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How to Get Glue Out of Carpet

A small puddle of spilled glue from the bottle.

Getting glue out of carpet can be as tricky as it is sticky. But, fortunately, with quick action and a little patience, you have a great chance of vanquishing that pesky glue stain once and for all. Read on to learn how.

I stayed up until midnight to finish my primarypiece: A beautiful collage gluing magazine photos to a large poster board. Surely this would earn me an A+ on my 7th grade science assignment.

It was creative, beautiful, and immaculate.

Its smooth appearance was in large part thanks to Elmer’s Rubber Cement, which allowed me to glue the images without leaving a wrinkled appearance as they dried.

I moved the collage and my art supplies from my bed to the floor, crawling beneath the covers for a much-needed sleep. All was well – or so I thought.

When I woke in the morning, I found, to my horror, that I was unable to run a brush through my hair. Unbeknownst to me, a large glob of that miracle-working Rubber Cement had spilled onto my pillow, where my head had rested on it all night long.

It was a tangled ball of gluey mess, and it remained that way for an entire week until my mom had time to take me to the hair salon for a professional to tackle the tangles.

As helpful as these products are, unfortunately, liquid adhesives such as glue and Rubber Cement, can be a real challenge when they come into contact with clothing, carpet, or, in my case, hair.

If you’ve spilled glue on your carpet, you know exactly what I mean.

It’s tempting just to reach for the nearest pair of scissors and cut the glue out of your carpet in frustration, just as I wanted to just lob off the blob of rubber cement in my hair.

But as easy of a solution as that might be, it’s not a desirable one, as it will leave your carpet looking blotchy and damaged, and, fortunately, it’s not necessary, either.

Getting glue out of carpet can be as tricky as it is sticky. But, fortunately, with quick action and a little patience, you have a great chance of vanquishing that pesky glue stain once and for all.

How to get water-based glue out of carpet

Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue and Finish for Paper (8-Ounce), CS11236 Matte Finish
Click image for more info

One of the more common glue stains is water-based glue, which your child might use for her school craft projects.

But just because this type of glue is common and used by children doesn’t mean it’s going to be child’s play to remove.

The key to removing water-based glue from carpet is to act quickly. As soon as the glue spills to the floor, or as soon as you notice it, it’s time to respond.

You’ll want to be careful with glue, as if you press or rub the spot too hard, it will just press the glue deeper into your carpet’s fibers, making it much more difficult to get out.

Take a paper towel and gently set it on the wet glue. Very gently, wipe up as much of the glue as you can without pressing more into the carpet.

After each wipe, shift to use a new, dry area of the paper towel, as using the same area over and over will only wipe the glue back into your carpet or spread it across a larger surface area.

This should help to remove a significant amount of the glue from the scene of the spill, making the job of removing the rest of the stain much easier.

Some may find that the use of a dull, flat object, such as a butter knife or a nail file, may also prove helpful for gently scraping away some of the wet glue without causing damage to the carpet or pushing the glue deeper in.

But what about the remaining glue? It’s unlikely that gently wiping up the wet glue will prove sufficient to wipe it up entirely.

For the remaining glue, you have two potential options.

First, try white vinegar.

Pour a little white vinegar onto a paper towel or a soft cloth and gently dab it onto the affected area of carpet, taking care not to press the glue into your carpet more deeply.

After you have sufficiently covered the space with white vinegar, allow it to set for 20 minutes. This will help to dry up and loosen the glue from your carpet.

Then, after the vinegar has had sufficient time to set into the stain, use cold water and dab the area until the stain, and the rest of the vinegar, have been removed.

You can also use a diluted vinegar solution using one part vinegar and one part water and allow it to set longer, even overnight. Perform the same procedure to dab and remove the stain and clean the remaining vinegar from your carpet.

If the vinegar option does not work to completely remove the stain, or if you would prefer to try another, less pungent option to begin with, then use of liquid dish detergent can also work quite well.

Apply a drop or two of liquid dish detergent to a wet paper towel and gently dab it into the glue stain, gently pressing it onto the stain, working to loosen the stain from your carpet and wiping up the remainder of the stain.

You can then rinse the area with cold water and gently press a soft sponge or cloth into the carpet to remove the remainder of the dish soap from your carpet. You want to make sure you remove all of the detergent, as this could leave your carpet looking clumpy and may also collect dirt and bacteria over time.

How to get dried Elmer’s Glue out of carpet

Elmers Washable No-Run School Glue, 4 oz, 1 Bottle (E304) - Pack of 2
Click image for more info

If you’re facing a dried Elmer’s Glue or other water-based glue stain in your carpet, the situation gets a bit trickier, but it’s still not impossible to remove.

