How to Remove Sticky Tabs from Wall? Easy and Quick Ways

Is it time to rip the old sticky tabs from your walls? The concern for most homeowners at this stage is how to remove the adhesives without damaging the wall or paint. You can remove sticky hooks and tabs from walls with simple ingredients and tools in your home. Read on to pick one or two of the easy methods on our list that suits your type of wall.

Simple Methods to Remove Sticky Tabs

The methods discussed in this section work for most of the adhesives used on walls. Hence, you can use them to remove sticky tabs, books, and construction tapes. Your part is to pick a method that suits your type of wall and the ingredients in your house.

1) Use Heat

Heat is one of the easiest ways to remove any adhesive substance without damaging the surface. In the case of the sticky tabs on a wall, you can use a heat gun. A blowtorch and a hair dryer are good alternatives if you do not have a heat gun.

Turn on the heat gun at low heat and hold it near the sticky tab as you pull it out gently. You can tell if the adhesive requires scrapping or a pull. Remember that the tape keeps melting as you heat it. Switch off the heat gun after a few seconds if you encounter a difficult stick tab.

Look for a putty knife or an alternative scrapper to remove the tab after heating it for a few seconds. Remember to be gentle to avoid damaging the wall.

Introduce a little more heat if the sticky tabs become harder as you scrape.

2) Warm Water and Soap

The importance of introducing heat is to soften the tabs. Warm water may work perfectly if you do not have a heat gun or any of the alternatives. Soap or detergent helps to remove the sticky scum that forms as you wipe.

An important consideration for this method is the type of detergent used and the material used to build the wall. For instance, you may not get pleasant results using soap on bricks, limestone, concrete, and other stony walls. Some detergents may bleach a wooden wall.

It is advisable to start with one sticky tab, examine the results, and then apply the method to all other adhesives.

3) Oil

The solution you need is sitting on your kitchen counter. The process is as easy as rubbing a little of your vegetable oil into the tabs, one at a time. Oil dampens the tabs, making them easy to peel or scrub off with a cloth.

You may use coconut or olive oil as an alternative to vegetable oil. Avoid applying too much oil because it may become messy. Oil may also leave stains. Hence, you need to wipe the surface again with soapy water to remove the oil residue.

4) Water Pressure

Water pressure works well for stone, brick, and concrete walls, especially outdoors. The pressure can hit the adhesive hard enough to remove the tabs. Sometimes the tabs are easier to peel while wet, but they can get messy.

An alternative source of intense pressure is sandblasting. Again, this is suitable outdoors or during house renovations. We also need to mention here that the type of tabs influences the effectiveness of water or sandblasting pressure.

As is the case with all other methods, you need to try with one or two tabs to determine if a method is effective. Pressure is unnecessary for a few adhesives. In addition, water may cause the paper to peel out and leave an ugly mixture of glue and dirt.

5) Baking Soda Paste

We have an alternative for you to clean the stony walls if water pressure is inappropriate or unavailable. You will need a soft brush for this process. Other necessary ingredients are baking soda, detergent, and water to form a paste.

Water and soap alone may not be enough to clean the glue under the tabs. Baking soda covers this limitation. Form a paste with the three ingredients and apply the paste with a soft brush. Rub the paste with just enough pressure to remove the tabs without damaging the wall.

Rinse the surface after a thorough scrub with clean water. Repeat the process on any stubborn patches until you achieve a clean wall.

6) Alcohol

Alcohol comes in when you peel the tabs, but patches of glue are visible on the wall. We need to emphasize here that alcohol may remove or discolor the paint on your wall. A few drops of alcohol on a soft cloth are enough to remove the sticky glue.

Acetone is an effective alternative, but it requires the same caution. You have little to worry about if you plan to repaint the wall. Otherwise, we recommend alcohol and acetone as the last options for removing sticky tabs.

7) Scrapping

A tougher method is necessary if the sticky tabs have been on your walls for years. Heating or applying alcohol will not soften the adhesive enough for you to peel off. Try scrapping off the tabs with a putty knife.

Scrapping is also suitable to remove a few tabs before repainting. However, if you are too aggressive, you may scratch the walls and incur higher costs to repair. In addition, you need a straight blade to scrape off old tabs on scratch-resistant surfaces, such as mirrored walls.

8) Sanding

Some adhesives in sticky tabs are challenging to remove without leaving residue. In this case, you cannot escape repainting your wall. Use any of the methods to remove as many of the sticks tabs as you can before sanding.

Sand the residue gently and ensure you have an even surface to repaint. Aggressive sanding will damage the wall or leave ugly marks after repainting. We recommend that you paint the full wall for consistency instead of repainting patches.

Additional Tips for Removing Adhesives on Walls

You have more than enough hacks to choose from to remove adhesives from your walls. Here are a few more tips to remember before starting to rip sticky tabs.

1. New tabs are easier to remove than older tabs

A new sticky tab is easy to peel or rip off the wall in a singular motion. The move is recommended after softening the tab with heat or any other method for a smooth finish. A fresh tab may not require any other treatment, but you still need the single rip.

Ripping old tabs forcefully damages the paint and sometimes the surface, depending on the materials on the walls. Set aside enough time to work on old sticky tabs. In addition, you may need to try different methods and substances to remove the adhesive residue.

If it comes down to it, be ready to sand down old adhesives and repaint the wall. The even finish is worth the extra steps.

2. Assess the type of adhesive used

The process should start before you stick anything on the wall. Adhesives are different. A strong adhesive will require a tougher method and time to remove. It is advisable to buy sticky tabs with soft glue.

You are already past that stage. We are dealing with the sticky tabs on your wall. Always start with easy methods, such as applying heat, oil, or soapy water to assess the adhesive. Try scrapping or sanding stubborn adhesives.

3. Always loosen the sticky tabs first

It is tempting to rip off a sticky tab as soon as you realize it is unnecessary, misplaced, or peeling off. Ripping does not always go well, especially on painted walls. In addition, you may remove the paper but leave the glue residue.

Soften or dissolve the adhesive before peeling the tab. Removing softened tabs easily without leaving residues or damaging the paint is easy. Strong adhesives become easier to work with when wet, even if you need to scrape off bits of them.

4. Be cautious when buying and mounting sticky tabs

Your dream interior design may involve using sticky tabs on different walls. However, your taste and preference will change with time. Changing your interiors will involve removing sticky hooks and tabs.

If you have gone through the process of removing stubborn adhesives from any surface, do not make the same mistake. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations when buying sticky tabs.

Some suppliers specify the adhesive used and the suitable walls to mount the tabs. Search the internet for ideas to remove specific adhesives before buying the next set of sticky tabs. The right information will save you hours of sanding and repainting your walls.


Most of the sticky tabs in the market are easy to remove from walls and other surfaces. The right method depends on the type of wall and adhesive. Water and soap remove adhesives on most surfaces without damage.

Applying heat with a blow dryer or heat gun softens the glue, allowing you to easily peel off the sticky tabs. Oil and alcohol also dissolve most adhesives fast. However, old and stubborn sticky tabs may require scrapping with a putty knife or sanding.