How to Get Tape off of Glass

Two Methods:Removing Tape on Glass with Chemical SolventsUsing Household Items to Take off Tape from Glass

People use tape for different purposes on glass such labeling food containers or hanging up signs. It’s usually easy to remove tape from glass. But in some cases, it may be difficult to get tape or its residue off of glass. This is especially true if a tape, such as duct tape, has a strong adhesive or has been on the glass for a long time. You can get stubborn tape or its residue off of glass by using chemical solvents or using items around your house.

Method 1
Removing Tape on Glass with Chemical Solvents

  1. 1
    Peel tape from the glass. Before you apply any solvents, remove as much of the tape as you can by hand or scraper. Peel back as much of the tape as you can with your hands and fingers. Scrape away any lingering bits or residue with a knife, razor blade, or scraping tool. You may find that peeling and scraping may remove less adhesive tapes such as magic and electrical.[1]
    • Use a scraper with a single blade and handle to prevent injury. Scrape the tape away in a motion away from you. Apply gentle pressure on the glass so you don’t scratch it.[2]
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    Choose a chemical solvent. Some types of tape—such as duct, bondage, filament, masking, and packing—can be particularly pesky to remove. If you can’t seem to remove tape from a glass surface, use a commercial lubricant, solvent, or even petroleum-based product to get it off. Some chemical solvents that can make your job easier are:[3]
    • Petroleum: including mineral spirits, paint thinner, and naphtha (also sold as lighter fluid)
    • Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol
    • Acetone, including nail polish remover
    • Degreasing agents with d-Limonene such as Fast Orange or Goo Gone[4]
    • Lubricants including WD-40
    • Aerosol furniture polish[5]
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    Take safety precautions. Chemical solvents can be toxic and should be used and stored with caution. Not using chemical solvents properly can cause fires and harm your health. Taking the time to read product labels and using the solvent it in a well ventilated area may prevent unnecessary accidents when removing tape from glass. You should also wear gloves when applying solvents to glass to protect your hands.
    • Read the product label closely for any suggestions or warnings about your chemical solvent. If you have any questions, contact the company at the phone number given on the label.[6]
    • Make sure the area you use the solvent is well ventilated. The fumes may be dangerous if inhaled for too long. Open any windows in the room or use a fan to bring in fresh air. If you don’t have any windows or a fan in your area, try and remove the glass to an area that is well ventilated. Consider taking a break every few minutes to get some fresh air.
    • Keep the solvent and its container away from children, pets, and flames.
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    Apply the solvent to the glass. After taking the necessary precautions, saturate the taped area with your chosen chemical solvent. You can pour it on directly or apply it with a paper towel, cotton ball or swab, or clean cloth. Use the solvent only on the area with tape to decrease the chances of overwhelming fumes or fire.[7]
    • Cover the entire taped area as well as the immediate border of the tape and its residue. Make sure that you’ve put enough solvent on the area to saturate it without it getting other surfaces wet.
    • Avoid applying the solvent or rubbing it in with your fingers or hands unless you are wearing protective gloves. Not doing so may cause your skin to have a bad reaction.[8]
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    Leave on the solvent for a few minutes. It takes a few minutes for a chemical solvent to penetrate and break down the adhesive in tape. Allow the product to sit on the glass for at least 15 minutes. The more pesky the tape, the longer it should have to get the tape off of your glass. Use the time the solvent is soaking into the adhesive to get some fresh air and check that there is nothing hazardous near it.[9]
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    Wipe off the residue. After the solvent has had a few minutes to break down the tape adhesive, wipe off the tape and residue. It may take a few passes with the cloth to remove the solvent and tape, but wipe until the glass is dry or you don’t see or feel any more tape or adhesive.[10]
    • Use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe off the glass. Cloth with lint or that can rip easily can leave an even bigger mess on the glass, especially if you didn’t get off all of the tape. You can also use a scraper if you prefer or the adhesive is a bit stronger.
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    Wash the glass. Because solvents are toxic and can cause skin reactions, it’s important to wash off the glass when you’re done wiping it. This can also help remove lingering residue and will leave you with clean, gleaming glass.[11]
    • Use a glass cleaner or hot water and a dish soap to clean your glass. Dish soap can help further cut an oil or residue. Make sure you don’t wash the glass with household or personal items.[12]
    • Scrape or scrub off any lingering residue in the soap and water. You can use a kitchen sponge, scrubber, or steel wool to get any tape off of the glass. Use only new sponges or scrubbers and throw them away after use so no one else in your family uses them on personal items.
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    Repeat steps if necessary. In some cases, you may not be able to get tape off of your glass with one application of solvent. Repeat the process 2-3 times or until you are able to remove the tape and its adhesive.[13]

