Duct tape is handy for quick fixes around the house. However, the strong adhesive that makes it hold so well also leaves behind an annoying, sticky mess when you attempt to remove the duct tape. Find out how to remove duct tape residue quickly and easily using unexpected cleaning products you already have at home.
Always test your adhesive remover on an inconspicuous, small area to ensure that it won’t damage the object you’re cleaning. This is especially true for wood surfaces.
If one home remedy to get duct tape residue off doesn’t work, wash the remaining cleaning product off and try a different one. The efficacy of each solution depends on the type of material you are dealing with.
You don’t need to buy expensive solvents or use harsh chemicals to clean duct tape residue. Use our favorite cleaning tips to get duct tape residue off without damaging the facade underneath.
Best Ways to Clean Duct Tape Residue
Duct tape adhesive is formulated with natural rubber compounds to achieve a strong and lasting bond. For this reason, duct tape is a widely-used product for household fixes, construction, and more.
But, that’s also the explanation for why duct tape residue is so challenging to eliminate. Masking tape and electrical tape also leave stickiness behind sometimes, but not to the extent that duct tape does.
Use these cleaning tips to remove other types of glue residue, as well. In this article, you’ll learn about a variety of techniques to use for scrubbing duct tape residue off of any surface without causing damage.
Always be sure to check the instruction manual before using home remedies on delicate or expensive products.
How to Remove Duct Tape Residue with Warm Soapy Water
The easiest and safest way to clean duct tape residue is by using warm water and dish soap. This method works wonders on non-porous surfaces like acrylic, copper, enamel, glass, linoleum, marble, plexiglass, and vinyl.
Stir a few drops of liquid dish detergent into a small bucket of hot water. Soak a clean cloth or sponge in the soapy water and hold it on the sticky residue spot for several minutes.
The hot water softens the glue, and the soap helps to loosen its bond with the surface underneath. Scrape away the softened glue using a putty knife, butter knife, or another scraper.
Be extremely careful not to scratch the object that you’re cleaning. This approach is also an effective way to remove wall stickers.
Get Duct Tape Residue off with Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol works to dissolve duct tape adhesive from non-porous surfaces. Avoid using rubbing alcohol on painted surfaces, as it could damage the paint. Always patch test a small area first, even on glass and metal.
Soak a cleaning rag in isopropyl alcohol and press it against the sticky spot for several minutes. Alternatively, pour it directly onto the tape residue if possible, and wait for the liquid to mostly evaporate.
Once the adhesive dissolves, wipe it away with a clean cloth or paper towel. Most hand sanitizer products contain alcohol. Hand sanitizer is an adequate substitute for isopropyl rubbing alcohol to get duct tape residue off many objects.
Eliminate Adhesive Residue with Heat
Heating duct tape residue melts the adhesive without damaging the underlying material.
Use a hairdryer or heat gun on the affected area for about one minute, then carefully scrape the adhesive residue off with a putty knife or butter knife while still administering the heat.
Keep the adhesive warm while removing it so that it doesn’t have a chance to harden once again.
Use Acetone to Get Rid of Duct Tape Residue
Acetone products like nail polish remover effectively dissolve duct tape residue. Be careful to avoid damaging the affected area, and never use acetone on painted objects. Acetone also damages fiberglass and some types of plastic.
Pour an ample amount of nail polish remover onto a clean cloth, cotton ball, or paper towel and apply it to the duct tape residue. Let it soak in for a few minutes, then use a sponge or soft-bristled brush to scrub the glue off.
Remove Duct Tape Goo with Baking Soda
Create an inexpensive and non-toxic alternative to products like Goof Off using cooking oil and baking soda.
To make an adhesive remover with these simple ingredients, combine equal parts baking soda and cooking oil to form a thick paste. Spread the mixture over the affected area and let it sit for several minutes.
Use a soft-bristled brush or non-abrasive sponge to scrub the duct tape residue until it comes off. Wash the surface with warm soapy water and wipe dry with a soft cloth.
