How to Remove Masking Tape Residue from Every Surface

Masking tape can sometimes be a nuisance since it often sticks or leaves residue behind as it dries on a surface. It always bonds onto a surface and creates residue or become a challenge to remove especially if the masking tape is left for too long,

Perhaps you’re experiencing this problem and wondering how you can remove tape residue without damaging the underlying material. Trouble yourself no more. This article is for you.

How to Remove Masking Tape Residue from Every Surface
How to Remove Masking Tape Residue from Every Surface

The article provides a step-by-step guide on how to remove masking tape residue off a variety of surfaces and materials including glass, window sill, plastic, fabric, and painted wood. We’ve also highlighted some tips on the best UV-resistant tape from for your benefit. Without further ado, let’s begin.

How to Remove Masking Tape Residue from Glass – Step-by-step

Whether you want to remove a freshly applied piece of masking tape or a sticky residue that has been on your glass for a long time, removing masking tape residue from glass is very easy. You can either use a chemical solvent or items around your house.

Since the glass is fragile, removing masking tape residue using a chemical solvent is the best option.

Here’s how

Things you’ll need 

  • Lukewarm water
  • Bucket
  • Cleaning detergents
  • Protective gloves
  • Cleaning clothes/rugs
  • Chemical solvent

Step 1: Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Before you start removing the residue, fill your bucket with lukewarm water then add some cleaning detergents. Put the bucket away. You’ll use it later.

Step 2: Apply the Chemical Solvent onto the Residue

Since you’re dealing with a chemical solution, wear protective gloves. Saturate the taped area with your chosen chemical solvent. Dip a piece of clean cloth onto the solvent and apply it to the residue. You can also spray the solution directly onto the residue.

Step 3: Allow solvent for a few minutes to break down the tape’s adhesive

Leave on the solvent for a few minutes (at least 15 minutes) for the chemical to penetrate and break the adhesive in tape.

Step 4: Clean the residue from the glass surface

Use a scraper to gently wipe off the residue from the glass. Be careful to ensure you don’t scratch the glass. Alternatively, use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe off the glass.

Step 5: Wash the Glass

Dip a piece of clean cloth into the bucket containing the cleaning solution and wash the glass thoroughly.  

Step 6: Dry the Glass surface

Washing the glass surface isn’t enough since it usually leaves smudges. Use a dry cloth or tissue paper to dry the glass.

How to Remove the Tape from the Window Sill – Step-by-step

Window sills often attract more dirt if it isn’t cleaned off properly. Also, the tape residue always hardens especially in sunny windows where the sill becomes warm during the day. Therefore, you must clean it off as soon as you remove the tape to prevent permanent stains or damage.

Here are few simple steps you can follow to remove the tape from your window sill;

Things you’ll need

  • A tablespoon of mild liquid dish detergent
  • 1 quart of warm water
  •  Plastic knife
  • Cleaning rags
  • Rubbing alcohol

Step 1: Peel the Tape Off

Use the plastic knife to peel the tape from the window still. If necessary, lift the tape by inserting the tip of the plastic knife under the tape.

Step 2: Remove Tape Residue from the Window Sill

Take a piece of cleaning rugs and rub over the tape residue so it balls out. You can also use your thumb to remove as much residue as possible.

Step 3: Rewet the Tape

Once the residue balls out, moisten a cleaning rug with rubbing alcohol. Using the cloth soaked in alcohol, rub the tape, rewetting it as necessary until the tape residue is completely removed.

Remember to test the rubbing alcohol on the underside of the sill or in other hidden areas to ensure it doesn’t damage the finish.

Step 4: Prepare soapy water

Combine 1 table spoone of mild liquid dish detergent with 1 quart of warm water in a spray bottle or a bucket. Take a cleaning rug and wet it in a soapy solution.

Step 5: Clean the Window Sill

Use the soapy water to wash the entire window sill. Rinse it thoroughly with clear water, and then use a clean dry rag to wipe it.

Since water can cause the residue to adhere more, only wash with water after all residue is removed.

How to Remove Masking Tape Residue from Plastic – Step-by-step

Most people use water and sponge only or nail polish remover to remove masking tape residue from plastics. Whether it’s a plastic washing basin or just a water bottle, water and sponge won’t do the trick of removing the sticky offending substance. And the nail polish remover will only corrode the plastic.

