Monday, August 4, 2014

Mindful Monday: Removing Duct Tape Adhesive from Furniture & Walls

As soon as the "polar vortex" hit us last January, we had contractors in our house gutting our exterior walls.  All of our large furniture was stacked in the corner of the living room with my mother's hutch against the open stair wall.  When they put plastic up to protect the upstairs from dust, they used duct tape on our walls and across the top of my mother's hutch.

I don't think I need to explain our reaction to this ignorant hack job.

Last week, with the chickens finally out of the house, I started putting the dining room back together.  When I climbed up to clean the top of the hutch (I won't tell you what I was standing on), I was reminded of the horrible experience we had this winter.

Duct Tape Adhesive on Hutch

So, after googling how to get this yuck off and finding a variety of methods, I decided to see what I have in stock and go from there.

I came up with a  bottle of mineral oil and an old cloth diaper.  (Even years after the diaper days ended I am thankful I chose to cloth diaper my baby.)

Mineral oil is one of those things that is safe for virtually any hard surface.  It's safe for items used for food, as is evidenced by the label on the bottle.  They even use it to condition soapstone countertops.  One big thing mineral oils has going for it over food-type oils is that because it's not food-based, it doesn't break down like those oils do.  Food-based oils can breed bacteria and attract pests if not cleaned up completely.  Mineral oil does no such thing.

Okay, on to the removal.

I drizzled a little mineral oil on the adhesive and rubbed it all over the area using my fingers.  I used my fingers because a cloth would soak up the oil and defeat my purpose.

Rub small amount of mineral oil over the adhesive.

I let it sit for about 15 minutes.  I did check it at 5 and 10, but I found that the longer it sat, the easier it was to remove the yuck.

Let sit for about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, the adhesive was easy enough to rub off with my fingers.  I wanted to make sure it was ready to come up before I broke out the rag.

Check the progress of adhesive break down.

Then I broke out the cloth diaper and started rubbing.  It didn't take much effort at all.

Rub residue off with a soft, clean rag.

I rubbed the mineral oil over the entire area to sort of polish it.  Then I used the clean end of my rag--soaked in hot water and rung out--to clean off the excess oil.

Use hot water to clean off oil.

I couldn't be happier with the results.

Before and After

 I was so pleased with the ease of the process, I decided to try it on the wall.  Obviously I had to do it a bit differently, applying the oil with a rag, but the results were the same.  I admit I was worried about the paint, but after the scrubbing--which required more elbow grease than the hutch--the only damage was to the rag.

Duct tape residue on wall before cleaning
Wall after mineral oil treatment 

Here's the process, step by step:


  • Mineral Oil
  • Soft, clean rag (cloth diapers are perfect)
  • Hot water (straight from the tap to the rag is fine)

  1. Drizzle a small amount of mineral oil onto adhesive to be removed.
  2. Using your fingers, rub the oil all over the area to be cleaned.
  3. Wait 15 minutes.
  4. Using your rag, rub the adhesive off of the surface you're cleaning.  (Circular motions work best.)
  5. Wet the clean end of you rag (or another clean, soft rag) with hot water and ring out.
  6. Wipe excess oil off of the surface you are cleaning with the hot water rag.
  7. Dry however you desire.

I used this process to remove duct tape residue, so I believe it would work for just about any other stubborn adhesive residue.  I'm not sure about crazy glue, or other products like that, so don't quote me on that.  

This post is part of the Clever Chicks Blog Hop on The Chicken Chick!

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