How to Clean Masking Tape Off Glass

Written by jenny harrington Google
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Masking tape provides a minimally sticky tape that is easily torn without the need for dispensers or scissors. These attributes make masking tape suitable for affixing items to glass and mirrors, and it is also often used to tape off windows and prevent paint splatters when painting a room. Unfortunately, even masking tape adhesive may adhere too strongly to glass, especially if the glass is subjected to sunlight that effectively bakes the adhesive to the surface.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Plastic knife
  • Spray lubricant
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cloths
  • Window cleaner
  • White vinegar

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  1. 1

    Slip your fingernail or the edge of a plastic knife under one edge of the masking tape. Grasp the loosened edges and peel the tape slowly off the glass. Scrape off any tape shreds with your nail or the knife.

  2. 2

    Spray the remaining adhesive with a spray lubricant. Alternately, dab vegetable oil onto the adhesive. Leave the lubricant or oil on the tape adhesive for three to five minutes to loosen it.

  3. 3

    Scrub the adhesive with a clean cloth. Most of the adhesive should come off, though it may smear on the glass.

  4. 4

    Spray the smeared area with a commercial window cleaner or a solution of one part water and one part white vinegar. Wipe the window with a second clean cloth, removing the rest of the adhesive smears from the glass.

Tips and warnings

  • Use paper towels instead of cloth towels if preferred.
  • Use blue painter's tape instead of masking tape next time you paint. Painter's tape is not as prone to leaving behind adhesive residue.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners or cleaning pads, as these can scratch the glass.

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