Begin by taking a butter knife or other similar object and scraping at the dried glue to remove as much of it as possible before applying any additional treatment. You can pick up the loosened glue flakes by hand or use a paper towel or tissue to grip them.

As you remove them, be careful not to press them back down into the carpet.

Once you have scraped away as much of the dried glue as possible, you’re going to need to moisten the area so that the glue becomes liquid again.

Take a soft sponge or cloth, soak it in warm water, and apply to the spot of the stain using a gently dabbing motion, again, taking care not to press the glue further down.

This will succeed in re-hydrating the glue and positioning it better for removal.

You can then attempt either the white vinegar or dish detergent method discussed above to remove the remainder of the glue from your carpet.

How to get glitter glue out of carpet

Multi-colored striped of glittered glue.

Glitter and glue – a messy combination, for sure. And with this product being designed primarily with use by kids in mind, it’s almost certain a spill is imminent.

As a result, it’s important to know just how to remove such a stain when it occurs.

Because glitter glue is usually designed for use by children, it tends to be water-based.

If your glitter glue is water-based, then it can be removed using the dish detergent technique discussed above.

If the glue is still wet, attempt to gently absorb it using a dry paper towel, taking care not to press or rub, as this embeds the glue into the carpet even deeper.

Once you have absorbed as much of the wet glue as possible, take a small amount of dish detergent and apply it to the affected area and press with a wet cloth or sponge until the stain is completely gone.

You can then use cold water to wipe up the remainder of the dish detergent.

How to get hot glue out of carpet

A close look at the hot glue gun with glue at the tip.

All crafters know hot glue is a real mess to work with, and the thought of getting it in your carpet is a nightmare.

If you’re dealing with a hot glue spot on your carpet, then your method for removing this stain will differ from the approach you might use with a water-based glue.

Unlike water based glue, which you may be able to gently dab while it is still wet, you want to avoid this approach with hot glue.

Not only could the hot glue burn you, but wiping at hot glue will only cause it to become even more embedded into the fibers of your carpet.

Instead, you are going to want to remove this glue only once it has hardened.

To speed the process along, rather than waiting for the glue to dry into your carpet, you can fill a small plastic or sandwich bag with ice and set it on the affected area, allowing the glue to sufficiently harden.

Once it has hardened, remove the ice and take a flat object, such as a butter knife, plastic nail file, or similar tool and begin scraping gently at the hardened glue. It should begin to flake and become loosened from your carpet fibers.

You may even be able to break off some of the pieces using your fingers.

Pick up the pieces or flakes using your fingers and discard.

Alternatively, if this approach does not succeed in removing all of the glue, or if you would prefer to start with a different approach, you can use heat to remove hot glue from carpet, as well.

Start by taking a sheet of scrap fabric and gently setting it over the affected area where the glue has spilled.

Gently press an iron, using a medium heat setting, onto the fabric. Avoid rubbing the iron over the fabric, as this will only cause the glue to rub more deeply into your carpet.

As with ironing clothing, be careful not to leave the iron setting on the spot for too long to avoid burning or catching the fabric or carpet on fire.

Allow the iron to sit a few moments as you monitor the glue to see if it has become liquid again. Keep in mind that the iron, fabric, and glue will all be quite hot, so you should take care to avoid burning yourself.

This process should allow the glue to transfer from your carpet and onto the fabric. You may need to repeat the process using several different scraps of fabric, but always take care not leave the iron on the fabric for too long.

Once the glue has transferred to the fabric, gently remove the fabric from the carpet.

If hot glue remains in your carpet after attempting this procedure, you can either repeat it until the glue is sufficiently removed or you can try the freezing method instead and scrape away the hardened remainder of the glue.

How to get Gorilla Glue out of carpet

A bottle of Gorilla Glue on a white background.

If you find yourself facing a spill of Gorilla Glue in your carpet, the removal process may be more challenging. This product is polyurethane-based, which makes it great at doing its job as an adhesive, but it can make it quite challenging to remove from a surface like carpet.

Add to that, it is heat, cold, and water-resistant, which makes it nearly impossible to remove.

To remove this product, use of acetone, such as nail polish remover, can be effective, but this can be damaging to your carpet. As a result, it’s recommended to try other methods.

If you drop Gorilla Glue onto your carpet, move quickly and attempt to soak up the liquid with a damp cloth before it is able to dry around your carpet’s fibers.

If glue remains in the carpet after you attempt to soak it up, allow it to harden. Then, once hardened, rub over the area with sandpaper, working to loosen the hardened glue.

You can then take your vacuum cleaner and clean up the loosened glue.

