How to Remove Adhesive Tape Stains

Duct tape serves a variety of purposes at the race track, but it can leave a mess in your home.
Duct tape serves a variety of purposes at the race track, but it can leave a mess in your home.
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

­Do adhesive tape stains have you stuck in a mess? Here's how to get unstuck by us­ing the following spot and stain removal tips and techniques.

These cleanup strategies will make sure that your tale of the tape has a happy ending.

After you identify the affected material, follow the steps on each page to remove the stain:

­

Non-washable Fibers

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Acetate, Carpet/Synthetic, Carpet/Wool, Fiberglass, Rayon, Silk, Triacetate and Wool:

  • Scrape (the method of using a scraping tool to gently lift off excess solid or caked-on stains) gummy matter from the material very gently.
  • Use either Afta Cleaning Fluid or K2r Spot Lifter.

If stain persists:

  • Apply a dry spotter to the stain and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the spotter.
  • Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
  • Let it stand as long as any stain is being removed, keeping both the stain and pad moist.
  • Sponge (the method of using light strokes with a dampened pad working outward from the center of the stain) the area with a dry-cleaning solvent.
  • Allow surface to dry completely.

Synthetic Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Acrylic Fabric, Burlap, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester and Spandex:

  • Gently scrape the excess.
  • Very carefully, apply Afta Cleaning Fluid to the stain.
  • If any remains, apply a wet spotter, with a few drops of ammonia added, to the stain.
  • Tamp (the method of bringing a brush down with light strokes on stained durable fabrics and materials) and blot occasionally with an absorbent pad.
  • Flush with water and dry thoroughly

Household Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Acrylic Plastic, Alabaster, Asphalt, Chromium, Copper Enamel, Glass Linoleum, Marble, Pewter, Platinum, Plexiglas, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Tile and Vinyl Wallcovering:

  • Scrape to remove any excess.
  • Do not use an abrasive product.
  • Dip a clean sponge or cloth into warm sudsy water and rub the gummy matter.
  • The warm water will soften the tape so it can be removed with the sponge or cloth.
  • Rinse with warm water and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

Aluminum, Iron and Stainless Steel

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Aluminum, lron and Stainless Steel:

  • Pick off as much tape as possible with your fingertips or tweezers.
  • If possible, soak the stain in warm to hot sudsy water.
  • This should loosen the sticky substance enough that it can be wiped off.
  • Should any remain, gently rub the area in one direction only with a soft scouring pad to remove any traces.

Bamboo, Cane, Ceramics and Polyurethane

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic Glass/Tile, and Polyurethane:

  • Rub the gummy area with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm, mild soapy water to which a few drops of ammonia have been added.
  • Rinse with clear water.
  • Dry thoroughly.

Stone Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Bluestone, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone Granite, Limestone, Masonry Tile Sandstone, Slate and Terrazzo:

  • Mix a solution of washing soda or laundry detergent and warm water.
  • Do not use soap; it will leave a hard-to-remove scum.
  • With a soft brush (a toothbrush is good for small areas) gently spread the solution over the gummy portion until it is removed.
  • Rinse with clear warm water.

Brass, Bronze, Ivory, Jade, Porcelain, Tin and Zinc

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Brass, Bronze, Ivory, Jade, Porcelain, Tin and Zinc:

  • Remove any excess matter with your fingertips or tweezers.
  • Mix a solution of hot water and a mild soap.
  • With a soft cloth dipped in the solution, rub until the gummy substance is softened and removed.
  • Rinse with clear water and wipe dry.

Cork

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Cork:

  • Scrape to remove excess, taking care not to gouge the soft surface.
  • Gently rub any remaining gummy matter with a piece of fine steel wool dipped in liquid or paste polishing wax.
  • Wipe away soiled wax as you work.

Cotton and Linen

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Cotton and Linen:

  • Scrape to remove excess.
  • Place face down on an absorbent pad and sponge area with Afta Cleaning Fluid.
  • Allow fluid to dry thoroughly.
  • Launder soon to remove all traces of fluid.

Felt

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Felt:

  • Remove excess carefully to avoid shredding the fiber.
  • Freeze to harden remainder and gently brush with a sponge or fine-bristled brush.
  • This should remove any remaining adhesive.
  • In extreme cases, rub the surface carefully, using a razor blade with the direction of the nap; however, this removes some felt fiber.

Natural Fur and Synthetic Fur

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Natural Fur and Synthetic Fur:

  • Take care not to remove the fur when removing excess adhesive.
  • With ice cubes in a plastic bag, freeze to harden the remainder.
  • Gently brush with a fine-bristled brush or a damp sponge.
  • Take care not to soak backing or pelt.

If a gummy residue remains:

  • Srape it carefully in the direction of the nap with a razor blade.
  • In extreme cases, the gummy matter can be carefully cut away with a pair of scissors if it is at the very tips of the hairs.

Gold

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Gold:

  • Mix some hot sudsy water to which a few drops of ammonia have been added.
  • Immerse the stained area if it is small, or use a brush, such as a toothbrush, to apply the solution.
  • Rinse in clear hot water and dry with a soft cloth.

Grout

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Grout:

  • Remove as much of the gummy matter as possible.
  • Dip a wet toothbrush into a little powdered cleanser and gently scrub.
  • Rinse with clear water and dry.

Leather

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Leather:

  • Carefully scrape to remove excess.
  • Dip a cloth or sponge into the suds of a mild soap and gently scrub until the remaining matter is removed.
  • Dry with a clean cloth.
  • Condition the leather with Tannery Vintage Leather Cleaner & Conditioner or Fiebing's Saddle Soap.

Flat Paint and Gloss Paint

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Flat Paint and Gloss Paint:

  • Remove excess gum carefully to avoid removing any paint.
  • Mix dishwashing detergent in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds.
  • Dip a cloth in only the foam and apply to the stain.
  • Do not allow the water to run as it will cause hard-to-remove streaks.
  • Rinse with clear water.
  • Dry thoroughly.

Photographs

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Photographs:

  • With your fingertip and a very gentle touch, rub the gummy matter in one direction toward the edge of the photo.
  • It should ball up as you rub and should roll off the photo.
  • Continue until no more adhesive is removed.

Silver

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Silver:

  • Pick off as much excess as possible with your fingertips or tweezers.
  • Rub the remaining portion using hot suds and a soft cloth.
  • Rinse with hot water and dry immediately and thoroughly to prevent tarnish.

Suede

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Suede:

  • Carefully pick off as much excess as possible with your fingertips.
  • Gently rub an artgum eraser over the remaining gummy substance.
  • If that doesn't work, cautiously rub the spot with an emery board or very fine (grade 6/0-8/0) sandpaper.
  • You are attempting to remove a fine layer of the suede, so work carefully.

Wallpaper

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Wallpaper:

  • Put a white blotter against the tape.
  • Press through the blotter with a warm iron.
  • Repeat if necessary with a clean portion of the blotter.

Wood

Follow these steps to remove adhesive tape stains from Wood:

  • Remove excess gently so the finish will not be marred.
  • Rub gently with a cloth dipped in the suds of hot soapy water.
  • Rub only on the portion stained.
  • Rinse with clear water, wipe dry immediately, and polish.