Removing sticky tape from a wood floor

Written by katie leigh
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Removing sticky tape from a wood floor
(Michael Acuba)

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Removing the Tape

Removing sticky tape from a wood floor can be a chore. It can be difficult to remove the tape without damaging the wood or the finish. However, using gentle methods to peel up the tape and lift the sticky residue almost always works without damaging the floors. Applying heat to the tape should loosen it from the floor. Set a hairdryer on high and, holding it a few inches above the floor, point it directly at the tape. Start at one end of the tape and move down, peeling up the tape as the heat loosens it. Continue until the strip of tape is off the wood floor.

Another effective method involves using water. Fill a bowl with nearly boiling water. Soak a sponge in the hot water and, starting at one end, rub the sponge on the tape. Peeling up the tape as the heat loosens it, work toward the other end until the floor is free of tape. Dry the area immediately with a towel, as standing water can damage some floor finishes.

Gently Removing the Glue

Once the tape is peeled up, a sticky residue will be left behind. You will want to use the gentlest method possible to remove this glue so that any damage to the floors is avoided. First, try rubbing the glue with a sponge dipped in hot water mixed with a bit of gentle dish soap. Rub the area lightly and, if the treatment appears to break up the glue, continue until the spot is clean. If the soap and water treatment doesn't work, soak a dry rag in a bit of mineral oil and rub the oil over the spot. Mineral oil can sometimes lift the sticky substance by greasing up the residue's fibres. Use the edge of a credit card to scrape the glue off of the floor after the mineral oil has been applied.

Using Harsher Methods

Other methods will remove the glue from the wood floor, but be careful to read the label first. These substances are not approved for all types of hardwood floors and can damage the finish. Cleaning liquids, such as Goo Gone, dissolve the glue with an orange oil-based solution. These solutions are fairly safe to use on hardwood floors, as long as they are applied sparingly. Simply rub the Goo Gone onto the glue until it dissolves, then wipe the area clean with a wet rag.

WD-40 and nail polish remover are both highly effective for removing sticky tape residue from hardwood flooring, but could damage the floor's surface. Test the solution in an out of the way area before applying it to the sticky spot. As long as it doesn't appear to discolour or damage the floor's finish, it should be perfectly safe to apply to the glue. Simply rub the WD-40 or nail polish remover onto the spot, then wipe it clean with a rag.

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