How to Remove 3M Mounting Tape

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Many of the mounting tapes made by 3M are designed to create a permanent bond between a surface and another object. Some of these tapes have an acrylic, foam-based core that leaves a small gap between the adhered surfaces. This gap works to your advantage when it's time to remove the adhesive, as thin string, such as dental floss, works as a cutting tool to break the bond. For 3M mounting tape without the foam core, slowly pulling the bonded items apart often separates the items, at which point some adhesive residue may be left behind.

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The Dental Floss Technique

Dental floss is an excellent tool for removing 3M mounting tape currently sticking an object onto a flat surface as well as on some curved surfaces. The key to using dental floss as the bond breaker is that you must be able to maneuver a taut piece of floss between the tape and the bonded surfaces. This makes it pretty easy to use on any of 3M's mounting tapes that have foam cores. If you don't have dental floss, any durable, narrow thread or string also works, as will fishing line.

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Cut a piece of dental floss long enough to reach between the stuck items with enough extra to wrap around your fingers. For instance, if the mounting tape holds a small picture frame on the wall, cut the floss a bit larger than the picture frame so you're able to manipulate the floss behind it. Hold the floss tightly between your hands and then slide it under the top object stuck to the tape. Wiggle the floss back and forth and work your way through as if slicing a hunk of cheese. If the tape is on a wall, be prepared for the mounted item to fall; ask a friend to hold up the object if it's something fragile, such as a picture frame.

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The Peel-and-Pick Method

Peeling off the tape works well if you're able to remove one of the bonded items, such as the aforementioned picture frame. Grab one corner of the tape and peel as slowly as possible, as the tape's bond actually gets stronger if you try to peel it quickly. Remove as much as possible by peeling; it may take several tries to remove most of it if the tape breaks.

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Once you've peeled away as much as possible, pick at the remaining tape bits or roll the gooey adhesive residue into a ball and dab that ball over the other adhesive bits since adhesive easily sticks to itself. If the surface still feels sticky, apply a quality masking tape over it, smooth the tape down and let it sit for a minute or so. Peel off the tape and much of the sticky goo should have transferred to the sticky side of the tape.

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Solvents Remove Residue

If the surface still feels a tad tacky after you've removed the tape, a solvent such as rubbing alcohol removes the remaining adhesive residue. Dip a cotton swab or a clean white cloth into the alcohol and then dab and gently rub the sticky surface. For areas such as painted walls, test the alcohol in an inconspicuous area first to ensure the alcohol causes no damage.

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