strain of the urethane adhesive might not just give you that. A little strain can be enough to ruin your hardwood floor. So, use a number of the ways mentioned above if necessary. Removing urethane adhesive can be a painful and stressful job. So, it is better to avoid the spillover or careless use of it in the first place.

I hope now you know how do you can be removing stubborn urethane adhesive from your hardwood floors. Nevertheless, if it occurs, you need to be patient and try different methods to remove the adhesive to get the desired look.


1.What Are The Benefits Of Hardwood Floors?

Ans. Hardwood floors have many benefits, including their durability, attractiveness, and lower noise levels.

2.What Is Urethane Adhesive Removal?

Ans. Urethane adhesive remover is a solvent-based product that removes urethane glue and adhesive residue from various surfaces.

3.What Are The Best Urethane Adhesive Removal Products?

Ans. These products are available at most hardware stores. Sources: 1) “Best Urethane Adhesive Removal Products” – This article wrote by the editors of Consumer Reports and appeared in the October 2010 issue. 2) “Removing Urethane glue residue” – This article was written by a professional cleaning company and appeared in the February 2009 issue of PC World.

4.What Is The Use Of Mineral Spirits?

Ans. Mineral spirits are most commonly used to clean and polish surfaces.

5.What Are The Benefits Of Using This Solvent?

Ans. The benefits of using this solvent include that it is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and economical.

6.What Is Methylene Chloride?

Ans. Methylene chloride is a solvent and an industrial gas. It is also used in the production of plastics, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene.

7.How Hard Is Urethane Adhesive Tso Remove From Hardwood Floor?

Ans. The adhesive t so removed from the hardwood floor can do with a standard adhesive remover such as acetone, ethanol, or denatured alcohol.

8.How Do I Dissolve Urethane Adhesive From A Hardwood Floor?

Ans. Urethane adhesive can dissolve using a solution of sodium hydroxide. The bond is then neutralized with water, and the floor is clean.

9.What Is Acetone?

Ans. Acetone is a solvent that use to remove polish and wax from wood.

Leave a Comment