Follow the following simple steps that will help you dissolve the masking tape residue quickly and efficiently and leave the plastic surface as new.

What you’ll need

  • 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil or olive oil
  • Small container
  • Dry soft cloth
  • Clean water

Step 1: Pour 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil or olive oil into a small container.

Step 2: Loosen the tape residue

Dip a section of clean dry cloth into the container and apply the oil directly to the residue. Rub the oil gently into the tape residue with the cloth. To effectively remove the leftover tape adhesive, rub the area firmly. Apply more oil to the cloth if needed.

Step 3: Allow the oil for a few minutes to soak in.

Permit on the oil for a few minutes (at least 10 minutes) for it to penetrate and break the adhesive in tape.

Step 4: Clean the plastic surface

After a few minutes, wipe clean the surface with a dry soft cloth.

Step 5: Wash and dry the plastic surface

After the entire residue has been removed, wipe the area with a section of clean water-damped cloth. Finally, use a soft dry cloth to dry off the plastic.

How to Remove Masking Tape Residue from Fabric – Step-by-step

Removing masking tape residue from fabric is very easy. Unlike the other surfaces, you can use three different ways to remove residue from any clothing. The three simple ways to handle the residue are; use of sanitizer, iron, or Goo Gone All Purpose cleaner.

Here are amazing steps for each method;

Hand sanitizer

What you’ll need

  • Sanitizer
  • A towel
  • Plastic knife/teaspoon
  • Washing machine

Step 1: Spread a towel onto a flat work surface. Extend the clothing on the towel so that you can work on the tape residue available on the fabric.

Step 2: Scrape off the tape residue using the edge of a teaspoon or a plastic knife. Don’t press so hard that you damage the fibers of the clothing. Remove as much sticky residue as possible.

Step 3: Apply a hand sanitizer to the surface where the residue is. Use your finger to work the hand sanitizer into the tape residue area. You should see the residue loosening from the fabric as you work the sanitizer into the fabric.

Step 4: As the residue begins to loosen up, you should remove the pieces of tape residue as they come loose.

Step 5: Put the fabric in the washing machine and wash it using the recommended heat setting. Remember, each type of fabric has a different heat setting.

Step 6: Once the residue is gone, dry the fabric in the drier. But, if the tape residue is not gone completely, do not dry the clothing.

Using an iron

You’ll need

  • A cloth
  • Iron
  • Paper towel
  • Cleaning cloth

Step 1: Place a paper towel on the fabric to cover the residue area.

Step 2: Set your iron on the lowest temperature setting then warm it. DON’T use steam.

Step 3: Once the iron is heated, run it over the fabric and paper towel. Ensure the paper towel is side up. The residue will melt and stick to the paper towel, freeing your clothing from it.

Step 4: Use the cleaning cloth to wipe the area just to be sure that the residue is completely removed.

Step 5: Put the cloth inside the washer and wash as usual.

Using Goo Gone All-Purpose Cleaner

Goo Gone all-purpose cleaner is highly recommended for its efficiency in removing masking tape residue from fabrics. You can find it at

Here’s how you can use it;

Step 1: Lay your fabric on a straight work surface

Step 2: Take a clean cloth and saturate it with the Goo Gone. Just spray.

Step 3: Take the saturated cloth and firmly rub it over the tape residue to apply the Goo Gone on the fabric. The residue will begin to loosen from the clothing fiber.

Step 4: Put the fabric in the washing machine to finish removing any residue as well as the cleaner.

How to Remove Masking Tape Residue from Leather – Step-by-step

The following steps will successfully help you remove masking tape residue from leather;

What you’ll need

  • Butter knife
  • Cotton balls
  • Baby oil
  • White vinegar
  • Cleaning rugs

Step 1: Remove as much of the residue as possible using gentle, short strokes with a butter knife. You can also use the edge of a credit card.

Step 2: Take a cotton ball and moisten using a few drops of baby oil

Step 3: Use the moist cotton ball to rub the residue in a small and circular motion. Repeat the process until you’ve completely loosen the adhesive residue

Step 4: Take a piece of cloth and moisture using white vinegar. The baby oil and the residue will have completely gone.

Step 5: Take a soft lint-free cloth and dry the leather surface.

