How to Remove Tape Residue from Skin (9 Useful Tips)

By Jessica Kelley | Health


Have you ever tried removing a bandage but failed miserably to get it right with all the sticky residue still present on the surface of your skin? Yes, many people have the same problem.

In fact, removing a bandage can be very annoying, irritating and even messy due to that sticky adhesive that is somewhat tough to remove from the skin. Aside from the fact that the sticky glue does not look good on the skin, it can also irritate the skin.

So, how to remove tape residue from skin? Many people are wondering the best tricks on how this is done. Here are some of the useful ways of removing tape residue from the skin.

1. Apply Isopropyl Alcohol - Best Solution

Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol is an ideal solution for removing tape residue from the skin. In fact, this solution is one of the most common solvents used for dissolving bonding agents.

 It contains chemicals that release the adhesive from the skin surface through breaking down the glue component of the adhesive.

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Soak a cotton ball with 70% isopropyl alcohol and rub it on the affected area. You can rub the cotton in small and circular motion to loosen the stubborn tape deposits. You can repeat the process a few times if the residue is not removed in one try.

After the tape residue is removed, you can wash the area with cold water and pat it dry.

2. Using Cooking Oil


Yes, even the most ordinary kitchen staple, cooking oil, is helpful in removing tape residue from the skin. With cooking oil, you can soften the adhesive and let it loosen its grip from the surface of the skin.

When using cooking oil, you can just put some oil on the cotton ball and make sure that you squeeze it to remove excessive oil. Then, you can pat the oil-coated cotton balls on those areas where the tape residue is located.

You can rub the cotton ball in a back-and-forth motion to gently remove the tape residue.

 Once you have successfully removed the adhesive from your skin, you can use a washcloth moistened with warm water and liquid detergent to cleanse the area and remove the oil from the surface of your skin.

3. Use Nail Polish Remover


If you have nail polish remover at home, you can also make use of this to remove adhesive stuck on the surface of your skin.

When using nail polish remover, you can directly place a generous amount of the solution on a cotton ball and rub it over the affected area of the skin. You have to make sure that you rub the area gently over your skin.

Once removed, you can just cleanse your skin with detergent and warm water and pat it dry.


4. Use Your Regular Shampoo


The use of shampoo is an old-fashioned but effective method that can help remove tape residue from the skin. You do not even have to use a particular shampoo to do this.

Using any shampoo, you merely have to dab an ample amount of the shampoo on the affected area of the skin and cover the area with a wet cloth for about five to ten minutes.

Then, you can rub the skin gently with the damp cloth to remove the adhesive residue off before rinsing your surface thoroughly with clean water.

While this method may take some time to remove tape residue from the skin completely, it is considered the safest, painless and most inexpensive way available.

5. Use Petroleum Jelly


Petroleum jelly can also be used in removing tape residue from the skin. This solution is a petrochemical product that comes in gel form that is used to dissolve various sticky substances including tape adhesives.

Petroleum jelly is safe to use. In fact, it can even be applied in sensitive areas like areas near the eyes.

When using petroleum jelly, you have to smear a generous amount of the jelly on the affected area and wait for about half an hour before you start rubbing your skin.

The rubbing motion and the petroleum jelly can help break down the glue in the tape residue, resulting in the removal of residue from the surface of the skin.

Once successfully removed, you can wipe the area off with damp cloth. If the adhesive persists after your first try, you can repeat the process until all of the tape residues is removed from the skin.

6. Apply Lotion


Most lotion products have an oil or lipid base, making them an ideal solution for removing tape residue from the skin.

 To use this, you can just rub a small amount of lotion on the affected area of the skin and let it sit for about five minutes. Then, you can gently massage the area using a soft towel or cotton ball.

When using a lotion, you have to note that unscented lotions are considered the best option, as the chemicals used for added fragrances can cause pain and rash on the irritated skin.

7. Apply Cold Compress

If you are removing tape residue in areas on your skin where there are some open wounds or cuts, then you may want to consider using a safer method which is applying ice or cold compress.

Using ice is considered the safest and this will prevent infecting the wound or causing any further irritation.

If you use any chemical based solutions for removing tape residue from skin with open wounds nearby, you can further irritate the wound and even cause infection.

8. Use a Pharmacy-Grade Adhesive Remover

Yes, some products are specially designed to remove adhesive residues on the skin. Such products often come in disposable wipes or spray solutions. While useful, these products are a little more expensive and difficult to find.

You can find these products at your local drugstores. You can also find some of them online.

9. Bathe in Warm Water


Bathing in warm water is perhaps the least expensive method in removing tape residue from the skin.

Warmth along with moisture tends to make the adhesives in bandages and medical tapes more pliable. To remove tape residue from the skin, you just have to soak the affected area in warm water, or you can directly take a warm bath or shower.

The adhesive residue may merely come off on its own, or you can gently scrub it using a mild abrasive pad or a washrag.

If you do not have the luxury of time to take a bath or shower, you can just fill a bowl with warm water and soak the affected part of the skin.

This option works best if you let the affected area soak for a long time. You can try this while you are watching television or reading.




In choosing the right method to remove tape residue on the skin, it is important to be mindful about the affected area. If it is near an open wound, you might want to consider a safer and milder solution so as not to further irritate the skin or infect the wound.

On the other hand, if it is on sensitive areas of the skin like near the eyes, you should make sure that you use suitable solutions like petroleum jelly.

If the tape residue in general areas of the body where there are no infected wound or other sensitive body parts, you can choose an appropriate method like using nail polish remover or isopropyl alcohol.

Ultimately, removing tape residue from skin may seem tough to do but there are definitely some effective tips and tricks on how this is made easy even with the use of the common household items and solutions.


About the Author

I am Jessica, co-founder of We work to inspire, educate and empower our readers with all the latest updates and authentic information. Our goal is to bring up the “Healthy attitude” among people in the world. On you will find high-quality health information, fitness tips, diet charts and answer to all your health queries.