5 Best Ways to Remove Sticky Residue from Laminate Flooring

Removing sticky residue from laminate flooring is a stressful task for many homeowners. Especially when they lack any idea on how to approach such messes.

It’s common for folks to deal with sticky stuff like glue, chewing gum, paint, double-sided tape, or nail polish. And sadly, these things aren’t laminate floor’s best buddies.

If any of these sticky things end up on your laminate floor, it’s crucial to clean them up ASAP. Otherwise, they might stick around forever. Leaving stubborn stains that make your laminate floor lose its charm over time.

Yet, the best approach depends on the severity of the residue. Use a cleaning method that is effective and safe for laminate flooring.

In this guide, we show you some easy ways to remove that stickiness and restore the shine to your laminate floor.

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What Causes the Laminate Floor to Become Sticky?


Floors become sticky for several reasons, but the main reason is humid air.

When humidity is high, the air is more saturated with water molecules. The water molecules in the air stick to everything, including your feet and clothes. When you walk on a wet floor from humidity, you will notice that it feels sticky or slippery.

Cleaning with Dirty Water

Another reason your floor may become sticky is if you clean it with dirty water. Mopping your floor with the same bucket throughout the entire time will make it sticky.

If you do not change the dirty water right away, you will spread the dirt to other floor areas. So, your floors will be greasy and sticky after being cleaned. To avoid this, change the water periodically as you clean.

Leftover Adhesive

Another common cause is adhesive from stickers or tapes. If you place a rug or tape something down on your laminate floor, the adhesive can transfer.

Wrong Cleaning Solution

Further, using the wrong cleaning solution can also cause your floor to become sticky. Avoid this by only using laminate floor cleaning solutions. If you can’t find any cleaning solutions, use normal water and dishwashing liquid to clean your floor.

Must See: Can You Use Goo Gone on Laminate Flooring? (Explained)

How to Remove Sticky Residue from Laminate Flooring?

Using Warm Water

When using warm water, we recommend you have a credit card, a cotton cloth, and a clean, dry towel. Follow the steps below;

  1. Dampen your cotton cloth in warm water. Gently wipe the sticky residue back and forth for several minutes. This will lessen the residue.
  2. If you were removing a sticker, use warm water to loosen it. Then, take your credit card or scraper and peel up the edge of the sticker.
  3. Then dampen your cotton cloth in water. Mix a significant amount of dishwashing liquid detergent. And use it to clean the floor if you notice the floor is sticky after removing the sticky residue.
  4. When you are done, use a clean, dry towel to dry the affected area.

In this effective way, you can remove the sticky residue. It’s a gentle method that won’t damage your laminate flooring.

Hot Clothes Iron

You can also use a hot clothes iron to remove sticky residue. Place a wet cotton cloth over the affected area and run the iron through the top of the fabric. Gently press the iron on the cloth for about 10-15 seconds.

The steam from the damp cotton cloth will soften the sticky, making it easy to remove. Yet, you can use soapy water to remove it for sugary or honey messes and rinse with clean water.

It’s a quick fix, but make sure to test it in a hidden spot first, and be cautious with the heat!

Acetone-Based Nail Polish Remover

For this method, you will need some tools; such as:

  • Scraping knife
  • Steel butter knife
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Paper towel
  • Cleaning cloth

Next, make sure you open all the windows and doors for proper ventilation. Because inhaling acetone may cause headaches and irritation. Follow the guide below;

  1. Apply some acetone onto a cloth and use it to spot-test a hidden on your laminate. Then, allow it to dry.
  2. Pour the amount of acetone onto a clean cutton. Then, rub gently on the affected area to soften the residue.
  3. If the residue is still hard, apply another layer of acetone. Allow it to sit for several minutes, and work on it until it softens.
  4. Take a putty knife and gently scrape away until the floor is free of sticky residue.
  5. Clean the residue using a clean paper towel.
  6. Wipe clean the spot using a soapy cotton cloth and then dry the area with a cleaning cloth.

