how to get rid of tape residue

How to Get Rid of Tape Residue on Wood?

There is no question about the benefits of using adhesive tapes. They can be used in sticking items together, even serving as a moisture barrier to surfaces when doing tasks such as painting, and a lot more. 

Since adhesive tapes, just like duct tapes and masking tapes, are designed to stick, getting rid of their residue on wood can be a challenging thing to do. Of course, you would not want to damage the surface. Knowing how to get rid of tape residue on wood will help you make sure that your wood stays attractive and without the unsightly presence of tape residues. 

Option 1 – The Easier Way

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Getting rid of tape residue need not be too elaborate or involved. There is no need to prepare scraping tools for this procedure. 

What You Need

  • Tub O’ Towels wipe
  • Cloth

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Prepare What You Need

For the easier way of getting rid of tape residue on wood, you can simply prepare a Tub O’ Towels to wipe.

Step 2 – Apply on the Residue

Put one of the wipes on top of the residue and wipe it gently. 

Step 3 – Repeat

If you do not see any improvement on the first try, you can simply repeat as needed until the residue is removed. 

Step 4 -Allow to Wait

This step may be done for residues that are strong-willed. Allow the wipe to settle on the area where the residue is. This will allow the cleaning agents to absorb and dissolve the stickiness. Wipe afterward. 

Option 2 – The Challenging Way

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Learning how to get rid of tape residue on wood may also go on the more challenging way. This procedure gets you more involved. 

What You Need

  • Putty knife
  • Warm water
  • Soft cloth
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Hairdryer
  • Towel
  • WD-40

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Scrape with a Putty Knife

You can start the process by scraping the surface using a putty knife. However, since the edges of the knife are sharp, make sure to do it gently so that you will not end up scratching or damaging the wood. 

Step 2 – Dampen the Surface

The surface that you are trying to clean up may be dampened using warm water. This can soften the adhesive. Then, you can use a soft cloth to scrub the surface with back-and-forth movements. 

Step 3 – Use Dishwashing Liquid

This step may be done if the adhesive residue is still visible. You can add about two drops of dishwashing liquid. This will help in loosening the bond even more. Unless you are working on a water-resistant surface, make sure that the water does not stay for too long. This could result in your wood getting damaged. 

Step 4 – Use Hair Dryer

Another way that you can try it out is by using a hairdryer. Position the dryer to a specific location. The heat that comes from the dryer will soften the bond further. Afterward, wipe it off using a soft cloth. You may also want to scrape it off using a putty knife. 

The use of heat will melt the residue. As such, it is best to turn the hairdryer into full heat, holding it above the tape. After giving it enough time, while making sure that it is no longer dangerous to the touch, touch the tape and see whether there is any improvement or not. 

Step 5 – Use Baking Soda

Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda on the residue. If the tape is still present, you may cover the surface with baking soda paste. Allow it to sit for about 3 to 5 hours, and scrub the surface using a brush. 

Step 6 – Use Rubbing Alcohol

With a white, clean towel, or cotton swab, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol directly on the spot. This can only be done if it is not painted wood, because alcohol may remove the paint. Rub the tape along with it, and continue rubbing for about 15 minutes. Others also find it effective to cover the residue with alcohol, leaving it just be for about 30 minutes.

Then, check whether the glue has softened successfully. If so, you can then remove the tape. Wipe the residue off to complete cleaning. 

Step 7 – Use WD-40

Try using WD-40 on finished wood. Make sure to wear gloves, and apply the WD-40 on the surface. Allow the solution to settle for a few seconds. With your finger, wipe the residue away. Any remaining oil should be washed away with water and soap. 


Despite the abovementioned methods on how to get rid of tape residues on wood, there is still a chance that they will not be effective. As such, you may have to try all of them to see which one will work best for you. If all else fails, you can simply buy adhesive cleaning products that are designed to remove the residue. Do you have suggestions to share? Leave them in the comments section below. Feel free to share this article as well! 



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