Monday, May 15, 2023

How We Got Green Glue Out of Our Carpet

Did you or the drywaller you hired slop green glue all over your carpet while trying to soundproof your walls?  Well, if you did it, you would likely clean it up pretty quickly with rubbing alcohol because you aren't an animal.  If your drywaller did it because they disrespected your home and didn't cover the area in which they would be working so they could then try to sell you carpet afterward, then this post is for you.  (Clearly you can guess the option we chose given my high level of snark and irritation!  😏)

We didn't put anything down on our stairs (but did all over the hardwood and thank God because they would've murdered that) because we didn't want the liability for a trip hazard.   People who respect your home will lay down their own canvas drop cloth to cover the stairs/floors as they work.  We should've insisted on it but didn't want to feel like we had to babysit them.  I don't foresee us ever needing one again but if we ever did, I would insist on it before a stitch of work was done.

By the time we saw what our drywaller left us with, he and his crew had been traipsing up and down the stairs all day thereby grinding tons of dirt into the green glue blobs they dropped all over it.  Wanna see?

Look, this carpet is over 25 years old on this set of stairs, it was going to be replaced in the next few years anyway but that isn't the point.  We weren't planning on replacing it yet because it was still passable to us so we could focus on other projects.  The lack of respect shown for our home was astounding and given the only respite we had from the chaos of no living area available meant going up and down these stairs constantly.  So every time I walked on (and stuck to) them, my blood boiled.

We tried everything any forums told us from Goo Gone to rubbing alcohol to Spot Shot (which usually gets out anything) to steam cleaning.  Because we weren't able to get to it before they caked things on and those things weren't working, we were afraid we were stuck with this God awful mess or having to replace the carpet.  (Yes, we still want carpet on the stairs because with that issues that still exist in that area, the last thing we need is something to provide even MORE echo!)  Well after dropping over $20K on the various projects the preceding 3-4 weeks, we did not have the money for another big ticket item.

Finally, in a last ditch 3am online search one night, I stumbled upon someone saying to use an iron to remove regular glue from carpet while crafting.  I figured nothing else worked and since the Mr was the one working on trying to free us from our sticky prison which had now been sitting for 4 WEEKS unsuccessfully being removed, this was truly our Hail Mary.

This is what we used:

Hand Sanitizer (we found its easier to control than straight up alcohol)

I will tell you first and foremost if you need to do this and is why you're here- spot test an inconspicuous area.  You're doing this at your own risk and if anything discolors, that's the risk you're potentially taking.  We didn't have that issue but I assume it's because our carpet has seen some sh*t over the years and laughs at what we throw at it.  All carpet is different but if you're like we were, you're desperate to see if anything works.

Here's how he did it.

First, he surveilled the job ahead.

He muttered some curse words under his breath and got to the task at hand.

Ahh, nothing like ground in dirt, debris, despair and sorrow.

He grabbed some hand sanitizer and pumped some onto each spot.

Then it was time to heat up the ol' iron.

He placed a flour sack towel over the stair.  (Should you be using a dark towel?  NO!!!  But it's all we had on hand and we were at the "it couldn't get much worse" stage but clearly it could've had that transferred the color to the stair.  If we had them at the time, I would've used white ones.)

He then ironed over the top which I was not sure about given how wet the alcohol still was.  He said it was fine but I still might've just folded the bottom half of the towel over the top.  He's still alive so...

I guess the goal is to iron until it smokes or an apparition appears before you.

Then he peeled the towel off. You may have to pinch the carpet fibers with the towel a little to ensure you get more of the glue to transfer to the towel.

To our amazement, the green glue came off with it!

Then it was time to repeat the process.

Fifteen more times.

I'll be damned if it didn't actually work!  He also tried it with paper towels which also worked as well.

Keep in mind the above was taken while the carpet was still wet so it looks like there are dark spots.  

Time for a before and immediate after.

Yes, we still have some paint/primer spots but he wasn't concentrating on those just yet.  Then he grabbed the Bissel and steam cleaned the steps.  We did a little praying because we'd been fooled by other efforts before that looked like they were working and the next morning it was all like


But this actually seemed to work.  We gave it a few days to see if there was any residual green glue we couldn't see that would begin collecting dirt and drywall dust we were still tracking around the house and we did see a little so the process had to be repeated again.  But it did work after a few passes so patience was required which is why he did it and not me.

Then we applied a saturating layer of Folex Spot Remover over the entirety of each step.  As I said, this carpet is 28 years old so even just dirt was showing up on it and we wanted it to be as clean as we could get it.  After it sat for 45 minutes, it was time for another steam clean.

I cannot tell you how ecstatic we are that this method worked to get the green glue out of the carpet.  We were sure it had been sitting too long for this to work but the hand sanitizer softened it enough to allow it to be absorbed into the tea towel.  Obviously, those have to be thrown away after use but that is a 14 pack so we were only out 2-4 of them.  I seriously wanted to cry when it worked.  Every time we looked at the stairs or walked on them, it was like the drywaller disrespecting our home all over again so this was the first time in a month I wasn't cringing while using the stairs.  I know the carpet looks like crap in general and it will be replaced but it's just us so we're fine with waiting it out for another year or two.  

A huge thank you to the Mr who had to sit there and iron the steps but I think he'd do it all over again to get that relief when he saw something finally worked!  I hope it's something you never need and I'm not recommending it.  I recommend you catch it the same day and use rubbing alcohol and a butter knife or plastic scraper like others online have suggested.  We paid the price because they were in our house for two weeks so cleaning the stairs seemed futile at the time which is why our final measure was taken. I'm sure someone somewhere is clutching their pearls/toolbelt at our methods to which I would say, move on and no need to express your disapproval because unless you've been walking on a crud crusted staircase barefoot for a month, you don't know our desperation.  😛

At this point, I'm just happy our stairs don't look like Jackson Pollock's spirit paid us a visit.  A big win in our book!

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  1. Never should have had to do all this but I am glad we found a solution to get us through for awhile.

  2. I love it when a plan comes together


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