How Do You Remove Masking Tape?

remove-masking-tape Credit: BanksPhotos/E+/Getty Images

Masking tape can be removed with a hairdryer to prevent damage to surfaces. Remaining tape residue can be removed with new tape, vegetable oil and tape, eucalyptus oil and a cloth or rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.

  1. Use a hairdryer to loosen adhesive

    Hold the hairdryer 3 to 4 inches above the tape. Evenly heat the entire piece of tape and then gently peel the tape off. For longer pieces, do one section of tape at a time and gently peel up each section you heat. The heat will help the adhesive release and not damage the surface.

  2. Remove adhesive residue

    Any adhesive left on the surface after tape removal can be pulled up by applying another piece of tape to the same area. Use fingers to press the tape firmly on existing residue and then slowly peel tape off.

  3. Use oil or alcohol for stubborn adhesive residue

    Put a few drops of vegetable oil or eucalyptus oil on the residue. Let vegetable oil sit for a day before using more tape firmly applied with fingers to pull up remaining adhesive. For a safe solution on wood surfaces, use eucalyptus oil on residue for a few minutes and then wipe with a cloth. Do not use a paper towel with eucalyptus oil because of residual paper fibers. Alternately, use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball with gentle pressure to dissolve adhesive.