Concrete solutions

Removing glue from concrete floors, surfaces and more

Working with concrete surfaces? It’s always handy to have some tricks up your sleeve in case some adhesive goes astray. Read our how-to guide on removing glue from concrete both before and after it cures with common household and DIY products.

How to remove adhesive from concrete before it cures

Even the most careful, experienced DIYers can slip up and end up with glue in unwanted places. If that happens, you should try to get the glue off the concrete as soon as possible – before it sets. Here’s how:

  1. Select a well-ventilated area to work in and put on some protective gloves.
  2. Read the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions to check whether acetone or mineral spirits is best to get the glue off the concrete.
  3. Apply a small amount of acetone or mineral spirits to a rag and briefly soak the affected area.
  4. Wipe it off.
  5. Wash your hands.

When trying to remove glue from a large surface area, try working on smaller patches one at a time. This way the solvent is less likely to dry on the glue before you wipe it clean – saving you time and product.

How to remove glue residue from concrete after it cures

Good news! Depending on the kind of glue you’ve used, you might only need to sand or scrape the glue away – even if it’s already cured. Mastic, for example, tends to come off with a little hot water and some light scraping.

However, if you need to remove stronger adhesives from concrete such as flooring adhesive, vinyl adhesive or laminate glue, a stronger solvent like acetone, paint stripper or mineral spirits may be required. You’ll need to check the adhesive’s manufacturer’s instructions – once you know which solvent is compatible, here’s what to do:

  1. Select a well-ventilated area to work in and put on some protective gloves and goggles.
  2. Scrape or sand the dried adhesive with a hand scraper or sandpaper. For tougher adhesives, you might need a power scraper.
  3. Sweep up and dispose of the residue.
  4. Wearing your protective gear, test the solvent on a small patch to check if it’s compatible.
  5. Apply a small amount of solvent to a rag and soak the affected area for a few minutes until the adhesive softens.
  6. Scrape or wipe off the softened adhesive.

Attention: Concrete surfaces are porous in nature, so unless the concrete surface has been sealed some glue residue may remain.

Preventing the need to remove glue from concrete

Now you know how to get glue off concrete – including how to remove vinyl glue, laminate and more. But what’s better than preventing unwanted residue in the first place? Before you start your next DIY project, have a look at Pattex’s great range of construction adhesives and choose the right glue to get the job done right.

If you need an adhesive that’s tough as nails, try Pattex’s Nail Power Total: the paste-like adhesive has a strong initial grab and won’t slump on vertical surfaces, making it less likely to drip onto concrete floors. Plus, it’s paintable and weatherproof, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor jobs.