Removing Adhesive Marks and Stubborn Stains

Clinically we use several products that are made to stick and stick well. The use of adhesive tapes and under wrap sprays can be a challenge to remove off any surface. Bed and pillow covers are not exempt from adhesives. 
Prevention of excess tape or adhesive sprays is essential to ensure the longevity of the covers.

Cleaning is a complex process and often involves knowing the chemistry behind the product you are trying to remove. For example, the adhesives contain many chemicals to maximise grip:

Adhesive Sprays contain:

  • Isobutane, Methylal, Ethanol, Propane, Glyceryl rosinate, Paraffin liquid.

Sports and under wrap tape adhesive contain:

  •  rubber zinc oxide

In most cases, a detergent -based cleaner will not remove these stains.

We have tested several adhesive removers.   In many cases using adhesive removers may void the warranty. 


In the image, we show the removal of three common stains, tape adhesive stains, under wrap tape spray stain, and massage cream.

We tested all these three stains using:

  1. Smith and Nephew adhesive remover wipes
  2. WD40- a proven adhesive remover
  3. Eucalyptus oil
  4. Detergent-based cleaner
  5. General purpose spray
  6. machine wash
 Residue Tape glueUnder tape SprayMassage Cream
Adhesive remover wipesYESYESYES
Eucalyptus OilYESYESYES
Detergent cleaning agentNONOYES
General- purpose cleanerNONOYES
Washing machineNO PARTIALYES


The best adessive removers were the adhesive wipes, WD 40 and Eucalyptus oil. 

The adhesive remover wipe was the most aggressive on the covers with some obvious colour appearing on the wipes. 

WD40 had less colour on the rag but WD40 does leave an oily residue and an the unique "WD40" smell. This must be removed immediately with a soapy wipe down.

Eucalyptus oil did not remove any surface colour, but again does have a strong smell. Again, removal with a soapy wipe down is required.


Detergent based cleaning was effective on massage cream removal but did not remove the adhesive tape or spray.


Machine wash removed the massage cream but did not remove the adhesive stains.  





Prevention of stains is the critical measure to maximising the lifespan of your covers. 

Adhesive stains can be removed but require a different cleaning process and a cleaner that breaks down the adhesives. 


Detergent based cleaners and many of the COVID cleaning agents will not work on adhesives.

The more aggressive removers will also remove the top layer of colour and reduce the lifespan of covers. 

Stronger adhesive wipes should be avoided and used only for spot cleaning. Use of these will void any warranty.

Eucalyptus oil was the preferred remover with minimal colour removal. 


If you use any adhesive remover, you must wipe down immediately to reduce any further surface damage and reduce skin contact issues for future patients. 




Older Post