What Can I Use to Remove Duck Tape From a Wood Floor?

Written by daisy cuinn
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What Can I Use to Remove Duck Tape From a Wood Floor?
Duct tape, including the Duck Tape brand, is useful ... and hard to remove from your floor. (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Duck Tape brand duct tape on a wood floor poses a sticky problem. The tape's strong adhesive makes it difficult to remove from porous surfaces, especially if it's been there a while. To make things more complicated, you can't douse it with nail polish remover or another harsh solvent, because it will damage the wood. With the right materials, though, there is still hope.

Removing the Backing

If the coloured Duck Tape backing is stuck to your wood floor, you'll need to remove it before tackling the adhesive. Gently remove the backing from the adhesive with a razor blade. Lift one edge and scrape the blade against the backing, not the floor. Pull the tape backward slowly, not upward, to avoid damage to the floor. Don't attempt to rip the tape off in one motion or scrape the razor blade on the floor.

Oil-Based Adhesive Remover

The ingredient list for the adhesive remover sold under the trade name Goo Gone is proprietary, but the solvent is oil-based and is listed as being safe on hardwood floors. Spray or wipe the area with adhesive remover. Let it sit for a few minutes then rub it gently with a cloth. Repeat as needed until the adhesive is gone. Don't allow the solvent to sit on the wood for an extended length of time, and clean the area with oil soap immediately after removing the Duck Tape.


The cleaning and lubrication solvent that goes by the trade name WD-40 is also a proprietary formula, and it is also oil based. Hardwood floors are listed by the manufacturer as a surface that the solvent cleans safely. Use the smallest amount of solvent possible. Don't saturate the area; use a cotton pad to apply it or use a pen applicator. Allow the solvent to sit for about five minutes, working in patches if the adhesive is very old. Clean as you go with a damp cloth. Clean the area with oil soap after the tape is removed.


Pure oil is not only good for your wood floors, but it can also remove sticky adhesive. Using oil alone will take more time, but you can be sure it won't damage your floor. To use, coat the Duck Tape adhesive with a layer of oil --- you can use mineral oil, olive oil, baby oil or petroleum jelly. Allow the oil to sit for about two hours before you try to scrape off the adhesive. After you're done, wipe away any excess oil and rub the rest into the wood with a cloth.

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