Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 1/4/2014

remove sticky residue from hardwood floor

I took a large area rug off my hardwood floor. The backing left a sticky waffle weave residue all over my floor. Diluted vinegar has not helped. I cleaned a test spot with straight vinegar on a rag. After scrubbing with soft rag, it took some of the sticky away, but not all. What do I do? Who can I trust to help? So many conflicting opinions on different websites. Terrified to try anything else. I really don't want to have the floor refinished. Help!

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

6 Answers


Don't know if you have any WD40 around the house but it works well for this sort of problems. Spray it on and wipe off with a paper towell. I even spray it on work clothes that have grease on them. You can then just wash of any rsidue with what ever floor cleaner you have for the wood floors.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


I would suggest first Amstrong Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner - available at some flooring stores, Walmart, Amazon among many others.

If that does not work, WD40 will quite likely work (as it does on many household goop and stains) but is likely to soften or pull your finish too. Also, since it is an oil, it will prevent any future refinishing from sticking, and can cause haloing and mooning (discolored rings and whitish spotting of the finish) so that is a bad thing, though a lot pof people use it successfully if done VERY quickly and soaped off immediately after. Will definitely strip your wax, if any.

Since vinegar took some off, unless all it got was the foam, I would stay with that and a lot of elbow grease.

If that does not work, try shaving creme - do not let it sit longer than to just dampen the mark, then rub off and follow with detergent wipe.

Paint thinner (mineral spirits) would almost certainly take it off, but you would have to be very quick about it because that is probably the solvent that was used in the finish when first applied - apply with slightly dampened rag or better yet one of those non-abrasive nylon cleaning pads with fine (not coarse, scratchy) surface, rub off, then wipe clean with detergent like Armstong's Floor Cleaner or Dawn and water wetted rag several passes, because if it sits for any time it is likely to lift the finish if it is oil rather than lacquer based. Will absolutely strip any wax on it.

Things NOT to use - Goo gone (xylene, which will strip any finish pronto), Murphy's Oil Soap, vegetable oil, any cleaner with powder like laundry detergent or powdered cleansers, tube and tile cleaner, laquer thinner (fingernail polish remover), chlorine bleach, alcohol, anything oil based, and many others - most of these will remove the residue, but also your varnish or polyurethane.

For lots more ideas and comments, google this search phrase - removing rug backing residue from hardwood floors

Unfortunately, even if you get the stickiness off, you are likely to find that it has chemically changed the surface finish and will still have a waffle pattern, so a local refinishing is likely to be needed - this calls for a professional floor refinisher. Hopefully it can just be stripped, recoated, and buffed, without stripping to bare wood and resanding the floor. Likely repair cost - about $5/SF with minimum of maybe $100 or so. If I were you and these floors are otherwise in good condition, I would go only as far as the sahving creme, and if you don't have it off by then, call a professional.

Unfortunately, this happens a lot - you should never use a carpet or furniture pads with latex or vinyl, any type of glued or foam, etc - in fact, no type of backing at all other than straight unglued fabric - use rugs only with bare fabric on the back, like berber throw rugs and such, or ones specifically backed with muslin or such for use on hardwood and laminate floors. The WORST thing is the non-slip latex backing pads sold in box stores to prevent area and throw rugs from slipping around - they certainly do that, but ruin what is underneath also, up to and including stone and tile flooring. If you have to put regular carpet down as an area rug, it is best to underlie it with a plain white muslin sheet, but that does make it liable to slip around easily.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


I just tried the small steam nozzle on my steam cleaner and it loosened up the latex, just wipe it right off with a rag! Like magic!!!

Answered 5 years ago by Sallydaner


I just finished getting a 3x5 rug backing that was as hard as cement from my dark wood floors. Thanks to Mandy from the floor store in Encinitas ca. I ordered Bostic ultimate adhesive remover on amazon. I used a paint scraper and was very careful. I had to let it soak on floor over night but it softened the glue and with the scraper and a scour sponge it ALL came off. This stuff is wonderful.

Answered 4 years ago by dwms


I used baby oil, worked like a charm

Answered 2 years ago by Shoebirth


Contractor Don: perfect solution re: WD40, thank you!!!

Answered 2 years ago by ghryan

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy