How to Remove Surgical Tape

Surgical tape is commonly used in hospitals and health care settings to secure and dress wounds. It is very durable and has a stong adhesive backing to prevent the tape from falling off prematurely. It can sometimes be difficult to remove the tape due to the adhesive, so some common household items can be used to make the process painless.

How to Remove Surgical Tape

Saturate a paper towel in rubbing alcohol.

Rub the surgical tape that you are going to remove with the paper towel saturated in alcohol. The alcohol will start to dissolve the adhesive backing of the tape that is against your skin.

Lift one corner of the surgical tape with your fingernail.

Start to pull the tape in an upward motion. As you are pulling the tape, place the paper towel saturated with alcohol on the skin where the corner of the tape was.

Continue to pull the tape upwards and off while rubbing the paper towel saturated in alcohol on the skin directly underneath the tape.

Once the surgical tape has been removed, rub the skin with more alcohol to remove any adhesive that may still be on your skin.


Be careful not to get rubbing alcohol in any wounds that you may have as this will cause burning and possibly damage to the healing cells in the wound.


Do not use rubbing alcohol around your eyes, nose or mouth. If it is splashed into the eyes, rinse eyes with water for 15 minutes and call your physician. If accidentally ingested, visit your local emergency room immediately.