How to Remove Urethane Glue


Urethane glue, widely used to glue wood and laminate flooring, is sticky and dries to a white crystalline substance. Using a wet throw-away wipe will remove the glue while it is still wet. Once the glue has dried, cured, mineral spirits are needed for clean-up. Heat from a heat gun--150 degrees F. or higher--will loosen the glue enough to pull two glued pieces apart. Mineral spirits are needed to remove dried glue from your skin. Use rubbing alcohol to remove the mineral spirits from your skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves
  • Old washcloths or throw-away wipes
  • Mineral spirits
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Heat gun
  • Electric belt-sander or sandpaper
  • Wet an old washcloth to remove the unwanted glue as you work, or use water-based throw-away wipes. Clean excess urethane while it is still wet to prevent the need for more involved cleaning after the glue has cured.

  • Wet an old washcloth or throw-away wipe with mineral spirits to remove urethane glue that has cured. It may be necessary to scrape away as much of the dried glue as possible before using the mineral spirits. Multiple wipes may be needed to completely remove all glue.

  • Heat two substances glued with urethane when mineral spirits will not work alone to weaken the hold. Hold the heat gun about 10 inches away from the surface, moving it back and forth to prevent excess heat in one spot for too long. Check the glued items every two or three minutes to see if the glue has weakened enough to pull them apart.

  • Pull apart the two surfaces once the heat has weakened the hold. Use minerals spirits to remove the glue from both surfaces. A sander may be needed to completely remove the glue from some surfaces, such as hardwood floors.

  • Remove dried urethane glue from skin with mineral spirits on a washcloth or wipe . After removing the glue, use rubbing alcohol to remove the mineral spirits from your skin to prevent a chemical burn.

Tips & Warnings

  • "Hardwood Floors" magazine recommends using the mineral spirits on a scrap piece of board before using it on your finished floor.
  • In lieu of an electric sander, wrap a piece of sandpaper around a small board--just large enough to fit comfortably in your hand. Glue the two ends of sandpaper underneath the board. Allow the glue to dry, then sand the urethane glue residue.
  • Do not use a hand-held blow-dryer to heat the glue for weakening. The temperature does not get hot enough and doing so may cause the motor of your blow-dryer to burn out.
  • Do not use a heat gun to loosen the glue from any skin area.

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