How to Remove Electrical Tape Residue From Wire

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Remove electrical tape adhesive with simple household supplies.
Remove electrical tape adhesive with simple household supplies. (Image: ballyscanlon/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Removing electrical tape adhesive can be especially frustrating when you are rewiring an electrical outlet or socket because you simple can't scrape it off for fear of damaging the wire. To remove electrical tape residue safely, use an easy-to-find, but unlikely solvent — household lubricant.

Things You'll Need

  • Household lubricant
  • Disposable rag
  • Rubber band (optional)
  • Twist tie (optional)

Soak a disposable rag with a household lubricant spray such as WD-40 or Liquid Wrench. Wipe it liberally on the sticky wire. If you are unsure that you are coating the wire thoroughly, attach the rag to the wire with a rubber band or a twist tie.

Let the wire sit for at least five minutes, although keeping it on longer makes for an easier job. Remove the rag.

Remove the sticky residue by wiping it down with the rag until the adhesive gives way.

Wash the wire or cable with soap and water and allow it to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't want to wash the wire, use a degreasing product.
  • Cooking spray will also work. Spray liberally and wipe after it has been on the wire for at least five minutes.

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