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How to Remove Masking Tape Glue

Masking tape has an adhesive backing that causes it to adhere to a variety of surfaces including walls, windows, countertops, clothing and upholstery. Masking tape's versatility makes it a useful item to have in your home. When masking tape is removed immediately, there's typically no sticky residue left behind. However, if masking tape is left on a surface for a longer period of time, or is exposed to heat, the sticky glue adhesive on the back of the masking tape will transfer to the surface to which it's stuck. Remove masking tape glue from surfaces using supplies found in most homes.

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  1. Heat the masking tape glue on floors, hard furniture or countertops with a hair dryer. Doing this will soften the masking tape glue, making it easier to remove.

  2. Pour a small amount of lighter fluid on the site of the masking tape glue. Rub the masking tape glue with a clean cloth to work the lighter fluid into the adhesive. Add more lighter fluid, if needed, to lift the stain.

  3. Wet a clean cloth with straight vinegar. Wash away the lighter fluid and any remaining masking tape glue using the vinegar.

  4. Wet the site of the masking tape glue on your clothing with cool water.

  5. Rub mild bar soap on the masking tape glue. Work the soap into the fibres of the fabric by rubbing the fabric together. Allow the mild soap to sit on the masking tape glue for 10 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.

  6. Saturate the site of the masking tape glue on your clothing with pre-wash laundry stain remover. Rub the fabric together to work the pre-wash into the masking tape glue. Leave the pre-wash on your garment for 10 minutes.

  7. Launder your garment according to the directions on the care label.

  8. Saturate a clean cloth with dry cleaning solvent. Blot the site of the masking tape glue on your upholstered furniture or carpet. Continue to apply the solvent to the tape residue to dissolve.

  9. Blot the upholstery or carpet with a dry cloth to soak up the dry cleaning solvent.

  10. Repeat steps 1 and 2, until the adhesive disappears, when removing masking tape glue from upholstery.

  11. Mix 1 tbsp liquid hand dish washing detergent with 1 tbsp, white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water. Use this solution to continue removing masking tape glue from carpeting. Soak a clean cloth with the soapy vinegar solution and blot at the masking tape glue on the carpet.

  12. Wick up the cleansing solution with a dry towel. Rinse your carpet with a clean cloth, dampened in cool water. Dab at the carpet until all of your vinegar and soapy solution has been rinsed and wicked out, then blot dry with a clean, dry cloth.

  13. Tip

    Substitute baby oil or olive oil for lighter fluid, if necessary, to remove masking tape glue from hard surfaces.


    Supervise children and pets when using lighter fluid to remove masking tape residue. While lighter fluid will remove the glue from any surface, it is harmful if swallowed.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hair dryer
  • Lighter fluid
  • Clean cloths
  • White vinegar
  • Mild bar soap
  • Pre-wash stain remover
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dry cleaning solvent
  • Liquid hand dish washing detergent

About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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