Removing Adhesive Tape

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Adhesive Tape

  • Sticky things like labels, stickers and tape can be a pain to remove. Many times, if you manage to get the tape off, the adhesive leaves a gooey residue behind and you are stuck with a mess that is tricky to remove.

    If tape adhesive is clinging to your last nerve, here are some ways to get unstuck. First, try to peel off the tape. If it does not peel off, try to remove as much of it as you can with the dull edge of a knife. The remaining adhesive can sometime be rubbed off with your fingers. If this does not work, what you do next will depend on what type of surface you're dealing with.

Washable Surfaces

  • For surfaces which can get wet, simply saturate a cloth with vinegar or nail polish remover and cover the tape. Once the tape is saturated, it should peel right off without scraping or causing any damage to the surface. Rinse thoroughly. If you don't have vinegar or nail polish remover on hand, you also try saturating the tape with hair spray, baby oil, rubbing alcohol, lotion, vegetable oil or petroleum jelly.

Glass and Non-Aluminum Metal

  • Do not use this method on aluminum or plastic as it will damage the surface. Fold a paper towel to form a pad slightly larger than the sticker. Dampen with household strength ammonia. Press against the sticker. Secure in place with masking tape and leave for 30 minutes to three hours. If pad dries out during the waiting time, dampen with more ammonia. The sticker should slide right off, leaving no sticky adhesive behind.

Paper

  • To remove adhesive tape from wall paper, you can either hold your hairdryer 3 or 4 inches away from the tape or put a white blotter against the tape and hold a warm iron to it. Gently pull the tape as the heat softens the adhesive. To remove adhesive tape from photographs, saturate the taped area with lighter fluid. Let stand for a few minutes and then gently peel the tape away. If adhesive residue remains, squirt some lighter fluid on to a tissue and gently rub in a circular motion.

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