Removing duct tape from clothes is easy, but you need to put in more effort to remove the residue itself from the cloth while keeping the fabric and colors intact.
Safety Tip: When working with any chemical treatments, be sure to wear protective gloves for your own safety and follow handling instructions given on the packaging.
Try Simple First
Some people scrape off the tape residue with their fingernails. Others just soak their clothes in detergent water for about 30 minutes and follow it up with light scrubbing. Of course, these simple measures work at times, but other times some duct tapes will leave behind rigid stains and adhesive. At this point we need to look for chemical options such as adhesive remover.
In the case of non-washable fabrics, just scraping off the tape residue may work. If any stain remains, use either Afta Cleaning Fluid or K2r Spot Lifter.
If the fabrics are washable, there are various ways to do away with the messy duct tape remnants.
One of the common methods is using rubbing alcohol on the affected area. Even nail polish remover containing acetone and paint thinner containing toluene are used to get rid of sticky stains. However, these chemicals may not safeguard the color of the fabric, so try any chemical solvent on an inconspicuous part of the cloth before applying it on the duct tape residue in more visible areas.
Solvents like De-Solv-It or Goo Gone have been used to remove the adhesive with good results. Work the clothing a little at a time with the solvent without being too abrasive in your scrubbing. The residue should be scrubbed out before the fabric gets dry or else you should re-soak the cloth. Once the duct tape remnants are gone, rinse your clothing thoroughly before washing. Goo Gone is supposed to remove any residue, no matter how sticky it is.
Hairspray has also been used to remove duct tape adhesive stains successfully. Again, try it first on a hidden spot of the cloth. With this removal method, saturate the affected part with hairspray and then hand wash it with warm water and mild detergent. If the stain is not washed away in one attempt, repeat the process.
You can also use WD-40 instead of hairspray. WD-40 softens the sticky residue, making it easier to get off. The adhesive remover Un-Du can also be used for that purpose and it is relatively inexpensive. Un-Du works well in taking off price tags and stickers.