How to Remove Black Tape Residue

Electrical tape leaves behind a sticky residue.
Electrical tape leaves behind a sticky residue. (Image: adhésif image by Unclesam from

Black tape, or electrical tape, is used on electrical cords and other devices. Left long enough, the tape can leave a sticky residue on your electronics and other items. When the tape is removed and the residue is exposed, it acts as a magnet for all kinds of dirt and debris. Avoid this situation by removing the black tape residue completely.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic scraper
  • Bowl
  • 1 tbsp. dish washing detergent
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Clean cloths
  • Nail polish remover

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Scrape black tape residue with a plastic scraper to remove as much excess adhesive glue as possible.

Combine 1 tbsp. dish washing detergent, 1 tbsp. white vinegar and 2 cups warm water in a bowl. Dip a sponge in the adhesive-softening solution. Set the soapy sponge on top of the tape adhesive and leave it there for five minutes to soften and loosen the adhesive.

Warm soapy water helps remove tape adhesive.
Warm soapy water helps remove tape adhesive. (Image: green sponge image by robert mobley from

Rub the sponge over the adhesive to remove as much as possible. Rinse the sponge as the adhesive lifts, and scrub again using the soap and vinegar solution.

Pour nail polish remover on a clean cloth. Wipe up any remaining black tape adhesive with the nail polish remover.

Wet a clean cloth with water and rinse off the site of the tape adhesive build-up. Dry with a clean cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Baby oil can also be used to break down the sticky residue from tape adhesive. Follow by removing the oil with an all-purpose cleaner or undiluted vinegar.
  • Spray tape adhesive residue with WD-40. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping off. Repeat until all the adhesive is gone.
  • Always unplug electrical appliances before cleaning tape residue from them.


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