How to Get Old Masking Tape Off the Wall

Written by mel frank
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How to Get Old Masking Tape Off the Wall
Remove masking tape from the wall with vinegar. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

When masking tape has adhered to a wall for a long time, the tape usually dries out and appears to be permanently attached. If you try to peel off the masking tape, you're likely to take off some of the wall paint with it. Instead use a technique that loosens the tape, allowing you to quickly remove it without damaging the paint or the wall.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper towels
  • White vinegar

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  1. 1

    Soak a paper towel in white vinegar.

  2. 2

    Place the paper towel over the masking tape, covering the entire piece of tape. Press on the paper towel; the moisture will allow the paper towel to stick to the wall and stay in place. Leave the paper towel there for 10 minutes.

  3. 3

    Remove the paper towel and try to peel off the masking tape, starting at one corner. If the tape peels off easily, peel the whole piece off slowly.

  4. 4

    Place the paper towel back over the masking tape if it is not peeling off easily. Let it sit for another 10 minutes and try again. Repeat as needed until the masking tape easily slides off the wall.

  5. 5

    Wipe the damp paper towel over the wall after the tape is removed to get rid of any leftover adhesive.

Tips and warnings

  • If any residue remains, you can use a water displacing agent such as WD-40 to remove it, reports the University of Kentucky Extension.

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