The following is a general guide to getting glue out of carpet,
but there are different types of glue. They each have their own
chemical makeup, and so require different methods of extraction.
Some of these specifics are covered here, and there is also information
elsewhere on the site which is linked to.
As with all spills, you want to try to get them before they
become stains or they permanently damage the carpet fibers. If
you are there when the glue falls on the rug, quickly scoop up
as much as you can. Use whatever is available (a small piece
of wood, a spoon) to pluck it off the top of the carpet by coming
at it from both sides and scraping toward the center of the spot.
If it is a thin glue you might also get some more of it out
by blotting it up with a clean white cotton cloth or white paper
towel. Once you've removed as much as you can of the initial
spill, it's time to get the rest...
For Elmer's Glue, you might remove the rest using warm soapy
water, if you get it quickly. Add a quarter-teaspoon of Dawn,
Joy or other mild dish soap to a cup of warm water, and dribble
this mixture on the spot with your fingers. Blot it up with clean
cotton or paper towels (white-no colored designs), and repeat
the process. Dry the area thoroughly. If that doesn't get the
glue out, move on to other methods.
White vinegar works for removing some types of glue. Put on
a rubber glove, rub some of the vinegar into the affected fibers,
and blot it up with a clean cotton rag. Repeat the process until
all the glue is cleaned up. Then rinse with water (sprinkled
a little at a time), and dry the area with a weighted stack of
white paper towels, replacing them as necessary.
Here's a video that demonstrates one way to get glue out
of carpet using household products you probably already have...
Some latex-based glues can be removed using the latex-removers
sold for cleaning paint brushes. Be very careful when using these
as they may cause delamination of the carpet backing. Apply only
to the affected fibers using a rubber glove, and don't let the
solvent drip down deeply into the carpet.
This can take a while, especially if you are working on old
dried glue. Once the glue is softened, blot it up with a clean
rag (white cotton). Reapply the solvent as necessary to remove
more of the stain. When you have gotten out as much glue as you
can, sprinkle water on the area and blot it up. Repeat this several
times to remove as much of the cleaning solvent as possible.
In addition to drying the spot with weighted paper towels, you
might finish by placing a fan where it can blow over the spot
for a couple hours.
With some types, like Gorilla Glue, you can make matters worse
by using water--it can catalyze the chemical process and cause
the glue to "set" more quickly. Several applications
of acetone can remove these types. Apply carefully and blot up,
as described in the procedures above. Isopropyl rubbing alcohol
works too, though generally not as effectively as acetone.
If the glue has already dried and the removal methods described
here do not work, you might have to trim the carpet fibers with
scissors to get the glue out. For more detailed instructions,
see the page on permanent stains.
You'll find a couple other solutions there as well.