How to Remove Non-Slip Treading


Leah asked: How do I remove non-slip treading in the bathtub? I have tried everything to remove the stick-on treads. Even gasoline would not remove them.

Stick-on treads are composed of three different layers. The top layer is the decorative layer that offers the colors and design of the tread. The middle layer is a cushion, often made from mylar. The bottom layer is the adhesive layer. This layer secures the appliqué to the floor of the tub.

Peel-Off Treading

You Will Need:

  • Sharp edged scraper
  • Cuticle stick
  • Goo Gone
  • Orange Citrus Spray

Steps to Peel Off the Treading:

  1. Some stick-on treading can be peeled off of the surface. The hardest part is getting it started. Use a cuticle stick, or plastic sharp-edged scraper to get the edges lifted from the surface. Ensure that all three layers are coming up. If the top layers come off, but the adhesive layer remains with a plastic (mylar) layer on top, it will be very difficult to remove.
  2. Once the edge is lifted, gently pull back towards the center of the appliqué. If the layers begin to separate, start with a new edge. Keep working around the tread until the entire piece is removed.
  3. To remove remaining residue, moisten it with goo gone or citrus spray and rub with a soft cloth. If the adhesive is stubborn to remove, try allowing it to soak in either of the liquids for a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the amount of adhesive that remains.

When the Treading Won’t Peel Off

You Will Need:

  • Shout or Spray ‘n Wash
  • Sharp edged scraper
  • Cuticle stick
  • Goo Gone
  • Orange Citrus Spray

Steps to Peel Off the Treading:

  1. For treading that cannot be peeled off, it will be necessary to loosen the adhesive so the appliqué can be removed.
  2. To accomplish this, start by working the edges as much as possible so that they are lifted at least a little.
  3. Once the adhesive area is at least a little exposed, soak the area with either Shout or Spray ‘n Wash. Both of these liquids will help to loosen the bond of the adhesive to the surface.
  4. Allow them to soak for several hours before attempting removal.
  5. Scrape or pull the treading off after it has had a chance to soak thoroughly. It may be necessary to work in small sections, peeling the tread back a little further each time until it can be removed.
  6. Remove any remaining adhesive using the steps above.

For the Treads You Think Will Never Come Off

You Will Need:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol 99%
  • Plastic Scrapers with thin blades
  • Pliers
  • Spray bottle

Steps to Peel Off the Treading:

  1. You’ve tried everything and the appliqués still won’t budge.
  2. Start with a thin-bladed scraper to lift the edges, even if they only lift a small amount, it’s a start.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with the isopropyl alcohol and spray the edges. Allow this to set for several minutes.
  4. As the adhesive begins to loosen, scrape it back as far as possible.
  5. Spray again with the alcohol and allow it to set. If the tread is lifted enough to grab the edge, use the pliers to help keep a solid grip on the piece as you peel it back.
  6. Repeat these steps until the entire tread is removed.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Once the treading is removed, clean the bathtub as normal to remove any remaining cleaning products.
  • Some bathtubs come with the non-slip tread embedded in the base of the tub. This treading is different from stick-on treading and cannot be removed.
  • If the tub is fiberglass or porcelain, or you are worried it may damage the surface, there are other options available. Liquid detergents, all purpose cleaners or baking soda mixed with water can also be used.
  • Avoid metal scrapers of any kind and always use caution not to scrape the surface of the tub.
  • Pliers can be used to get a better grip on the appliqué as it is being removed. Use caution not to damage the surface with the metal tool.
  • If applying new appliqués, allow the surface to dry completely first.

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