How to Remove Hem Tape Residue

When you don't have time to sew a hem into your pants or skirt, hem tape can be a wonderful alternative. Simply iron the adhesive into the hem and it holds the pieces together. However, if you wish to let the hem down, the process can be much more difficult. After removing the hem tape, a sticky glue or residue is left behind on the fabric. Depending on how long the hem tape sat in the fabric, the adhesive may take several attempts to remove, or it may never be able to be fully removed.

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Hemming your pants can prevent them from dragging while you're walking.

Step 1

Rub your finger over the hem tape residue. As you rub, the residue may begin to ball up or stick together. Use your fingernail to scrape up the residue balls. Remove as much adhesive as possible.

Step 2

Add a dime-sized drop of waterless hand cleaner onto your fingers. Rub into the hem tape residue. This should help lift the stuck residue and cause it to ball up. Continue until all of the residue is removed or no more is being lifted.

Step 3

Spray a laundry stain pretreatment spray over the hem tape residue. Alternatively, rub liquid laundry detergent into the fabric. Allow the treatment or detergent to work into the fabric for at least 30 minutes. If possible, allow the treatment to work into the fabric overnight.

Step 4

Launder the fabric following the fabric care instructions. Use the hottest allowable water for the fabric.