Good day to all.

This question is quite similar with this one on this site, though this one is not yet hardened but just so sticky. I bought this motorcycle a week ago and they put some kind of mark to it using a very sticky masking tape (made of paper). Now, the tape is attached to it and I cannot remove it out without using brute force, such as knife. I don't want to scratch the paint in it.

The surface in which the tape adheres is made of very hard and dense plastic.

Is there a way I can remove it safely?

Image of motor body.

1 Answer 1


Organic solvents should do it, but start with the mildest, to avoid damaging paint and plastic. N.B. Most of the following are flammable, and some are mildly toxic, so use outdoors, away from flames.

Rubbing alcohol, such as 90% or stronger isopropanol, is quite mild, though not very effective.

Diethyl ether is a bit more effective and will loosen masking tape, but it is easily ignited. Even a warm engine or muffler can cause it to burn. A comparatively safe source is engine starting fluid [usually available locally for less than that in the link]. Because the spray valve closes when released, it is less likely to cause flashback (flames jumping to the container).

Chlorinated solvents such as some brake cleaner sprays are less flammable but more toxic. These solvents are more aggressive and might attack paint and plastics, so test in an inconspicuous spot before using on the tape.

  • Should I leave it overnight? or scratch immediately? I am not sure if leaving them overnight will not fade the paint.
    – Jem Eripol
    Nov 2, 2017 at 0:08
  • A minute should be sufficient; in fact, ether will evaporate in just a few seconds. You may need to make a pad of some paper toweling covered by plastic wrap to keep the solvents from evaporating too fast. Nov 2, 2017 at 0:24

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