How to Remove Masking Tape Residue from the Painted Wood – Step-by-step

Removing masking tape residue from any painted wood can be a challenge. However, several methods can be used at the same time to effectively remove the residue without damaging the painted wood

Follow the following process carefully

What you’ll need

Step 1: Use your finger to rub over the tape residue, moving it in one direction. Repeat the action until the adhesive residue comes off the painted wood. If there is some residue remaining, wipe away using a damp cloth dipped in soapy water.

Step 2: Take a cotton swab and dip it into rubbing alcohol and tackle the surface. Continue the process until you can see residue no more.

Step 3: Take an equal measure of water and vinegar and mix in a bowl. Use a cotton swab dipped into the mixture to rub the painted surface until the residue is no longer visible.

Step 4: Take a soft rag and wet it using olive oil and rub on the residue. Mix grease-fighting detergent with warm water then wipe the olive oil residue off the surface.

Step 5: Take another cotton swab and dip it into an acetone-based nail polish remover. Rub it over the residue to finally remove the adhesive.

Step 6: Use the hand dryer to direct hot air at the tape residue until the residue becomes soft and pliable. Take a clean, piece of cotton rug and rub it over the residue. Begin from the outer rim towards the middle. Wipe the painted wood as you continue to heat until the tape residue is completely gone.

Step 7: Use the adhesive cleaner to wet a soft clean rag then wipe the painted wood surface. Finally, use a damp rug to remove the adhesive remover residue from the wooden surface.

How to Remove Masking Tape Residue from Car – Step-by-step

Most people always wonder whether they can successfully remove residue tape from their car without damaging the body of the car.

Follow the below simple steps to find out.

  • Water
  • Baby shampoo
  • Soft rug
  • WD-40
  • Goo Gone
  • Safety gloves

Step 1: Wash the car first

Before you can start to remove masking tape residue from your car, the car needs to be thoroughly washed. Mix the 1 cup of baby shampoo with water into a large bucket. Take the sponge and dip it into the mixture and clean the car with a soft lint-free cloth.

Step 2: Apply the rubbing alcohol

Once the car is clean from dirt and debris, use the soft rug to apply rubbing alcohol on the car body. Unlike most chemical solvents, rubbing alcohol won’t damage the paint on the body of the car.

Step 3: Rub the WD-40

Remove the cap of the WD-40 and rub the felt tip over the residue. The tape residue will come out within a minute or two. However, if you notice traces of tape residue remaining on the body of the car, polish the area with a dry soft cloth.

Step 4:  Apply Goo Gone

Goo Gone is not only good for removing tape residue from fabrics, it can also be used on cars. To clear the residues completely, sprinkle a few drops of the all-purpose cleaner onto the residue. Allow it to stay for a few minutes (5 minutes at most) then wipe firmly with the soft cloth until the residue and any Goo Gone are wiped.

Safety Tips: Goo Gone can be harmful to the skin after prolonged exposure. So be sure to have your gloves on during this entire process

Additionally, you can remove masking tape residue from a car using heat to melt away residue.

It can be done if 3 easy step

Step 1: Place a hairdryer over the tape residue and hover over one corner of the residue for about one minute.

Step 2: Allow time for the residue to soften

Step 3: Spry up the edge of the tape residue using a plastic card or scraper.

Step 4: Remove the residue from the body of the car, adding additional heat and scraping beneath it with a scrapper where necessary.

Best UV-resistant Tape

Looking for the best UV-resistance tape for your material or surface? has it all. It’s one of the best shopping platforms where you can get UV- resistance at an affordable price.

Below are some of the best UV-resistant tapes

Gorilla 6009002 Weather Tape

Gorilla 6009002 Weather Tape is one of Amazon’s best choices among UV-resistant tapes. The tape can withstand extreme weather conditions. It resists drying, peeling, and cracking by sunlight heat, cold, and moisture in both cold and hot temperatures.

This tape can be used on plastic sheeting, tarps, roofs, vents, RV’s, automotive, and much more.

T-Rex Ferociously Strong Tape

The item is made with polyethylene (PE) material which can block harsh UV rays from weakening the tape’s adhesive. It’s suitable for brick, concrete, shingle, painted and unpainted wood, and vinyl siding.

It offers better coverage when protecting, supporting, repairing, or sealing materials while letting you get more strips of tape saving you time and money.

You can check T-Rex Ferociously Strong Tape on Amazon.

How to Remove Masking Tape Residue from Every Surface
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