How to Remove Auto Accessories Applied With 3M Auto Tape

by Nick Davis

From mounting clocks to cellular phone holders, 3M Auto Tape, also known as 3M Acrylic Foam Tape, also mounts exterior moldings and trim as well as ground effects to your automobile. The tape contains a long-lasting adhesive, is double-sided and available at automotive supply, retail superstores and home improvement centers. Like other adhesives, 3M Auto Tape is removable if you need to reposition an auto accessory or you want to remove the accessory from your automobile.

Heat the auto accessory and area containing the 3M Auto Tape you want to remove with a heat gun or hair dryer. Connect the heat gun/hair dryer to an electrical extension cord if needed.

Move the heat gun/hair dryer slowly over the area as you lift the accessory gently with a flat-head screwdriver. Continue lifting the accessory until it is free from the area to which it is attached.

Use tweezers to carefully lift off any 3M Auto Tape residue from the automotive surface. Apply 2 tbsp. of an adhesive cleaner to a soft cloth or rag. Wear latex gloves to keep the cleaner off your hands.

Blot any remaining tape residue with the cleaner-soaked cloth or rag. Reapply adhesive cleaner to the cloth or rag and blot until the area is clean. For stubborn residue, use a plastic squeegee to gently scrap the residue and then reapply cleaner to the cloth or rag and blot the area until it is clean.


  • After removing the auto accessories and 3M Auto Tape residue, clean the areas where the accessories were with a dry, soft cloth or rag to remove any dust and dirt.

Items you will need

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.

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  • Dashboard of automotive image by TekinT from Fotolia.com