Will WD40 Remove Flex Tape Without Hurting the Surface?

Will WD40 remove a flex tape?” is a question that usually comes to mind when you’re looking for ways to remove that stubborn tape. The flex tape, also known as flex seal tape, is a strong adhesive that can’t be detached by simply peeling it off, like duct tape.

Will WD40 Remove Flex Tape From My Car

You’ll need help from a secondary source to make the adhesive come off. In this article, we’ll tell you if it’s possible to use WD40 to peel off the flex seal and suggest other helpful ways to accomplish that.

Will WD40 Peel Off Flex Tape Without Hurting the Surface?

Yes, WD40 will peel off flex tape without hurting the surface because it’s made of chemicals that dissolve adhesives. Its main function is to remove rust and corrosion from metallic surfaces, but it has since become useful in other areas, including removing adhesives like flex seals.

If the surface is metallic, then the WD40 and the flex tape can do little damage. However, a wooden surface is a different ball game. Wooden surfaces form stronger bonds with flex tape, making it extremely difficult to remove without scraping the wood. What actually causes the damage is the scraping process after the WD40 has been applied.

However, leaving the chemical on the wooden surface for a long period can damage the surface as well. Thus, we’ll recommend safer ways of removing flex seal from wooden surfaces to protect them.

How To Remove Flex Tape With WD40

To remove flex tape with WD40, first soften up the tape with heat from a hair dryer or a heat gun. Next, spray the adhesive with the WD40, allow it to soak for about 15 minutes, and peel back the tape. This method is more effective when applied to a metallic surface, but a wooden surface will require a different approach. Since the flex tape forms a stronger bond with the wood, the most effective way is to scrape it after spraying it with the WD40.

Detaching the tape from the plastic surface is quite easy compared to other surfaces. You won’t need to soften the surface with a heat gun, or you risk destroying the chemical components. Rather, spray WD40 lubricant on the plastic surface and allow it to sit for a few minutes. The tape should come off once you start peeling it with your bare hands.

If you spot adhesive residues, you can get rid of them with fiber cloth to protect the surface. You’ll have to repeat this process several times to completely remove the tape. Aside from using WD40, there are other effective methods of detaching flex tape from surfaces.

What Other Ways Can You Use to Remove Flex Tape?

Other ways you can use to remove flex tape are using warm water, nail polish remover, and applying heat. However, note that these methods will depend on the type of surface you encounter. Warm water works best on metallic surfaces while applying heat on plastic isn’t advisable.

Using Warm Water to Remove Flex Tape

This method is quite straightforward, but be careful you don’t burn your fingers. Thus, we advise you to wear thick gloves and some protective material. Also, note that this method is most effective when the tape was applied recently on a metallic or plastic surface. If the flex tape is old and dried, you might have to apply a different method.

A Mug of Warm Water

First, heat up some water and pour it into a bowl. Next, put on your gloves and hold the bowl of water close to a corner of the tape. Now, put one corner of the tape into the hot water and wait for a few minutes to allow the tape to peel on its own. Once the tape starts peeling, you can continue removing it until it all comes off. If the flex tape doesn’t budge, then move on to the next procedure.

Removing Flex Tape With a Nail Polish Remover

Apply the remover to a piece of cloth and rub it on the tips of flex tape in a circular motion. Repeat this process until the flex tape begins to lift around the edges. Hold the edges where the tape is coming off and peel it off from there. Ensure you clean the tape residue with water and soap.

A Bottle Of Blue Nail Polish Remover

Removing flex tape with a nail polish remover isn’t ideal because the chemical components of the product can destroy the surface. Thus, don’t try using this method on car paint or other paint jobs. To be on the safer side, we recommend you pour a droplet of the remover on the surface to see how it reacts. Once you’re sure it won’t destroy the surface, proceed with applying it to the flex tape.

Removing Flex Tape from Car Paint

On how to remove flex seal tape from car paint, first, point the WD-40 at the tape and spray it generously on it. Then, allow the degreaser to sit on it for about 5 minutes to soften the tape. Apply a microfiber cloth on the tape in circular motions to force the tape to come off.

