How to Clean Adhesive Tape from a Surface

Clean Adhesive Tape

Removing adhesive tape from a surface may seem pretty simple at first, but in fact the difference in how one goes about doing it can indeed result in a big difference in terms of the end result. Accordingly, it’s now a good moment to discuss how to clean adhesive tape from a surface, so the best possible outcome can be realised.

Understanding Different Surfaces Can Have Differing Requirements 

The old phrase ‘prevention is better than the cure’ rings true when it comes to cleaning adhesive tape from a surface. Accordingly, before detailing how to remove it, it’s worthwhile to spend some time here discussing the principles of applying it. The fact is one of the most frequent mistakes made as it pertains to using Gorilla Tape on a surface is the absence of recognition surrounding the different nature of different surfaces, and how they interact when tape is affixed. Although good tape is certainly robust, it’s also vital to understand that different approaches to its application may be necessary to factor in, as it concerns different surfaces such as glass, metal and wood – and possibly, different approaches factored in furthermore depending on the specific types of these materials. For instance, although – all other things being equal – a smooth glass surface can be anticipated to bond with the adhesive of tape well, a wooden surface (while mightn’t be smooth) perhaps won’t.

An Issue of Great Weight

It’s also imperative to recognise the key factors surrounding the weight of any items of which the tape is to bond with. As an example, a heavy wood like African Ironwood – which is commonly held to be one of the heaviest woods on the planet – will come with a different weight consideration when using tape than a lighter wood shall do. This is important to keep in mind as – even allowing for a circumstance where a surface has been prepared properly as it should before tape is applied – it’s of course the case if the weight of an item to be affixed to another surface will be beyond what the tape can sustain, it can’t be expected to stay in place. 

Use Acetone

Once the aforementioned factors regarding different surfaces and weight have been factored in, it’s then time to clean the surface. After removing as much of the tape as is possible, often using acetone with a rag and/or brush to help remove the remnants can be best. Just keep in mind each material may have its own precise chemical thats ideal, so further research before using a chemical in the of cleaning adhesive tape residue may be necessary to find the ideal chemical. 

Be Sure to Dry the Surface After Cleaning Has Occurred

Following the surface having been cleaned it’s also essential to dry it. This is because if any particles remain on the surface which are not wiped and remain wet, they may stick there, and make it harder to apply adhesive to the surface in future.


Remember cleaning a surface before applying tape is a case of ‘prevention is better than the cure’ in terms of being able to remove it later. Yet when it comes time to remove tape, using acetone is a good general aid, but sometimes another chemical may be ideal depending on the particular material where the tape is being removed from. Once the tape has been removed, be sure to dry the surface once cleaning has occurred, as it’ll make it easier to reapply tape in future if the need arises. Visit RS for a full range of Gorilla Tape options. 

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