Is it possible to restore transparency of clear scotch tape? I am trying to expense claim a taxi receipt which amount is behind said tape. amount is no longer legible because scotch tape lost transparency

partial recovery but amount is unclear I recovered some print using Smartphone App

  1. OCR
  2. emphasize faded print

I will also try:

  1. heat the back of the receipt.
  2. Color Manipulation
  3. Photocopier to bring out the faded information

Does anyone know which settings to use for Canon Model IPRC165?

Suggestion to restore print on thermal paper

  • I complained to 3M as follows: My expense-claim receipts are damaged by chemical reaction dissolving the print (from thermal paper) due to adhesive of your scotch tape. Why is there no alert on scotch tape not to use on thermal paper print? Result of using your scotch tape is I cannot claim my expenses after applying your scotch tape to thermal paper. Jul 11, 2023 at 3:24
  • as per ThermalPaperWhitePaper (WP1).pdf (anixter.com) (anixter.com/content/dam/Suppliers/Brother/White%20Papers/…), inert thermal paper exists but cost cutting may be cause of my problem. Jul 11, 2023 at 5:12
  • In your whitepaper, there was no mention of inert thermal paper. Also, the receipt shown in the tabscanner blog was the third page of a multipart NCR (carbonless) form not printed on thermal paper. Lastly the whitepaper specifies under "Thermal Paper Best Practices" - Don’t apply adhesive tape to thermal paper. Experience is sometimes a cruel, but effective teacher. Good Luck.
    – Stan
    Jul 15, 2023 at 23:30

2 Answers 2



The polypropylene tape has not lost its transparency although it may appear discoloured. Furthermore, no known lifehack will restore the printed image.

It will not now be possible to read the printed information on the receipt hidden behind 'transparent' tape covering it.

The printing is no longer there. It has faded due to the reaction of the organic solvents used in the tape adhesive with the leuco (or fluoran) heat-activated encapsulated dyes used to coat the thermal paper.

The whole process doesn't take long. A few days under the right conditions and the image will be irretrievable. Under favourable conditions, it might take a few weeks to fade completely.

Valuable information could have been copied onto a more stable form before the reaction was complete which would have been a better preventative measure.

  • This seems very likely. Notice that the hand-written part at the top is visible, so the tape is behaving differently with the printed text than with the ink. Jul 8, 2023 at 23:34
  • how to file insurance claim due to absence of product alert? Jul 11, 2023 at 4:01

By using light.

Two scraps of opaque paper:

One piece of paper obstructs the message on another behind it

Held up to a light, viewed from the front:

The light reveals the words 'Secret message'

Held up to a light, viewed from behind:

The light reveals the message backwards

Now you tell me how to cheaply remove a popcorn ceiling without getting my hands dirty...

  • That popcorn ceiling problem sounds like a question on its own...
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jul 7, 2023 at 17:59
  • @ZeissIkon You don't say :) Jul 7, 2023 at 18:25

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