How To Remove Velcro Adhesive (Quickly & Easily!)

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans

Velcro-brand fasteners are used in a variety of ways in and around the home. They even make their way onto some clothes every now and then. The different ways in which we utilize Velcro fasteners are a testament to how versatile and helpful they are.

Still, there are some minor issues that may arise from using Velcro products. We say minor, but truthfully, seeing the adhesive residue left behind by Velcro fasteners is not pleasant. Thankfully, there is a way to remove Velcro fasteners cleanly so you don’t have to worry about any residue.

Start by pulling up the Velcro fastener and then use a knife to slowly peel its edges away from the surface. Examine the surface and then use a citrus-based cleaner as well as a rag to wipe off any residue. You may have to continually rub the cleaner into the surface to remove all traces of the residue.

Don’t let residue left behind by Velcro fasteners affect the appearance of your home décor. Find out how to remove those fasteners and any residue they may leave behind properly by reading on.

The Process of Removing Velcro Adhesive

Your first encounter with Velcro fasteners may have taken place when you first put shoes on by yourself. Many pairs of shoes designed for kids rely on Velcro fasteners. That’s because they offer a strong grip while remaining easy to use.

As a homeowner, you may still be using Velcro-brand products today. You can use them to suspend headboards, panels to hold tools, and other decorative elements inside your home. Those fasteners remain very dependable.

The only real downside to using those Velcro fasteners is that they often leave residue behind. The sticky side of the tape that you have to lay down to use them is known for producing that residue.

In this section, we’ll outline how you can remove the Velcro fasteners cleanly. Check out the steps below to learn how to pull that off.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

For this job, you will need a razor blade, a cleaning rag, and a citrus-based cleaner. You can substitute the razor blade with a small knife if that’s what you have on hand.

Now as for the cleaner, you really need something with that citrus kick to dissolve the sticker residue. Citrus-based commercial cleaners such as Goo Gone, Citra Solv, or De-Solv-It Citrus Solution are your best bets here. Mixing some kind of citrus juice with water is just not going to cut it.

Step 2: Test Your Citrus-Based Cleaner

Before you start with the removal process, you should test out the cleaner you chose first. Apply a bit of it on the surface you want to work on and see what kind of effect it has.

Testing is necessary if you want to avoid damaging the surface you’re working on. Some cleaners may be harsher than others so it’s best to see them in action first.

Step 3: Slice away the Bond between the Adhesive and the Surface

Grab the razor blade or knife and line it almost parallel to the surface you’re working on. Now, slide the sharp edge under the sides of the Velcro fastener. Continually move along the edges of the fastener until you’ve detached the outer edges from the surface.

Step 4: Peel and Cutaway the Adhesive

With the edges of the adhesive detached, you’re ready to start peeling it away. Pull back on the fastener to reveal more of the adhesive. Use your knife or razor blade to cut away more of the adhesive from the fastener.

Make sure you work slowly at this point. Pulling on the fastener too quickly will risk ruining the surface.

Step 5: Remove Any Residue

Hopefully, the careful manner in which you removed the Velcro fastener has prevented the production of residue. Don’t worry if residue was left behind though because you can still remove it.

Get your citrus-based cleaner and apply some of that on to a cleaning rag. You can then use that rag to wipe away the residue. Large amounts of residue can be tougher to remove, but you can do that by rubbing more vigorously.

Alternatives to Citrus-Based Cleaners

We noted earlier that mixing citrus juice with water is not enough if you want to remove Velcro residue. That’s true, but that doesn’t mean there are no other alternatives.

Homeowners can also use solvents if they don’t want to spend extra on a citrus-based cleaner. Examples of solvents you can use include WD-40, nail polish remover, and lighter fluid.

However, you must exercise caution before using any of those alternatives. Depending on the surface you’re working on, the solvent may actually cause more damage than the residue from the fastener. Be sure to test out the solvent first before using it for that specific application.

If you do decide to go with the solvent, you can use it the same way you did the citrus-based cleaner. That means you should only really use it if residue remains after the tape was carefully removed.

How to Remove Velcro Adhesive Using Heat

For this next section, we’ll detail the process of removing Velcro adhesive using heat. This is a good method to follow if you want to avoid using both citrus-based cleaners and solvents.

Step 1: Prepare the Needed Tools

You will need a cleaning rag and a razor blade or a small knife for this job. Instead of a cleaning product though, we’ll use a heat source. A steam cleaner would be preferred, but you can settle for a hairdryer if that’s what you have. Your other option is to use hot water.

Step 2: Use Heat to Detach the Adhesive from the Surface

Pick up the hairdryer or steam cleaner and start using that over the Velcro fastener. Keep the heat source moving over the fastener for a few minutes to get the desired results.

Alternatively, you can use hot water instead of the aforementioned appliances. Soak a cleaning rag in some hot water and then place that wet rag over the fastener. Leave the soaked rag over the Velcro fastener until it cools down.

The second method is riskier because you have to handle hot water, but it can be very effective. If you have the appliances though, we recommend using them.

Step 3: Detach the Edges of the Velcro Fastener

Go get your razor blade or knife and use it to start cutting the edges of the Velcro fastener loose. Remember to work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the surface.

Step 4: Pull away the Velcro Fastener

Start pulling away the Velcro fastener now. If the heat did its job, then the fastener should come away clean. Use the knife to cut the fastener-free if there are still spots where it sticks to the surface.

Step 5: Clean the Surface

The heat should make cleaning the surface very easy. Get your rag and wipe the surface clean.

How to Remove Industrial Strength Velcro Adhesive

Some Velcro fasteners are attached with industrial-strength adhesive to make them more secure. Detailed below are the steps for removing the residue left behind by those stronger Velcro fasteners.

Step 1: Get Your Tools

To pull away industrial strength Velcro fasteners, you’ll need a cleaning rag, citrus-based cleaner, pliers, and a putty knife. A putty knife is recommended because you want something that can be gripped easily.

Step 2: Loosen the Hold of the Velcro Fastener

Use your pliers to pull up one corner of the Velcro fastener. You don’t have to pull it all the way. Just peel it back enough to where you can apply the citrus-based cleaner.

Step 3: Apply the Citrus-Based Cleaner

With the opening created, start dripping some of the citrus-based cleaner on to the adhesive. Try to get as much of the cleaner into the opening so the fastener is easier to remove.

Step 4: Pull away the Velcro Fastener

Go back to your pliers now and use it to start pulling away the Velcro fastener. If the cleaner did its job, then the fastener should come away easily. Don’t stress out if the fastener doesn’t come loose right away. Just apply some more of the citrus-based cleaner and keep pulling until the fastener is removed.

Step 5: Wipe the Surface Clean

The last step involves simply wiping the surface clean. Your trusty cleaning rag should suffice for that job.

Related Questions

How Do You Make Velcro Fasteners Sticky Again?

Accumulated debris inside the Velcro fasteners can cause them to lose their stickiness. If you want to continue using those fasteners, you have to do something about the debris.Use a fine-tooth comb, an old toothbrush, or tweezers to remove the pieces of debris stuck in the fasteners. This can be a tedious undertaking, but it will make those Velcro fasteners usable again.

How Long Can You Expect Velcro Fasteners to Last?

Velcro fasteners are not going to last forever. They will start to lose their stickiness after they are opened and closed about 10000 times. Exposure to heat and/or moisture can also cause the fasteners to lose their stickiness faster.

Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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