Unfinished wood can stain easily, even from something as simple as tape. Luckily, the tape residue is usually responsive to one of the few chemicals that can be used on unfinished wood. Follow the steps below.
You Will Need:
- A hair dryer
- A plastic scraper, such as
- A credit card
- A plastic spoon
- A paper towel
- Mineral spirits
- A cloth
- Baking soda
- Distilled water
Steps to Remove the Tape Residue:
- Use a hair dryer on the warm setting to soften the tape residue. Hold the hair dryer several inches away and move it slowly over the area to warm the residue.
- If you have any actual tape that still needs to be removed, peel it off once the residue has softened. If you have trouble gripping the tape, try using tweezers, but be very careful not to gouge the wood.
- While the tape residue is soft, try scraping it off with a plastic scraper like a credit card or a plastic spoon.
- Fold a piece of paper towel in half, then cut out the folded area to be just large enough to fit over the tape area.
- Soak the piece of paper towel that is the size of the tape area with mineral spirits, then wring out the cloth so it’s only damp, not dripping.
- Press the damp paper towel onto the tape residue.
- Let the paper towel sit for a few minutes.
- Use a plastic scraper, such as a credit card or plastic spoon, to scrape off the residue.
- If there is any residue that is stubborn, wet a cloth with the mineral spirits, then rub the area to remove the residue.
- If the stain remains, wet a cloth with water and wring it out so it is only damp, not dripping. It is best to use distilled water if possible to prevent any minerals in the tap water from getting onto the wood.
- Sprinkle some baking soda onto the cloth, then scrub the residue with the baking soda area of the cloth. Once the residue is gone, wipe the area with a clean place on the cloth to remove the baking soda, then use a hair dryer on cool air to dry the wood. If a water stain remains, see the guide How to Remove Stains from Unfinished Wood.
- If the above method does not work, you can also try using isopropyl alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover).
- Always use precautions when working with chemicals like mineral spirits by wearing gloves and ventlating the area.
- How to Clean Practically Anything by Consumer Reports
- Clean It Fast, Clean It Right by Jeff Bredenberg