How to remove glue on wood and hard surfaces

Maybe your loved ones thought putting glue on your wooden floors would stop them slipping around?

A little girl holding a glue stick while doing arts and crafts

They’ve just presented you with their DIY masterpiece to declare their love to you. It’s clearly taken a lot of time, effort, and looking at easy carpentry projects on the internet. It’s perfect.  

Except– you’ve noticed there wasn’t a paint lid stuck to the laminate flooring last night… and the cat hasn’t moved for a suspiciously long time either… 

But that’s ok, because figuring out how to remove glue on wood, tiles and furniture is a breeze. If you need help removing glue traces, take a look at our guide for help on how to remove glue on furniture and flooring of different materials.

Tip

Glue spillages can happen anywhere, so keep a pack of Plenty Handy Packs in high-spill zones to speed up your response time. Plenty Handy Packs let you grab a single sheet at a time with one hand – and the lovely package design will look great in every room.

How to remove glue on furniture

If you need to remove glue on a wooden or melamine cabinet or counter, you’ll need a gentle approach because even seemingly harmless substances such as nail varnish remover can cause damage. But spillages are part of life! So, a good method to try is a paper towel soaked in hot water as described below as it can help to soften and remove glue on a melamine cabinet and other plastic-based surfaces without damaging the surface.  

Before you try any new products, always read the label and follow the care instructions for your wood or hard surface. Always try your product on a discrete area so you can test how it reacts before taking on the whole splat. 

On an untreated wooden surface, it is sometimes safe to use a scraper to remove glue, or even sand off the glue stain. This method isn’t suitable for most wooden furniture however. If you’re looking for how to remove glue on a wooden cabinet or a finished wooden surface, the safest method is to soften the glue using heat: 

  1. Soak a paper towel in hot water.
  2. Hold the wet towel over the dried glue until it warms up and softens. Squeeze out the excess water into a sink or bucket and use the paper towel to wipe off the softened glue.
  3. Stubborn glue? Give the area a gentle scrub with a paper towel and a mix of water and dishwashing liquid.
  4. Dry it off. As soon as you’re satisfied with the glue removal, use a dry, absorbent paper towel to dry the water off the surface. Leaving excess water on wood can cause it to swell and warp its shape; and it’s survived being drenched in glue, it deserves a bit of TLC. 

Tip

Plenty kitchen paper is super strong, even when wet. This makes it perfect for soaking in hot water to loosen glue. You can even wring it out afterwards and use it to scrub off the remaining traces of glue!

How to remove glue from the floors

Has a bit of glue dripped onto the floor from the furniture? Or maybe there’s been another spill?  

No matter! 

You can apply the same hot water method as above to remove glue from wooden floor tiles that have a delicate finish, or other kinds of flooring. 

You might not want to use hot water on certain surfaces though. For example, if you need to remove glue on hardwood floors, you may be concerned about the high-quality wood coming into contact with water. In this case, remove glue from the floor by heating it with an iron instead: 

  1. Cover the dry glue. Place a paper kitchen towel over the dried glue and set the iron to a low to medium heat.
  2. Iron gently. Place the iron over the kitchen towel so that it heats the glue underneath. Avoid moving the iron around as this could spread the glue further.
  3. Keep checking. Lift the iron every few seconds to make sure you don’t burn through the paper and check when the glue has melted.
  4. Check a bit more. Lift the paper towel when the glue has melted, taking some of the glue with it. With a clean paper towel or a clean corner of the same one, remove the glue from the floor as thoroughly as you can.
  5. Get those last bits. For removing glue traces, take out a fresh, dry paper towel and use it to polish off any remaining bits of glue.

If you want to remove glue on tiles that are made of a hardy material like stone, you could use something stronger like nail polish remover or acetone. These are too harsh for use on many surfaces however, especially ones with paint or a gloss finish. If in doubt, play it safe with a gentle heat method! And next time glue goes everywhere, you won’t be stuck for ideas. 


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