Must See: Will Acetone Damage Laminate Floor? (Explained)

Use Heavy Solvent or Thinner

If you are dealing with a messy and sticky residue covering a large surface area, use a heavy solvent or thinner. They are aggressive and the best solution for your problem.

For that reason, you may use mineral spirits/petroleum spirits or paint thinners.

Note: We strongly prefer not to use Xylene, ethyl-benzene, and benzene. Because these contain harmful chemicals that can potentially damage your laminate flooring.

Follow the steps below;

  1. Dampen a clean cloth with the available solvent and then apply over the spot.
  2. Allow the solvent-damp cloth to sit on the spot for several minutes to lessen the adhesive.
  3. Take a putty knife and gently slide it between the adhesive and laminate floor. Remove loose adhesive layers, but don’t be forceful.
  4. If the spot/adhesive is still stiff, reapply the solvent. Then allow it to sit. Work on it while pressing until the adhesive dissolves and comes off the laminate floor.
  5. After successfully removing the adhesive, damp a cotton cloth in mild soapy water. Use it to clean the floor.
  6. Then, dry the surface with a clean, dry cotton cloth immediately.

Using Dry Ice

If you are dealing with carpet glue, heavy solvent or thinner is not robust enough to remove it. We recommend you use dry ice because it is effective if you follow the guide below;

  1. Take some dry ice and place it onto a metal tray. Do not apply the dry ice directly onto the laminate flooring.
  2. Place the metal tray with dry ice onto the carpet glue spot. Make sure it covers the spot, and allow it to sit for a few minutes to freeze, solidify, and brittle the glue.
  3. Remove the metal tray and gently chip the brittle glue away.
  4. If all the carpet glue does not entirely come off, repeat the process until you completely remove it.
  5. After removing the glue, damp a clean rag with solvent and use it to wipe off any residue left behind.
  6. Wipe clean the surface using a damp soapy cleaning cloth. Then dry the surface immediately with a clean, dry cotton cloth.

Tips for Preventing Sticky Floor Buildup  

  • Do not use inappropriate cleaning products: Avoid using a cleaner that contains ammonia or bleach. Use water and dish soap to clean the floor again if the stickiness returns after using this cleaner.
  • Stop Cleaning Your Floor With Dirty Water: Mopping your floor with the same bucket throughout the entire time will make it sticky. So change the dirty water right away, if not then it will spread the dirt to other floor areas.
  • Clean the Floor in a Circular Motion: In the bucket of cleaning solution, dip a clean mop and wring it out. Then, use your hands to clean the floor in circular motions. Rinse your mop. Pay special attention to the sticky areas of your laminate flooring.
  • Ensure your Floor is Always Clean and Dry: Always keep your floor always dry and clean. Because the air is more saturated with water molecules, and they stick to everything.

FAQs: How to Remove Sticky Residue from Laminate Flooring?

What causes the laminate floor to be sticky after cleaning?

The laminate floor is just a veneer that covers the subfloor. When wet, this layer may become sticky due to many factors. It may be because there are too many protective coats on the laminate. So the chemicals in the cleaner don’t penetrate and clean properly.

It is also possible to make laminate floors sticky by cleaning them with too much water.

Another reason this happened is that you may have used abrasive cleaners. That is too harsh for these materials.

Also, you may not have applied the polish correctly, or it may not have been appropriate.

What dissolves sticky adhesive from the laminate floor?

Many people are concerned that the adhesive left on the laminate flooring can damage it. While it is true that the adhesive can be difficult to remove. Yet, there are safe and effective ways of doing so without damaging the flooring.

How do you remove old adhesive residue from the laminate floor?

To remove old adhesive residue, a few household items and a little bit of elbow grease are needed.

First, take a small bowl and mix some dish detergent with warm water. Then use a sponge or cloth to apply the mixture to the sticky area. The residue should start dissolving and coming off. Continue wiping until all remnants are gone.

It is recommended that you use this process sparingly. Using it too often can deteriorate your flooring.

Moreover, you can also use paint thinner to remove old adhesive residue. Pour it on the area and let it soak in before scrubbing with a brush or steel wool pad.

Read More on Laminate Floors


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