Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for mechanics and DIY enthusiast owners of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I recently had my window get stuck only after having it rolled all the way down. So I had to put a trash bag in its place temporarily, to keep rain from damaging the interior of my vehicle, and it was held down by duct tape. Now that the issue has been resolved, and my window is back up, I am trying to get the residue off of my car, without damaging the paint. Does anyone know how to do that?

Showing duct tape residue on my car door.

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are "sticker removers" specifically for automotive use that should be able to soften the residue so you can get it off. I also had reasonable success with Autoglym tar remover. In either case, make sure you're using something that's safe on automotive paintwork.

share|improve this answer
The adhesive remover that I bought from 3M says it will not damage "most cured automotive paints". This may be a dumb question, but how do I know if my paints has been cured? – tarheel Jun 25 '12 at 10:30
You're going to be OK - what they're basically saying applies only if the car has been freshly painted. If it hasn't been painted in the last 2-3 weeks, you can safely assume that the paint has cured. However, as always I'd check in an inconspicuous place to ensure that the adhesive remover isn't interacting with the paint. – Timo Geusch Jun 25 '12 at 20:36
It worked like a charm. Just in case anyone else wants to know, I bought this and it worked great on the painted areas, did not affect my tinted windows, but did take a bit of the surface off of the plastic (around the side mirror). So I switched to your standard Clorox Wipes to get that stuff off. – tarheel Jun 30 '12 at 16:29
Could you please post a link or part number to the product you used? Timo Geusch? – cloudnyn3 Nov 21 '15 at 12:39

I am a Pilot Car driver and have taped my sign on my pick up several times. When I remove it and the glue is left I use WD-40 and it removes the glue. It alse removes tar from your vehicle too.

share|improve this answer
Great point. Considering that WD-40 was originally designed as a cleaner for aircraft, this makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the answer :D – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 16 '15 at 15:53

A few drops of WD40, sponge off, all gone. Hose and wipe the WD40 off with clean sponge. Does not harm the paint. Very efficient with Rust-O-... automotive duct tape. Do you believe that? Next time, I won't use stupid duct tape but paint tape, which leaves no marks, costs the same and resists rain, cold and heat.

share|improve this answer

Rubbing alcohol or vodka work well. The alcohol evaporates but not before helping resolve the residue so you have no secondary residue from The cleaning agent which you would be left with if you used a lot of degreasers or strippers, GooGone or Aircraft remover leave an oily residue. Aircraft remover will strip everything, down to the bare metal, powder coat, urethane, oem paint which is usually urethane, etc.

Lighter fluid will work but only if you have a particular type of lighter fluid which contains naphtha, a solvent ingredient which is no longer used in many types of lighter fluid.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.