Tape residue leaves a sticky mess on everything it comes into contact with. A little elbow grease and some safe cleaners will remove it with relative ease, however.
Whether you’ve found the sticky substance on a piece of furniture or something you’ve just brought home from the store (tape residue is the same as the sticky residue left behind by adhesive price tags), you’ll be armed to clean it away when you have these safe cleaners on hand.
Safe Cleaners to Remove Tape Residue
So what exactly are these safe cleaners that clean the sticky mess away? And why are safe cleaners necessary?
First off, why use harsh chemical cleaners that are harmful to both your health and the environment when there are other options readily available? You’ll find you have some—if not all—of the following cleaners already in your home.
- Tape (Yes, tape helps remove tape residue—just wait and see how!)
- Liquid dish soap
- Sponge or cleaning rag
- Rubbing alcohol
- Baking soda
- Dry cleaning cloth
- Blow dryer
- Soft cleaning brush
- Paper towels
- Hand sanitizer
The chore of cleaning up tape residue is greatly lessened when removing the tape—or adhesive label—correctly in the first place. Much like removing a band-aid painlessly, you want to gently lift the edge of the tape, and then quickly pull the entire thing off the surface it is covering. Ripping off the tape in one fast motion makes for a much cleaner removal.
For the adhesive that is left behind, starting simply is the best way to dive into cleaning it up. Wet a sponge or cleaning rag with hot water and put a few drops of liquid dish soap on it. Scrub the area with tape residue. If it appears to be removing the sticky substance, wet the sponge or cloth again and continue the process until it is all gone.
This method works on glass, wood, acrylic, plaster, asphalt, marble, linoleum, enamel, pewter, plexiglass, and porcelain. Any surface that doesn’t appear porous is a candidate for cleaning this way.
Use a Blow Dryer
If the hot water and soap method didn’t remove the tape residue after a couple of tries, get out your blow dryer. Aim the dryer directly at the residue for about one minute. Then proceed with the soap and water method.
Always try the soap and water method before you use the blow dryer, however. There is a very slight chance that the blow dryer can mar the finish on wood.
Surfaces That Soap Might Damage
There are some materials and surfaces that might be damaged when using soap and water to remove tape residue. These materials include masonry tile, granite, terra cotta, limestone, brick, concrete, granite, and most types of stone.
When these surfaces become laden with tape residue, make a paste with baking soda and water. Spread the paste on the affected area with your fingers. Allow it to remain there for about a minute, and then scrub it with a soft scrub brush. Soak a clean sponge or rag in cool water, and use it to rinse the mixture away. The adhesive should rinse away right along with it.
Removing Tape Residue from Fabric
What happens when you get tape residue on fabric? How do you remove it from your clothing or linens?
Have you ever attended a meeting or event and had someone slap a nametag sticker onto your shirt, dress or jacket? If it stays there for several hours, you might be left with the same kind of adhesive mess as tape residue.
Start by picking off as much of the tape residue as possible with your fingernail. Squirt a bit of alcohol based hand sanitizer onto the residue and rub it with your fingers. Place the article in question into your washing machine and launder as usual. Don’t place the article into the dryer until you’re certain the residue is gone.
If the aforementioned methods of cleaning tape residue from your surfaces fail, take heed. There is one more method you can try.
Moisten a portion of a cleaning rag with rubbing alcohol and rub it onto the tape residue. Wipe the area with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel in between treatments. Repeat the process until most of the adhesive is gone.
If stubborn adhesive remains, cut a piece of tape that is slightly larger than the area in question. Place it over the existing tape residue, and then pull it off quickly. This, combined with the rubbing alcohol should do the trick.
Tape residue won’t irritate you any more, now that you’ve aware of how to remove it, and which methods to employ on various surfaces. The next time this adhesive mess is soiling one or more items in your home, you’ll be ready to roll—and armed with safe cleaners to do a thorough and chemical-free cleaning job.
I have been a painter for a while now, always using tape to adjust services and make certain patterns on the walls. However, I have always had the issue where the tape either sticks or leaves a residue. Thanks for informing me that there are easy ways to get rid of those issues.
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It’s really helpful. I have benefited from reading your article. Thank you very much
Hi Evan Jr., thank you for your comment. Let us know which tip helped you remove the tape residue easily maybe someone else will also find it help too.