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How to Clean Glue Out of Carpet

So you need to know how to clean glue out of carpet . . . First, (let’s just get this out of the way)— no, you probably shouldn’t have been doing craft projects on your carpeted floor. Working on a table is a safer idea (not to mention better for your back), but putting down newspaper or some other protective surface was another viable option. But I’m not here to judge! You slipped up this once (or maybe your roommate did, or your child) and you need to know how to clean glue out of carpet. Sticky, tacky adhesive is a much scarier thing to spill than soda or coffee. How will you ever get up all that stickiness? Will dust cling to that spot forever-after? Will it become a hardened puddle? Not if you clean it up the right way. So let’s get to it, because you don’t have any time to waste! Let’s learn how to clean glue out of carpet.


How to Clean Glue Out of Carpet

When you spill glue (whether it’s Elmer’s, liquid cement, or some other adhesive), you have to act fast. Many glues are quick-drying  but it’s easier to clean up glue if it’s still wet, so you need to get to work straightaway.

#1- Dabbing. Start with a wet paper towel, dabbing it on the wet glue to pick up as much adhesive as possible. You may need to repeat this with multiple paper towels (don’t keep blotting the same paper towel if it’s covered in glue). If the glue is wet and slow-drying, you should be able to pick up most of the glue. Be sure to get down into the fibers after you’ve picked up the glue on the surface. If this isn’t working with water, you can also try dipping the cloth in white vinegar, scrubbing the spot, and blotting.

#2- Pressing. If that didn’t work or if the glue has dried a bit, grab some brown paper (a grocery bag works well) or a thin cloth. You’ll need an iron as well. Place the paper/cloth on the stain and heat up your iron. Use a medium setting and turn off any steaming functions. When the iron is warm, press it onto the paper/cloth. Keep your hand moving and be sure not to touch the iron directly to the carpet. The glue should turn into a liquid from the heat and be absorbed by the paper/cloth. You may need to repeat this multiple times, replacing the paper/cloth as necessary.

#3- Scraping. You could also try scraping off the glue with a knife. This works best if the glue is still wet, but you can also scrape up dried glue.

#4- Cutting. If the knife method isn’t effective and the affected spot is small, use scissors to cut off the carpet fibers covered in glue. Be careful if you try this method, making tiny snips that only cut off the affected areas. You don’t want to end up with an obvious, shorn spot.

Finally, remember that it’s always best to do a test patch beforehand, as some of these methods may harm your carpeting. 


The success of these techniques will vary based on the type of glue spilled. Elmer’s, for example, will be easy to get up because it’s water soluble, but you might have some trouble with liquid cement.

If you can’t get up all the glue, consider contacting a professional carpet cleaning company like First Choice Carpet Cleaning. With our heavy-duty equipment and carpet cleaning expertise, the stain won’t stand a chance.