I have duct tape, masking tape and brown tape residue on walls, vinyl and skirting board. Will water and a microfiber cloth be sufficient to remove them or what will I need to do. I prefer avoiding harsh chemicals as they make me unwell.


  • 1
    ISTR peanut butter as a handy paste solvent for tape residue if you are not allergic to peanuts.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 22, 2020 at 2:15
  • sometimes you can lift the residue with a piece of tape ... just dab the residue with the sticky side of duct tape
    – jsotola
    May 22, 2020 at 2:32
  • The skirting board is this painted wood? The wall what material Sheetrock , painted? I hope. I use a product called desolve-it it is a very good orange based cleaner, I use it to remove adhesive labels on electrical equipment. It will not hurt wood or vinyl it is a natural orange tang cleaner. The wall may be a problem if not painted if there is paint desolve-it will soften the glue and it can be wiped up. If the wood or dry wall is not painted your best bet is to clean it the best you can then use a shellack based sealer to cover then paint. If the skirt is MDF use caution or it will swell.
    – Ed Beal
    May 22, 2020 at 2:51
  • Use gas, It works on just about anything. Even that hateful sticky concrete tar.
    – hello moto
    Jun 4, 2020 at 6:02

1 Answer 1


Water won't touch most of those tape remains, sorry.

Do you have other people who can do this for you, while you spend a day away from the smells at home?

First option is a citrus based cleaner, which tends to have a sweeter and more-pleasant smell. Normally these are Orange-based.

Something like acetone or isopropyl alcohol have an odour which should dissipate fairly quickly. Avoid using kerosene or turpentine because their smells linger longer.

The main risks are of damage to the underlying surface. If you're cleaning in order to repaint, then that's less of an issue. Start with the "more-gentle" solvents and work up.

Once the tape residues are softened, you might be able to scrape them off with a blunt scraper (not a razor-blade)

And in the future, consider other ways to hang things on your walls that aren't tape? Magnets can be good if you have metal in the wall though are a risk to babies, pets and children.

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