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How to Remove Carpet Padding Stuck on Hardwood Floors

Heather Finch

Real hardwood floors are often gems covered by carpeting. Many homeowners will find them unexpectedly when they go to replace carpet or repair squeaky floorboards. If you have found hardwood floors hidden beneath carpeting, you may decide to bring them back to their original glory and luster.

Some of the carpet padding may have become stuck to the floors over time or may have been glued over the floors. With a little persistence, carpet padding can be removed from hardwood floors.

  1. Remove the bulk of the carpet padding by using needle nose pliers to pull out the staples. Pull off as much carpet padding as you can with your hands.

  2. Heat stuck-on carpet padding with a heat gun or hair dryer, taking care not to burn the floor. Scrape off with a putty knife.

  3. Soak an old rag in mineral spirits and apply it to the remaining stuck-on carpet padding. Once the adhesive has softened (it may take a few minutes), use the putty knife to scrape off the carpet padding.


Be careful when using mineral spirits, as prolonged inhalation may be dangerous. Wear gloves and safety goggles when using mineral spirits. Read appropriate safety information (provided as a link) before use.