This blog post will share 6 clever strategies for how to remove old plumbers tape. Some of these strategies are quick and easy, while others involve more time and effort.
How many times have you been frustrated with old plumbers tape that is difficult to remove? Regardless, the goal is to help you remove this troublesome adhesive without damaging your surfaces!
How to Remove Old Plumbers Tape
Strategy 1: Soften the Tape
One way to remove old plumbing tape is by softening it. Heat up some water and place the plumber’s tape in a plastic bag for about twenty minutes until it becomes more flexible. Once this happens, you can use your fingers or nails to peel off the softened taping from around your pipe joints.
Be careful not to have any open flames near where you are working as there will be steam coming out of the piping, which could ignite items nearby. The hot water should also help loosen grime that may be stuck onto your pipes so make sure you scrub both surfaces afterward before placing new sealing material on them.
Strategy 2: Cut the Tape
Using sharp scissors or a utility knife can make the job easier if you have a lot of old plumbing tape to remove. Cut along one side of the tape and then peel it back so that it is in two pieces. This should make it easier to grip onto and pull off. Remember to be careful not to cut yourself in this process!
Strategy 3: Boil Water and Pour It Over the Tape
Another way to soften up plumbers tape is by boiling water and pouring it over the affected area. Be very careful when doing this as hot liquid can cause severe burns. Allow the water to sit on the taped area for about five minutes before trying to peel it off.
The heat will loosen up the adhesive on the tape, making it easier to remove. This method is usually only employed when there are small amounts of old plumbers tape to be removed and you do not want to wait around for hours until one strategy works better than another.
Strategy 4: Apply Heat with a Torch
If your plumbing joints have been exposed to cold temperatures or by some other means become too brittle, applying heat from a torch can help soften them up enough so that they can be pulled apart.
If necessary, apply more heat after the first few minutes in order to get the desired results before trying this on any surfaces where heating may cause damage such as wood floors or cabinets near your pipes.
Strategy 5: Wash the Area Thoroughly with Soap and Water
You should always clean any area that you remove taping from to reduce the chance of dirt or grime getting into new plumbing sealant materials that may cause clogs later on.
To do this, mix up some dish soap and warm water before scrubbing both sides of your pipe joint thoroughly until there is no more residue left over. Make sure to use a cloth rather than steel wool as this could scratch through whatever material your pipes are made out of, leading them to corrode over time.
Strategy 6: Use a Commercial Tape Remover
If you have tried all of the methods mentioned above and are still having trouble removing old plumbers tape, using a commercial tape remover may be your best bet. This is an aerosol can that is sprayed onto the adhesive side of the tape to help break down its stickiness.
After letting it sit for a minute or two, the tape should easily peel off without any residue left behind. Just make sure to follow the safety instructions on the can carefully, as some of these products are flammable.
Now that you know six different ways to remove old plumbing tape, try out whichever one works best for you and get your pipes sealed up properly in no time!