How to Remove Sticky Residue from Vinyl Flooring

Many people won’t consider vinyl flooring as a “real” type of flooring, but it has been around for decades now and is still going strong.  In fact, many people opt for this type of flooring because it’s cheap, durable, and easy to clean.

That said, vinyl flooring is a common type of flooring, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. This type of material allows moisture to drain through the floor easily while still providing an attractive appearance. Unfortunately, vinyl floors can develop a sticky residue that will ruin the look of any room. In this situation, you may want to remove sticky residue from your vinyl flooring.

Cleaning spilled paint or nail polish from vinyl floors can be easily wiped clean with little effort, but if it’s spilled super glue, you need to take extra caution. If you follow some simple tips, even dried glue can be cleaned, leaving your vinyl floor without scratches or blemishes. A nail polish remover is the most preferred when it comes to removing sticky residue since it is safe to use and removes residue quickly. But, don’t use abrasive cleaning agents or pads to remove sticky residue or adhesives like super glue, as it will scratch your vinyl floor.

How to Remove Sticky Residue from Vinyl Flooring

How to Remove Sticky Residue from Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl floors have been popular for many years because they are affordable, look great and come in many styles and colors. They also generally come pre-glued into squares or strips, which makes this type of flooring very user-friendly as well as giving it that custom look that people love. The downside to vinyl floors is that should any mistakes occur, such as an excess of glue being applied to the floor or glue seeping through the seams, removing it can be difficult without causing damage.

Removing glue from a vinyl floor can be easy and save you a lot of money if you use products around your house. It is important to know what you are removing the glue from before attempting these methods. Glues vary greatly depending on their ingredients, so removing some glues without damaging certain surfaces will be impossible.

Materials Needed:

  • Acetone-based nail polish remover
  • Clean cloth, rags or towels
  • Scraper tool
  • Hand gloves

Step 1 – Apply nail polish remover onto a cloth

Acetone is found in many home improvement stores and your local hardware store, but be sure that you are buying acetone-based nail polish remover because most other products will not work properly on this type of project. If you have any doubts, ask an associate if you are still unsure about what kind of acetone product to buy. Once you have the correct product in hand, simply apply this solution to a clean cloth or towel. You should use the same kind of cloth that you would normally use when applying nail polish to your fingernails.

Step 2 – Wipe glue away with cloth/towel

Take this cloth and wipe away the excess glue that is coating your vinyl floor. Continue doing this until all glue residue has been removed from the surface. If any glue is leftover in seams, try using a scraper tool on those areas first before wiping it away with a wet cloth, as acetone can sometimes damage some types of plastics if not used carefully on delicate surfaces such as these.

Note:  Vinyl floors contain plastic components, so don’t press too hard on any surface areas or seams.

Step 3 – Wipe surface with damp cloth/towel (optional)

Once you are confident that all of the glue has been removed, take a clean cloth and wet it down using plain water. Wring out most of the excess liquid so that only a little bit is left behind. Then use this moistened cloth to wipe away any last traces of residue that may remain on your vinyl flooring after the acetone has dried off. If there does happen to be some stubborn glue stuck in seams, try repeating step 2 before finishing up by wiping over the entire surface with your damp cloth once more.

*Note: You can choose not to do this step if you are confident that all of the glue has been removed after using the acetone.

That’s it! By following these simple steps, you should have a clean and residue-free vinyl floor.

How to Remove Tape Residue From Vinyl Floor

You’ve got tape residue on your vinyl floor. You know it’s there; you can see it every time you walk into the room. However, no one knows how or why it’s there, and absolutely everyone who sees it asks about it. It’s the same type of sticky residue leftover from those blue painters’ masking tapes and any other types of adhesive tapes, including packing tape and duct tape.

In addition to being an eyesore, this sticky adhesive substance tends to attract dirt. Besides, it will pick up all sorts of debris that becomes embedded into the top layer making a blackened mess that is difficult to remove.

Tape residue on vinyl floors can be a real annoyance to remove, although it is not difficult. Here are the supplies that are needed to remove tape residue from vinyl flooring:

Materials Needed:

  • Tiny flat head screwdriver
  • 3M Adhesive Cleaner & Remover
  • Goo Gone spray cleaner/degreaser
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Stiff brush.

Step 1: Remove as much of the residual tape adhesive with your tiny flathead screwdriver by putting it under one edge of the residue and prying it up gently. 

Step 2: Spray cleaner/degreaser onto cloth or paper towel and wipe clean. Repeat until the entire surface has been cleaned. The cleaner/degreaser will dissolve the adhesive left by the tape. Be sure to wipe in one direction only, or you will leave a smear.

Step 3: If the tape residue is still not removed, use your tiny flathead screwdriver to scrape it off gently.  Take care around trim pieces so as not to damage them.

If using Goo Gone cleaner/degreaser, simply wipe clean with a paper towel or cloth following instructions on the container. Test an inconspicuous area first for color fastness before applying anything other than water to vinyl flooring.

This method of removing sticky adhesive residue from vinyl flooring could be used for any adhesive tape that leaves behind its stickiness, including that found when packing items in preparation for moving household goods, when duct-taping cardboard together, etc. Tape residue left behind on the flooring needs to come up as it is not only an eyesore but can cause permanent damage to your vinyl floor once dirt and other debris become embedded in it. The longer this sticky adhesive substance goes without being cleaned, the harder it will be to remove, so quickly take care of tape residue.

Precautions while using cleaning agents when removing sticky residues or adhesives from vinyl floors

Vinyl flooring is not only pleasant to the touch, but it also withstands cleaning with aggressive chemicals. However, some cleaning agents can cause color discoloration or blemishes to your vinyl floors. Therefore, it is very important that you first test the cleaner on a small inconspicuous area for color fastness. This applies to all vinyl floors, finished with lacquer or glaze, polished, high-gloss or matt laminate finishes. There might be different versions of the same vinyl, which may require specific instructions regarding chemical resistance and use for maintenance procedures.

It is important to always refer to these instructions before using any type of chemicals on your vinyl floorings. The information provided in this article is based on research and experience reported by manufacturers’ data sheets and/or application instructions made available by these manufacturers.

In general, try to avoid heavy scrubbing actions with water or materials containing abrasives as much as possible. If you need very intensive cleaning, it is best to do this job by a professional company specializing in maintaining commercial floors.

More on FlooringWest

How to Get Drywall Mud off Vinyl Flooring
Are Polypropylene Rugs Safe for Vinyl Floors
Can You Put Heavy Furniture on Vinyl Plank Flooring


What are the best cleaners/cleaning agents to remove sticky residue like super glue from vinyl floors?

We recommend acetone-based nail polish removers, isopropyl alcohol 70%, odorless mineral spirits, clear ammonia-based cleaning agents, or Goof Off or Goo Gone spray cleaners/degreasers.

Do mineral spirits remove adhesives, including glue and tape residues from vinyl floors?

Yes, mineral spirits are effective in removing adhesives.

Why does my vinyl floor feel sticky after I mop?

If there is excess leftover cleaning solution in your vinyl floors after removing super glue, or any other sticky residues, it can feel sticky. We advise you to clean your floors with plain water again after cleaning them with cleaning solutions.

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