Clean Duct Tape Residue using Vinegar
Vinegar is a natural and non-toxic cleaning alternative that is safe to use on most surfaces, including wood. However, it’s still beneficial to do a patch test in an inconspicuous area to prevent large-scale damage.
Combine equal parts white vinegar and hot water in a small bucket or bowl, and add several drops of liquid dish detergent. Soak a terry cloth cleaning rag or paper towel in the solution and place it over the affected area.
Leave it to sit for several minutes, then scrub or scrape away the softened duct tape residue. Wash the surface with warm soapy water and dry with a soft cloth.
How to Remove Duct Tape Residue with Oil
Olive oil, baby oil, or another type of cooking oil is a safe and effective strategy to get duct tape residue off of delicate or porous surfaces.
The oil loosens the adhesive’s bond to the surface underneath without causing lasting damage. Avoid using oil on unfinished wood, as it will leave a stain.
Pour the oil directly onto the duct tape residue, cover it with a paper towel, and let it sit for several minutes to loosen the adhesive. Scrub or scrape the tape residue off, then buff with a soft cloth.
Erase Duct Tape Residue with Car Wax
Removing duct tape residue from your car can be tricky. Be careful to avoid damaging the paint or scratching the surface of your car’s window or siding.
The safest and most straightforward way to clean duct tape residue off your car is by using car wax. For a glue remover for car adhesive, apply a liberal amount of car wax to the affected area and let it soak in for at least ten minutes.
Gently but firmly scrub with a non-abrasive sponge or brush that won’t leave scratches. For stubborn adhesive residue, try soaking the spot with olive oil first, then apply the wax.
Once you’ve removed all of the adhesive, buff the surface back to a shine with a clean, soft cloth.
Get Rid of Duct Tape Residue using Peanut Butter
Creamy peanut butter is oily enough to remove duct tape residue sufficiently. Rub a small spoonful of peanut butter on the affected surface and let it sit for a few minutes.
Wipe away the peanut butter with a paper towel, then scrub the glue stain with a sponge or brush. Clean the area well with soapy water and dry with a soft cloth.
Clear Away Glue Residue with Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum products work wonders to dissolve adhesives. Petroleum jelly is safe to use on most surfaces, but it’s still a good idea to test a hidden area first.
Smear a scoop of petroleum jelly over the duct tape residue and let it sit for several minutes. Use a sturdy sponge or brush to scrub the softened adhesive until it comes off. Clean the object with warm, soapy water and wipe dry with a paper towel or clean cloth.
Use Toothpaste to Get Duct Tape Residue Off
Toothpaste is another surprising solution for removing duct tape residue. To remove sticky tape residue from glass or another hard surface, squirt a small quantity of toothpaste onto the adhesive and scrub it clean with an old toothbrush.
Once all of the residue comes off, use a paper towel to wipe away any remaining toothpaste. Cleanse the surface with soap and water, and pat dry.
How to Make Homemade Goo Gone
Use this genius recipe for a natural, safe, and cost-effective alternative to Goo Gone and similar products.
Essential oils like lemon and eucalyptus are powerful degreasing agents and work incredibly well to remove stubborn duct tape residue. This recipe is also an exceptional DIY decal glue remover.
Stir equal parts coconut oil and baking soda until it forms a thick paste, and add a few drops of lemon and/or eucalyptus essential oil.
Spread the mixture liberally over the duct tape residue and leave it to soak in for at least ten minutes to loosen the bond and dissolve the adhesive.
Scrub with a sponge or soft-bristled brush until all of the residue comes off. Clean the area with soapy water, and wipe dry.
Duct tape is convenient for a wide variety of quick fixes, but trying to get duct tape residue off is often quite frustrating. Depending on what kind of surface you’re trying to clean duct tape residue from, try one of the home remedies listed here.
Always test a small area that’s not too noticeable first to prevent large-scale surface damage. If you use a scraper to remove duct tape residue, be careful not to scratch the material underneath.
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