How to Dissolve Plumbing Teflon Tape

Teflon is a trademarked product of DuPont, consisting of the synthetic compound polytetrafluoroethylene. Teflon plumber's tape is used to seal joints in pipes and around sink drain connections due to its high resistance to water. Over time, the material may become slippery and difficult to remove. To get rid of old Teflon tape so you can reconnect pipes and use them again, you'll need a petroleum-based solvent to dissolve the material. Gasoline works quickly and efficiently when proper safety precautions are followed.

Joints in the pipes below your sink are likely selaed with Teflon tape.

Step 1

Unscrew the Teflon-coated parts with a pipe wrench if two or more pieces are connected, such as the sink trap and drain pipe under a kitchen sink.

Step 2

Pour enough gasoline in a metal pan outdoors to submerge the parts wrapped in Teflon tape. Working outdoors is a safety precaution to avoid breathing gas fumes while reducing the risks associated with an indoor gasoline spill.

Step 3

Remove the parts and wipe the threading with old rags after the Teflon has dissolved, typically in less than 30 minutes.

Step 4

Rinse the parts in clean, cold water and dry with an old towel.