How to Safely Remove Scotch Tape From an Old Photo

Written by kallie johnson
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How to Safely Remove Scotch Tape From an Old Photo
Sellotape should never be placed on photographs. (old album image by Alexander Kosenkov from

If an old photo has come into contact with Sellotape that was never removed, or if tape was used to cover a rip or tear and you are trying to restore the photo, you may be looking to safely remove the tape from the photograph. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to remove Sellotape without possibly damaging the photo. When removing tape, there is always the chance that it can remove part of the photograph. However, there is a product called Un-du that removes adhesives and is safe to use on photographs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Computer scanner
  • Un-du Sticker, Tape and Label Remover
  • Microfiber cloth

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  1. 1

    Scan the photo using a computer scanner. Before attempting to remove tape, always get a good, high quality scan of the photograph. That way, if the photo becomes damaged, there is a copy and a photo restoration specialist can work with the scanned copy.

  2. 2

    Apply a small amount of Un-du Sticker, Tape and Label Remover to a microfiber cloth.

  3. 3

    Rub the cloth directly onto the tape. Gently pull back the tape until the tape is removed.

  4. 4

    Rub the cloth on the photograph to remove any excess residue.

Tips and warnings

  • Sellotape should never be used to fix or repair photographs. Not only is it hard to remove and potentially damaging, over time the tape can turn yellow.

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