Method 2
Using Household Items to Take off Tape from Glass

  1. 1
    Heat glass with a hairdryer. Heat is an excellent way to remove tape and its residue from glass. Directing a hairdryer towards the tape and adhesive will soften them and make it easier to peel away.[14]
    • Turn your hairdryer to high heat and direct it on the tape for 45 seconds. Then test a corner of the tape to see if it comes up easily. If not, heat for another 45 seconds and check if the corner comes up more easily. If the tape is over a large area, break it up into smaller sections. Pull the tape as you go.
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    Soak the glass in boiling water. Moist heat can also be useful for removing tape from glass. It may work especially well on very sticky tapes or residue. Try soaking the glass in hot or boiling water if a hairdryer doesn’t work. Leaving the glass in the water for 30-40 minutes may soften and dissolve the tape and adhesive enough so they simply wipe right off.
    • Fill a sink with hot or boiling water. Be sure to not burn yourself. Place the glass in the sink and leave it for 30-40 minutes. If the glass is too large to put in the sick, soak a dishcloth in the water and place it directly on the taped area. Leave it for the same amount of time. Wipe off the tape and any residue.
    • Try adding some dish soap or vinegar to the water for better removal.
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    Get rid of tape with an olive oil. Your kitchen is a great place to find items that can quickly, naturally, and easily get tape off of glass. You likely have olive oil as a staple in your diet, now you can put it to work against tape and adhesive. Try other vegetable oils such as canola or safflower if you don’t have any olive oil on hand.[15]
    • Apply a few drops of oil over the area with tape and let it sit for a few minutes. You can also soak a paper towel with the oil and leave it on the glass. This allows the oil to penetrate the tape and adhesive. Once the olive oil has sat, scrape the tape and any good with your fingernails or a razor blade until it comes up and forms little clumps.
    • Wipe the area with a clean paper towel. You can wash it in soap and hot water to clean it or remove lingering residue.
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    Dissolve tape and adhesive with vinegar. Mild acids like vinegar often work well to remove tape and its adhesive residue. Leave diluted vinegar on the tape for a few minutes to let it work its magic.[16]
    • Mix one part water to one part vinegar. Then soak a dishrag in the solution. Either wrap the cloth around the glass or set it on top of the glass. You can also safely hold it in place with your hands if you can’t set the glass on the ground. Allow the mixture to penetrate the tape and adhesive for a few minutes before you remove the cloth. You’ll likely notice that the tape is much less sticky.
    • Wash the class with a dish soap and warm water to remove any lingering tape or residue.
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    Rub on a baking soda mixture. Baking soda is an abrasive that can help pick up bits of tape and residue. Mixing it with an oil or acid such as lemon juice makes a natural paste that can scrub off and remove tape from glass.[17]
    • Mix equal parts baking soda with a vegetable oil, water, or lemon juice until it forms a paste. Rub this paste onto the area with tape and leave it on for a few minutes.
    • Wipe the paste off with a clean cloth. The tape should come off relatively easily. If there is any lingering tape or residue, use one of your kitchen scrubbers to remove it. You don’t have to worry about using a new one, as a baking soda paste is natural and safe to use.
    • Consider soaking your glass in boiling water for 30-40 minutes before rubbing on the paste. This can remove paper or other materials that may be stick to the tape or adhesive.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Razor blade, knife, or plastic scraper
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Sponge or scrubber
  • Olive oil
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Chemical Solvent

Article Info

Categories: Home and Garden