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I think it’s probably safe to say you’ve probably heard of or have used Velcro products at least once in your life. Velcro is a popular fastening tape used in household items and clothing such as shoes, luggage, dresses, and bags. 

It’s an appealing solution for closing or sealing items being small and not bulky. Its patented hook and loop seal keeps things together with surprising strength for its size.

Velcro has been in households for over 60 years and has appeared in prominent applications such as shoes, cord ties, tape products, and more. It’s used in many surprising ways, such as supporting plant stalks by taking Velcro strips and tying them around stems, securing messy cables, keeping rugs in place, and even hanging photographs. Anyone can use this handy strip in place of tape or any fastener.

It secures surfaces with a strong adhesive. Over time, we may need to relocate or remove that Velcro. Maybe you’re redecorating, and you used Velcro to hang paintings or fixtures. Over time Velcro can pick up lint and debris that is difficult to remove effectively. If there is too much debris, the Velcro strips lose their ability to grip each other.

Removing Velcro can leave behind an unpleasant and difficult-to-remove adhesive. It’s essential to remove Velcro adhesive gently not to damage the surfaces it is attached to, and some surfaces are more delicate than others.

We’ll show you how to gently remove the adhesive and ensure your surfaces look as if there was never any Velcro at all.

A quick history of Velcro

Velcro was invented in the 1940s and officially patented in 1958 by George de Mestral.

The idea came to Mestral in 1941 when he was hunting with his Irish pointers. He noticed that their fur and his pants were covered in burs from a burdock plant.

This piqued his curiosity, and he took the bus home and placed them under a microscope to study them further. He observed the burs sticking due to hooks attaching to the loops in the fabric of his pants.

He knew he could recreate this mechanism, creating a new way to fasten things instead of using buttons, zippers, or sewing things together.  

Removing Velcro adhesive

Getting the adhesive off any surface can be a sticky situation. It’s built and designed to hold on with great strength and can be no easy task to pull off. That’s why we have the tips and tricks to help remove Velcro adhesive with ease.

Make sure you have the proper equipment ready:

The standard method for removing Velcro adhesive in 3 steps:

  1. Start by gently removing the Velcro strip from the surface. Use the knife to slide the sharp edge between the Velcro strip and the surface and gently slice the adhesive to detach the bond. Move slowly to avoid damage.
  2. Test the surface with the citrus-based cleaner of choice to ensure the cleaner won’t damage the surface. We recommend testing on a side or place that is hidden.
  3. Once the Velcro strip has been completely removed and the surface has been tested, apply Goo Gone or your citrus-based cleaner of choice to your clean cloth and begin gently wiping down the surface. Use the cloth to pull away from the residue gently. More challenging residue might require a little more Goo Gone and a good amount of elbow grease.

Now your surface is clean and clear like the Velcro was never there.

An alternative method using heat to remove Velcro adhesive:

You can also use heat to clean Velcro adhesive if you prefer not to use chemicals or cleaners on your surfaces.

  1. You will need a heat source such as a hairdryer or a heat gun and a damp cloth. Be sure to use the lowest settings to avoid damaging the surface.
  2. Turn on the hair dryer or steam cleaner and use it on the Velcro fastener. Hold the heat source over it for a few minutes for the best results.
  3. Start to pull away from the Velcro fastener. You may have to use a blade or other flat surface to get one corner lifted to start.

The heat loosens the adhesive and makes it easier to pull up without leaving a residue. Use a clean damp cloth to wipe clean the surface after removing the bulk of the residue.

Industrial strength Velcro

Industrial strength Velcro is a heavy-duty Velcro designed to hold heavier objects. This type of Velcro takes a little more effort to clean up. We recommend using the citrus-based cleaner, a putty knife, a clean cloth, and pliers to get the job done.

You’ll start by loosening the adhesive with the putty knife. This adhesive is strong and will take a little more work than the regular adhesive. You’ll want to move slowly to detach the Velcro adhesive as not to damage the surface.

After the Velcro has been removed, apply the citrus-based cleaner to the cloth and start removing the remaining residue. Try to remove as much as you can with the cleaner. The pliers come in handy to pull up any tougher to wipe residue.

Once you have the surface free of adhesive debris, polish the surface with a clean cloth.

Frequently asked questions about removing Velcro adhesive

Why do I need to remove Velcro adhesive?

If you are moving, redecorating, or Velcro has lost its strength due to debris, you may need to remove the Velcro in place.

What’s the easiest way to remove Velcro adhesive?

We recommend using a blade and a citrus-based cleaner such as Goo Gone.

What’s kind of cleaners can I use to clean Velcro adhesive?

Velcro recommends using a citrus-based cleaner such as Goo Gone.

Are there any alternative adhesive removers? 

You can use something less abrasive to clean up the adhesive, like vegetable or baby oil.

Velcro Adhesive, be gone!

Velcro can stay attached and stand the test of time if you need it to. However, if you need to remove it, use the safe and easy measures we provided to get the job done. No matter the length of time you’ve had Velcro attached to any surface, it is made so you can choose to keep it there for eternity or remove it as needed.

Velcro adhesive isn’t the only sticky substance that can be tough to remove and damage surfaces. Be sure to check out our guide on how to remove sticker residue from plastics.