Removing Old Masking Tape

Just how do I remove old masking tape from an aluminium surface?

Someone once suggested kereosene - any thoughts?



I would try a blow dryer first.

I have two words for you: Goo Gone

Pick up a bottle at the grocery store and you’ll find yourself going around the house with the stuff, cleaning up all of the gummy remnants of price tags, stickers and tape.

Unlike kerosene, it’s got a pleasant citrus scent and isn’t inflammable.

Yup, Goo Gone is the way to go.

Failing that, you could try the much stronger Goof Off.

Before they came out w/ those cleaner, like Goof Off, I used to use WD40 to remove decals from the painted surface of my big truck. I had to do this annually as new licensing decals came out. I don’t think a blow drier will work on masking tape.

depends on how attached you are to the surface, and how careful you can be. Masking tape, especially old tape, can be easily removed with a razor blade, but I’ve only done that on lab glass. I’m not sure if it would scratch metal or not. Acetone was our second line of defense, and always a favorite. But it’s expensive and can be used up a lot quicker than a blade. So we scraped off most tape.

If you don’t like using chemicals or you’re a cheap b*****d, like me, use peanut butter. The peanut oil will dissolve most adhesives. It IS slow but it is environmentaly friendly… that is, unless you’re allergic to peanut oil in which case it isn’t.

Wildcat TR-60 is what I use to remove stickers from just about any surface. Place a paper towel on what you want removed, soak the towel with TR-60, wait 10 to 20 minutes and the sticker and all adhesive will wipe away.

I was surprised to find out that Goo Gone is, according to their FAQs, indeed not flammable, but it is “combustible.”

From the linked FAQ:

Wait… “isn’t inflammable” means “is flammable” :confused:


Certainly not!

Would vegetable oil work? A friend of mine seems to use it for things that I would reach for the nail polish remover for.

If the surface finish isn’t critical you could use an abrasive, i.e sandpaper, rubbing compound.

I’ve used cooking oil to remove adhesive residue many times. Just thoroughly saturate the area with oil and let it sit for a few hours.

Wait wait. . . maybe I’m wrong here- ok, I probably am. That said: I have a big, honkin’ bottle right next to me that says, “PURE ACETONE” I mean, this is a big bottle and I bought the whole thing for $2.50. Is this different than that which you speak?