If any glue remains in your carpet, it may be time to take a chance using isopropyl alcohol.

It’s important to take precautions when using isopropyl alcohol to remove a stain on your carpet.

This product can cause damage to your carpet and may discolor it, so it’s best to test it on a hidden spot of your carpet before applying it to the area of the stain.

If the alcohol penetrates too deeply into your carpet, it can destroy the adhesive keeping your carpet attached to the floor.

You will also want to use it sparingly and act quickly to clean the remainder of it from your carpet once you have succeeded in removing the stain.

Dab a little isopropyl alcohol onto a damp cloth, dabbing gently at the spot of the stain, applying more alcohol as needed, so long as the stain remains.

Once the stain is removed, apply cold water to a soft cloth and remove the remainder of the alcohol from the carpet.

Please note that this method may cause damage to your carpet, so it is important to always test your carpet before use. It may also be inappropriate for use at all on some types of carpet.

How to get wood glue out of carpet

Wood glue is designed to be highly adhesive, and as a result, may be quite difficult to remove from your carpet.

One option to remove it, however, can be through the use of white vinegar. This time, however, you’re going to want that vinegar to be warm.

Start by heating one cup of white vinegar on the stove and then pour it into a spray bottle. Apply the warm substance to the spot where your wood glue has become embedded into your carpet.

Allow the solution to set onto your carpet for 30 minutes or more. This will allow the vinegar time to go to work on this difficult adhesive, working to remove its grip on your carpet’s fibers.

Once the vinegar has had time to soak into the stain sufficiently, use a soft, damp cloth to blot at the stain, taking care not to rub or scrub, as this can push the glue deeper into your carpet.

If any wood glue stain removes, you can attempt to clean the area using a small amount of dish detergent and water, taking care again to only dab or blot the spot, never to rub.

How to get Elmer’s Rubber Cement out of carpet

Elmer's Rubber Cement Adhesive, 4 oz, Pack of 3 (E904)
Click image for more info

This product can be quite effective when producing an art project, but when it comes into contact with your carpet, its presence is less than welcomed.

When it comes to getting Elmer’s Rubber Cement Adhesive out of your carpet, it may pose a challenge, and there are a few methods you can attempt that may prove effective at removing the glue and absorbing the stain.

The first step to removing Rubber Cement is to attempt to prevent as much of the liquid from absorbing into your carpet as possible. You can take a paper towel as soon as the spill occurs and place it onto the liquid, attempting to absorb as much of it as possible before it has a chance to absorb into your carpet.

If the Rubber Cement is dry, or if you would prefer to wait for it to dry, you can attempt to remove as much of the product as possible by using a butter knife or other dull tool effective for scraping to break away as much of the product from your carpet as possible.

Take care not to use a sharp object or to scrape too hard, as this could damage your carpet.

Once you have removed as much of the product as possible through blotting and scraping, you have a few options for absorbing the rest of the product and treating the stain.

The first method includes the application of a non-flammable dry cleaning product to the affected area of carpet. Apply the solution to a soft cloth or sponge and then gently blot the product into the stain.

Allow it to sit for several minutes, as it works to loosen and lift the stain.

Then, use a damp cloth to blot at the stain and remove. If the stain is not fully removed, you can repeat the application of the dry-cleaning solution as necessary for removal.

If the stain still remains, you can attempt to use a dish detergent to treat the stain additionally.

Apply a small amount of non-bleach dish detergent to the area and then blot with a wet cloth, repeating the process until the stain has lifted.

Some may suggest applying rubbing alcohol to the stain, although this does carry some risk to your carpet. If you do opt for this procedure, take care to follow the steps outlined under the wood glue section of this article.

If you can remove Rubber Cement from your carpet without having to use isopropyl alcohol, that is preferable.

Finishing touches

Gloved hands cleaning the carpet with a cloth and a spritzer.

Regardless of which type of glue you have embedded into your carpet or which treatment method you select, it is important to take a few steps to ensure the health and appearance of your carpet following the successful treatment of the stain.

Always use cold water and a soft cloth or sponge to remove any remaining treatment product from your carpet following the removal of the stain. Do so by dabbing or blotting the area, rather than rubbing, to avoid damage to your carpet.

Then, take a dry cloth and dab the area to dry it as much as possible by hand. You can then set a fan blowing on low to the area until it is completely dry. This helps to ensure that the carpet dries quickly and fully, helping to avoid the growth of mold or mildew.

After the spot is clean and dry, run a vacuum cleaner over the area to restore your carpet’s fluffy appearance.

Regardless of which type of glue you spill onto your carpet, with a bit of elbow grease and patience, your chances of restoring your carpet to health are good.

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