Removing Adhesive Tape Residue from Carpet

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated April 1, 2013)


While adhesive tapes, such as duct tape, can be helpful in a lot of ways, they can also create some unique problems as well. One of the trickier problems arises when you remove adhesive tape from your carpeting. Namely, that you often find some residue left behind. Luckily, removing adhesive tape residue from carpet doesn't have to be all that impossible or even difficult a task. All you need to do is follow these simple directions.

  1. Test the carpet. The first step in removing adhesive tape residue from carpet is to test the carpet itself. Meaning you will need to test whether or not the carpet will be damaged or destroyed, or even if the color will be ruined by employing the methods listed here. In an inconspicuous location, or using a small sample of the same type of carpet, spray a little bit of WD-40. Allow the sprayed carpeting to sit for about 30 minutes. If the carpet's color fades or it appears to be damaged in anyway, you will need to use a different method for this task.
  2. Use a knife. When you are sure that your carpet can withstand the WD-40, you can begin removing the adhesive tape residue. Do this by scraping a plastic knife or paint scraper along the area that has the residue. Be as gentle, yet firm, as possible while you are doing this so you don't accidentally damage or pull any of the carpet fibers out. Continue to do this until you have removed as much of the residue as possible.
  3. Apply some solvent. Spray the afflicted area with some WD-40, and allow it to sit there for about 15 minutes. Once that time has passed, you can then proceed to the next step.
  4. Scrape the area again. While the carpet is still wet from the WD-40, take your plastic knife or paint scraper and begin scraping the area once again. This should help you to remove any remaining bits and pieces of tape residue that you were unable to remove earlier.
  5. Use some cleanser. Once you have finished removing as much of the residue as you can see, it is time to do a bit of clean up. Grab your favorite type of carpet cleaning agent, such as Goo-Gone or De-Solv, and read the instructions. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer carefully, and begin cleaning the area.
  6. Allow to dry, then inspect. Allow the area that you just cleaned to dry, and then take a close look at it. If you find that there are any remaining bits of tape residue on the carpet, you will need to repeat steps two through six until it has been removed. Just make sure that you are careful as you do this that you don't damage the carpet.

Keep in mind that the method described here for removing adhesive tape residue from carpet works best for carpeting that is colorfast. If your carpet isn't very colorfast, or the WD-40 happens to damage the carpet in some way, you still have options. The simplest option would be to use the same method listed above, with a slight difference: use rubbing alcohol or dry cleaning solvent instead of the WD-40. After applying the rubbing alcohol, all you need to do is blot the area clean.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is 4 + 4?

2015-10-15 13:50:42


Lava soap and warm water works awesomely!!

2013-04-02 03:11:36

Pete Laberge

Rubbing alcohol can also be of help....

I might be inclined to try a bit of Dawn or Palmolive, (in warm water) before I tried the WD-40, though. Just in case...

2013-04-01 12:02:57


Incidentally, it turns out that WD-40 is quite useful in removing the glue from items purchased at IKEA. I found it was the only thing that removed the glue: Goof-off and similar products did nothing but smear it around.

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