Removing Tape Glue

Emily Jones

Peeling tape away from surfaces can often leave behind a sticky glue that can be difficult to remove. The scientific process behind glue removal is the destruction of the adhesive bond through altering its moisture and temperature levels, without destroying the object or surface the glue is bound to.

Remove tape glue with a few simple techniques.

Usually oil or an oil-based product will work to remove the tape glue. Vegetable oil is an inexpensive and easy homemade solvent for removing tape glue.

  1. Remove as much glue as possible with more tape. Lay a piece of tape over the glue, rub with your fingernail to ensure bonding and gently pull off the fresh tape. With a little luck, it will lift the old tape glue with it.

  2. Rub an ice cube over the tape glue to make it easier to come off. Use a plastic spatula to scrape as much of the glue off as you can.

  3. Apply a few drops of vegetable oil to the tape glue. Let it sit for several hours. The oil will loosen the dried glue so it will be easier to remove.

  4. Pour some vegetable oil onto a cotton swab and gently wipe over the glue. Start at one end of the glue and work your way to the other end, using circular motions. When the glue has lifted, scrub the area gently with a warm, soapy wash cloth.

  5. Apply heat on surfaces that may be damaged by oil. Put a hair dryer on medium heat 6 inches from the glue until it softens. Scrub the glue with a warm, soapy washcloth until the tape glue is gone.


Some surfaces may be affected by oil, so always test a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure the oil doesn't damage the texture or surface.