How to Get Stuck-on Padding Off Hardwood Floors

When renovating a room's flooring, you may want to remove the existing carpet to free up the natural hardwood floor underneath.
Be careful not to damage the hardwood floor as you remove the carpet padding.Be careful not to damage the hardwood floor as you remove the carpet padding.
One trouble you may come across during this process is with the carpet padding that was glued to the floor, which may be difficult to remove. With the correct tools, a solvent to soften the stuck-on padding and the proper application technique, you can remove the padding without damaging the underlying floor.

Step 1

Remove any staples keeping remaining carpet padding stuck in place on the floor. Remove these staples by twisting them up and away from the floor with needle-nose pliers.

Step 2

Apply mineral spirits to a clean cloth and generously wipe the areas of stuck-on padding or glue.

Step 3

Wait several minutes while the mineral spirits work to soften the padding and its glue.

Step 4

Scrape away the softened glue and padding with a flooring scraper. Do this slowly and carefully so you don't accidentally scrape of gouge the hardwood.

Things You Will Need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Mineral spirits
  • Cloth
  • Flooring scraper
  • Acetone (optional)


  • Open windows in the room to increase ventilation. Mineral spirits are nontoxic, but if you are sensitive to glues, such as those used to glue the carpet padding, you may want to increase ventilation.
  • For stubborn areas of glue that are not removed by the mineral spirits, try dabbing acetone on the glue with a cotton swab. After a few minutes, the glue softens enough to be removed with a flooring scraper. Do not get the acetone on the hardwood, however, as it could damage the wood or affect the color.

About the Author

Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.