How to Remove Glue From Self-Stick Floor Tiles

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Things You'll Need

  • Mineral spirits

  • Rag

  • Putty knife

  • Warm, soapy water

  • Dry ice

  • Gloves


Use two pieces of dry ice to make the process move quickly.


Wear protective gear when working with dry ice such as gloves.

Vinyl tiles require a thin layer of mastic.

After removing self-stick tiles from the floor, there is often a glue residue remaining on the floor that is hard to remove with just a putty knife and warm, soapy water. The industrial glue used on self-stick tiles is an adhesive made at cement-bonding strength to prevent tiles from moving when walked on or cleaned. This strength level requires a special adhesive remover because it is not easily removed with simple cleaning or scraping.

Mineral Spirits

Step 1

Pour a capful of mineral spirits into a rag to get the rag wet but not dripping.

Step 2

Rub the wet cloth over the adhesive in circular motions until the mineral spirits dissolve the adhesive.

Step 3

Scrape any remaining adhesive with a putty knife. This will not require much strength if the mineral spirit-covered rag had been wet enough to soak the adhesive without soaking the floor.

Step 4

Wet the rag again with mineral spirits if the adhesive is difficult to remove with a few passes of the putty knife and rub the adhesive longer.

Step 5

Wash the floor with warm, soapy water to remove mineral spirits before beginning the new floor placement.

Dry Ice

Step 1

Place a block of dry ice on the tile adhesive while wearing gloves to protect your hands from damage.

Step 2

Allow the dry ice to freeze the adhesive for five minutes.

Step 3

Place the dry ice on another section of adhesive and scrape the frozen adhesive off the floor with a putty knife. The adhesive should lift from the floor in frozen chunks after some strong scraping.

Step 4

Continue this pattern until the entire floor is clear of adhesive.


Amanda Fetherlin

Amanda Fetherlin is a writer, mother and former teacher with extensive experience in home remodeling, daycare education and domestic activities. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from St. Louis University.