You can also use a commercial adhesive-removal product such as Goo Gone to remove the tape. Spray some Goo Gone onto the tape and let it soak for a few minutes. Next, wipe the tape in a circular motion, and before long, the flex tape will be removed, leaving the car paint intact.

Using a warm towel, too, is effective in detaching the tape. Boil some water and place a towel in it. Now, place the towel on the tape and allow the heat to soften the glue. Wipe off the flex tape after a few minutes, and it will fall off.

Detaching Flex Tape With an Adhesive Remover

Instead of using WD40, you can use a specific liquid, flex tape adhesive remover, designed to remove adhesives. These chemicals are far more effective than WD40 and won’t destroy surfaces. To begin, remove a tip of the flex tape, lift it up and detach as much as you can. While holding the tape you just removed, point the nozzle of the remover and spray it between the tape and the surface.

An Adhesive Remover On Pale Blue Background

Use a generous amount of spray if you want to do an effective job. Keep spraying while you lift up the flex tape simultaneously. Keep repeating this step until the flex tape finally comes off. Once it is off, clean the remover residue with a microfiber cloth. If you’re wondering how to remove flex tape from fiberglass or how to remove flex seal from rubber, this procedure is equally effective.

Removing Flex Tape By Hand

You can also use your hand to remove the flex tape and scrape off the residue with a blunt metal. First, try to detach the corners of the tape from the surface and then start pulling on the tips with your hands. You can use a pair of pliers to help remove the tape from the edges before pulling them up. If the tape doesn’t come off after exerting much effort, you can apply a degreaser or a remover to make it easier.

Man Trying To Remove A Tape From Car Body

Also, you can use a blunt machete or big knife to pry off the tips of the flex tape before pulling it with your hands. If there are residues, just scrape them off with a knife or machete.

Detaching Flex Tape By Using Heat

Another effective way to remove flex tape is using a heat source, preferably a heat gun or hair dryer. Switch on the heat source and place/hold it about 6 inches away from the tape. Move the heat source over and around the adhesive until it softens. Put the heat source away and remove the tape by carefully peeling it away.

A Hair Dryer With White Background

Start from the edges and pull it gradually rather than yanking it off. Yanking may cause the adhesive to tear, given the soft nature of the adhesive. You can remove the residue by hand or carefully scrape it with a chisel.

Note that this method is effective when the flex tape covers a large surface area. Also, don’t apply this method if the surface is plastic, as it might melt or form a stronger bond with the tape. We recommend using this method as a last resort after you’ve tried all else and failed.

How Can You Remove Flex Paste from Your Hands?

You can remove flex paste from your hands, also known as flex super glue, by washing your hands with warm water and soap. Apply some soap to your hands and wash them thoroughly. You can use a pumice stone to scrub after washing to eliminate the residue.

You can apply acetone to help remove the paste, but apply it with caution. Ensure you read the directions on the label before using it to avoid injuring your skin. However, you can apply acetone on the surface of any material without any negative effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Vinegar Effective at Removing Flex Tape Adhesive?

Yes, vinegar is effective at removing flex tape adhesive from most surfaces. Vinegar is a solvent that can dissolve adhesives; thus, applying it on flex tape should do the trick. Put a cotton ball into vinegar and rub the flex tape’s surface. Allow the vinegar to soften the adhesive.

Wipe the tape with a microfiber cloth to remove it. Keep repeating the procedure until the flex tape completely comes off.


This article has answered the question of whether WD-40 can be used to remove flex tape and provided other ways to remove the adhesive.

Here’s a summary of the major points:

  • You can remove flex tape with WD40 by spraying it on the tape and leaving it to sit for a few minutes.
  • Once the degreaser has eaten into the adhesive, start peeling off the adhesive from the edges and gradually remove the entire tape.
  • You can also use an adhesive remover by spraying it on the flex tape while removing the flex tape simultaneously.
  • Pointing a heat source at the tape will soften it and make it easier to remove, but be careful you don’t burn yourself.
  • A nail polish remover also does a decent job of removing the flex tape and protecting the surface from damage.

Gently scrape off the tape’s residue with a machete, chisel or big knife and wipe it with a microfiber cloth.

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