Slide your fingernail under the tape and lift up one corner. Pull it off the desk slowly, which removes more adhesive and prevents the tape from pulling up paint.
Combine a squirt of dish soap with a gallon of warm water. Soak a cloth in the soapy water then wring out the excess moisture.
Dab the remaining adhesive with the wet cloth, thoroughly soaking it. Rub it gently once it is moistened, removing as much adhesive as possible. Wipe the surface dry.
Dip a second cloth into a solvent, such as lighter fluid or rubbing alcohol. Press the solvent onto the adhesive and hold it in place until the adhesive dissolves, usually within two or three minutes. Reapply the solvent if necessary.
Wash the area a second time with the soapy water, removing any remaining solvent. Wipe the desk dry.