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How to Remove Glue From Carpet (Simple Guide)

Written by Kaylee Barber |

How to get glue out of carpet

Have you accidentally spilt glue on your carpet? Don’t panic! Here’s a simple method for removing both wet and dry glue from a carpet.

All carpet stains are frustrating, but glue is particularly worrying. After all, glue is designed to stick to things, so it’s always going to be difficult to remove!

The good news is that you can remove glue from carpets. All you need is some everyday household products and a bit of patience. Let’s get started!

Why Acetone is Used for Removing Glue

Acetone is an organic solvent that has a number of useful properties. One of these properties is that it can break down glue and remove its “stickiness”, making it the perfect product for removing unwanted glue.

The downside of acetone is that it can damage delicate surfaces. We don’t recommend using it on silk or varnished hardwood, for example, as it may cause discolouration.

It’s also important to test acetone on a small patch of hidden carpet before applying it to larger areas. Acetone is safe for some carpets but may discolour others.

Tip: The sooner you act when there’s glue on the carpet, the easier it’ll be to remove. The same as true for nearly all carpet stains, so act fast whenever possible.

How to Remove Glue From Carpet With Acetone

Acetone is our cleaning chemical of choice for removing glue, but you don’t need to spend money on a specialist product. Any nail polish remover that contains acetone will work.

Test Your Carpet Before Using Nail Polish Remover to Clean Glue

As we mentioned in the previous section, acetone can sometimes cause discolouration in carpet fibres.

For this reason, always test a cleaning product on a patch of carpet that’s usually covered or hidden. Use a clean cloth to dab a small amount of the nail polish remover to check whether it causes the colours to change or run.

If you notice the carpet colour is running or fading, quickly use a paper towel to soak up any remaining acetone. You’ll need to find a different solution for removing glue.

Here’s our process for removing glue from carpets. Remember, the sooner you act, the less time glue will have had to dry and cause clumping of the carpet fibres.

  1. If the glue is still wet, use paper towels to blot up as much as possible. Keep replacing with new paper towels until there’s no more glue coming up. You can skip this step if the glue has dried.
  2. Assuming that your nail polish remover has tested safe to use on your carpet, apply it to the glue with a cotton swab. You don’t want to use too much of the acetone product – just a small amount is fine.
  3. Gently blot the nail polish remover to loosen the glue from carpet fibres. You may need to use multiple cotton swabs with more acetone if the glue is taking a while to break down. Keep blotting until no more of the glue stain is coming up.
  4. If there is still some staining, mix a teaspoon of ammonia with 250ml of warm water. Make sure you’re wearing gloves, then use a clean white cloth to blot the solution onto the stain. Don’t rub the carpet, just dab it to transfer the glue into the cloth.
  5. Wet another clean, white cloth in warm water and use it to dab the entire area of affected carpet. This removes any remaining residue and cleaning products.
  6. Finally, blot up any remaining liquid with a white towel and allow the area time to fully dry.

Alternatively, there are cleaning products on the market that are specifically designed for removing glue and other adhesives. Goo Gone is one example, but make sure you follow the instructions closely when using it.

Can You Use Vinegar to Remove Glue Stains?

Yes, vinegar can be used as an alternative to acetone, as its acidic properties help to break down many types of glue.

As with any type of cleaning product, make sure you’ve tested white vinegar on a small patch of inconspicuous carpet before using the method below.

Here’s how to use white vinegar to remove a glue stain:

  1. Start by blotting up as much of the glue as possible, if it’s still wet. If it’s dry, wet the area with a damp towel then use a blunt plastic knife to scrape away any excess (but be careful not to damage the carpet fibres.)
  2. Dip a white cloth into white vinegar, then dab the affected area so that the glue is wet.
  3. Leave the vinegar on the carpet for 10-15 minutes so that it has time to break down the bonds in the glue.
  4. Create a mixture of 250ml warm water and one tablespoon of washing up liquid. Using a clean cloth, dab this mixture onto the glue area and then blot it up with a different cloth to remove the stain.
  5. With a new cloth, apply warm water to the area to rinse the carpet fibres.
  6. Blot up the remaining liquid with a dry cloth and allow the carpet to completely dry.

While white vinegar can be effective at cleaning certain types of glue, we recommend using an acetone-based cleaner as long as it doesn’t damage your carpet.

Tip: It’s important not to scrub carpet fibres when cleaning a stain. This can cause discolouration and permanent damage. Instead, use a blotting motion.


Glue can be hard to remove from carpets. But don’t despair if you’ve dripped glue onto your carpet during a repair project – it’s often possible to remove these stains.

The key is to break down the sticky bonds that are binding the glue to the carpet, which is why acetone is such an important tool. You can also use ammonia to remove any remaining stains.

As always, make sure that you test a cleaning product on a small patch of hidden carpet before using it on a stain. Acetone and ammonia can cause discolouration and colour running on some carpets.

We hope this article has helped you remove glue from your carpet fibres. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know using the comments form below.

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