Friday, July 27, 2007

How can I get duct tape residue off of my car?

Q - The hatch on my suv recently broke and to keep the galls window down untill I could get the part I had to use duct tape. Now I have the part and have had it replaced and there is duct tape stick stuff on the car. How can i get rid of it easily??

A - Tough question! Removing duct tape residue isn't usually that difficult, but the kicker here is that it's on a car—which means no caustic products that might damage the finish. I'm going to make a few suggestions, but you'll have to write back to let us know if you have success! If not, we'll take it up a notch and try something a little stronger. (The following products should be safe, but you might want to give a call to your local service department just to make sure they're okay for your car.)

I have three suggestions:

1. Saturate it with linseed oil, which is what the professionals use to get tar off of cars. Let the oil sit for a minute, then dampen a soft rag with more of the oil, and rub the area until the sticky stuff comes off. You can also try vegetable oil, though it may not work as well.

2. Put a dab of peanut butter on a soft rag and rub it around and around the area until the sticky stuff begins to roll off. (When removing tape residue, sometimes peanut butter works like a charm; sometimes it doesn't work at all.)

3. You might try the method recommended for removing bumper stickers: Use a blow drier to heat the sticky stuff, then use a credit card or something else with a flat edge to gently scrape it off. Just be careful of that finish!

So there you have it. Let us know how it turns out. And thanks for a great question!

14 comments:

Sarah said...

I first tried the vegtable oil and it worked great! It took a little elbow grease but that tape had been on my car for over a week! The only problem with the vegtable oil is that you have to be careful and not get a lot on the glass because it left it a little foggy untill I cleaned them.

Rama said...

Oh my God! Vegetable oil indeed works like a charm. Duct tape residue on my car was gone with one swipe!

JLynne said...

Thanks for the info! I had the same problem with clear packaging tape and couldn't get all the tape off as well as the adhesive. I used WD-40 and it helped. It took some elbow grease as well. I would carefully scrape off the tape then use the WD-40 again on the adhesive. Mine had been on there for several months so it took several tries. It is my understanding that it is made from fish oil so that might be why - not unlike linseed or vegetable oil - all natural oils and organic.

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Anonymous said...

Another enthusiast for vegetable oil. I had a square foot of duct tape residue on top of my SUV. Canola and elbow grease, ratio 1 to 4. Gone!!

cory serre said...

i found that vegetable oil was useless to remove the year duct tape residue on my window.... i found heating it with a hair dryer, windex and elbow grease was the best solution for me...

Mindy said...

Thanks, Cory! Good to know!

Sabina said...

Vegetable oil worked a treat on the duck tape, little bit of elbow grease required but not a bit of residue left, thanks, I had images of my broken window being fixed but the paint work around it being ruined.....Top Tip!

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Vegetable oil... AMAZING!!!

Larry Robinson said...

I HAVE THE REMEDY FOR REMOVING DUCT TAPE RESIDUE FROM YOUR CAR EXTERIOR AND WINDOWS. NO WD-40! NO OILS, NO CLEANSER. NO CHEMICALS AT ALL. GET A ROLL OF THAT 3M CLEAR WIDE TAPE THAT FOLKS USE TO HANG UP POSTERS AND USUALLY COMES ON A RED PLASTIC ROLLER. TEAR OFF A SECTION OF THE TAPE AND APPLY IT TO THE AREA OF YOUR CAR THAT HAS THE DUCT TAPE RESIDUE. PRESS IT DOWN OVER THAT AREA AND THEN SLOWLY PEEL IT OFF AND THE RESIDUE COMES RIGHT OFF. NO MUSS! NO FUSS!

Joshua Wright said...

Lighter Fluid worded wonders... Highly recommended.

Mindy Starns Clark said...

Lighter fluid? That doesn't hurt the finish?

If anyone does try this, I would add a few words of caution: Don't smoke while you're working, and be sure to wash your hands afterwards asap! :)

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