Curse you Pepsi!
August 16, 2009 6:45 PM   Subscribe

How do I clean this gunky stuff off my floor? Please save my sanity and help!

I have been given the wonderfully pleasant task of cleaning out an old garage.

It has tile floor - the peel and stick kind. I moved a piece of furniture and found an awful gunk. Judging from the cans nearby, I'd say it's alot of pepsi that was spilled and left for a year.

I tried spraying on a cleaner and moping it up... The mop stuck to the floor.

So far the only thing that has worked is getting down and literally scraping it off. It doesn't come off easily scraping it, it's hard and when scraped off because very sticky and sticks to my tools.

Any suggestions that will save my back and my sanity? I know you can steam clean carpet, is there an equivalent for peel & stick tile floor? Please help...
posted by sporaticgenius to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
You could try TSP, but I'd go to a hardware/paint store and ask.
posted by jgirl at 6:50 PM on August 16, 2009

Lighter fluid will make it easy to remove.

Or a commercial product like Goo-B-Gone.
posted by rokusan at 6:51 PM on August 16, 2009

Do you have a hair dryer? It's easy enough, so heating it might be worth a shot. If it gets malleable enough to scrape most off with scraps of cardboard or other disposable scraping tools, then you could probably get the rest with water and a normal cleaning solution.
posted by whatnotever at 6:56 PM on August 16, 2009

If its just sugary gunk, a towel soaked in hot/boiling water and laid on top of the stain should loosen it considerably, then use a mop with very hot water to clean up.
posted by wongcorgi at 6:57 PM on August 16, 2009

If wongcorgi's solution doesn't work, it's probably not sugar-based, but grease-based, and then you could try Lestoil.

Spraying and wiping isn't the most effective method; you've got to use a decent amount of product and leave it there for a while to loosen it.
posted by palliser at 7:14 PM on August 16, 2009

Try an out of the way spot first; the peel-and-stick floors may be loosened by some of these techniques.
posted by deanj at 7:18 PM on August 16, 2009

I'm confused. Are you trying to get stuff off the top of the tiles and keep the tiles? Or, are you removing the tiles and finding the nasty adhesive difficult to remove?

If it is something on top of the tiles, do not use a hair dryer! That will cause the tiles to release from the floor and leave you with a nasty adhesive mess to clean up. Try the boiling water and towl that wongcorgi mentions. If it is not a sugary substance, then switch over to mineral spirits or even finger nail polish remover.

If you're removing the tiles and find their adhesive the challenge, then you'll need to go straight to mineral spirits and a putty knife to scrape it up. Remember that a hair dryer will heat the tiles enough to release them from the sub-floor. In our last house, the previous owners had applied 169 of those tiles directly to a 1940's Red Oak floor. We ruined two hair dryers and went through a bunch of mineral spirits but were able restore the floor.

In either case, time and patience will be needed.
posted by onhazier at 7:27 PM on August 16, 2009

Try baby oil. (mineral oil)
posted by snowjoe at 7:44 PM on August 16, 2009

Response by poster: I want to get the gunk off the tiles, damaging the tiles as little as possible.
posted by sporaticgenius at 8:52 PM on August 16, 2009

I've used Barkeeper's Friend to remove all sorts of ridiculous crap. A big squeeze bottle of it costs around $4.
posted by gchucky at 9:25 PM on August 16, 2009

Seconding Goo-B-Gone or other commercial gunk remover. Squirt on a generous amount on the sticky area. Wait about 10 minutes to give it time to work, then try wiping it off. If a simple wiping doesn't work, the gunk remover should at least soften up to stuff and make it so that it won't stick so much to your tools.
posted by arcolz at 3:48 AM on August 17, 2009

If you think it's soda, get a large sponge soaked in hot water and set it on top. The water will break it down left to sit a while, I believe.
posted by littleflowers at 8:35 AM on August 18, 2009

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