Blu Tack can cause some concerns if it is applied to lightly coloured walls or walls that have been wallpapered. For painted walls, the issue often comes with the removal of the adhesive, when you can see that the Blu Tack has left a stain behind.
This stain comes from the oils in the adhesive, which has but a handful of ingredients to make this sticky, reusable adhesive. Fortunately, the stain that Blu Tack leaves behind is not blue, but rather a greasy oil-based stain.
In private properties, these stains are too much of a problem. You can easily paint over such stains in your own home, and many parents do this for their children when posters are changed around year after year. In student accommodation, however, stains can create financial repercussions.
How to remove Blu Tack
Before we get into the stain removal part of this post, let’s look at getting rid of the residual Blu Tack that sticks to some walls during the removal process. This usually happens more on wallpapered walls, rather than those that are painted – but paint can come with its own set of issues.
Remove Blu Tack on wallpaper
Getting Blu Tack off of your wallpaper is a challenge. The last thing you want to do is tear your wallpaper or damage the texture of the paper.
The softest way to remove Blu Tack from wallpaper is to lightly roll your fingers or hand over the area to collect the smaller pieces of Blu Tack. You can attempt this with or without the rest of the Blu Tack resting in your hand.
Alternatively, grab a blob of Blu Tack and lightly dab at the area where there is residual Blu Tack on your wallpaper.
Remove Blu Tack on painted walls
Just like wallpapered walls, you’ll need to be cautious when removing Blu Tack from painted walls. Because Blu Tack is so sticky, when it’s roughly lifted off of walls, it can take pieces of paint with it.
Depending on the paint and how long the Blu Tack has been stuck to the wall, you may not be able to avoid this situation. Thankfully, it’s an easy fix that we’ll cover in our section on fixing Blu Tack stains.
Other ways to remove Blu Tack
You’ve tried rolling over the Blu Tack and you’ve used Blu Tack to dab at your walls and remove the residue adhesive. Next, let’s look at ways of removing Blu Tack that aren’t as gentle.
- Take a plastic spoon or scraper and scrape off the Blu Tack from the surface of the wall.
- Use a citrus-based cleaner to dissolve the Blu Tack and remove it with a cloth. This should also help with any staining that the Blu Tack has left on the wall.
- Dampen the area, allow it to dry, and then try to remove the Blu Tack with other Blu Tack or a scraper.
Covering Blu Tack stains
In the event that you can’t rid your walls of residue Blu Tack or Blu Tack stains, consider covering the stains.
As long as you’ve gotten the Blu Tack off of the wall, you can easily paint over the stain to cover it up. This is the fastest and easiest way to rid your walls of Blu Tack stains, but it does require the purchase of paint that matches the colour of the wall in question (unless you already have that).
When Blu Tack stains and residue are left on your walls, cover the area with art, photographs, a noticeboard, or any number of other wall hangings! Yes, it’s cheating, but only a little!
How to erase stains step-by-step
Erasing Blu Tack stains without covering them up with paint takes a little more time and effort, but it’s worth it if you want fresh-looking walls.
Once you have removed all Blu Tack and Blu Tack residue, what’s left is usually a small oil stain that has been printed in the exact area that the Blu Tack blob was. A citrus-based stain remover is often the best solution to these stains.
You should wear a pair of rubber gloves when handling citrus-based cleaners. The gloves will protect your hands and prevent any of the solution from getting on existing cuts.
Citrus-based cleaners are more suitable for the home because they are less flammable and, therefore, less hazardous.
Use a sponge to apply the cleaner to your wall. After following the instructions provided by the maker of the product, remove the cleaner, wipe the area with a wet sponge, and dry with a cloth.
There are plenty of existing citrus-based stain removers and cleaners on the market. One such stain remover is Citrus Magic, which is a product that will come up almost immediately when you start searching for spray stain removers.
However, Citrus Magic is formulated for use on carpet and upholstery, rather than walls. It’s best to use a citrus product that was created for walls because it will be more effective. A product like De.Solv.It would be more suitable in this situation.
Make a homemade citrus-based stain removal spray
A simple solution made of water, lemon, washing-up liquid, and white vinegar. These four ingredients are all you need to create a homemade stain removal spray. You will only need a few drops of each ingredient in the bottom of a bottle, which should then be filled up with water.
This spray won’t be extremely strong, but it should be enough to deal with the oily residue left behind by Blu Tack.
Why does Blu Tack leave stains?
Let’s get down to why Blu Tack leaves behind stains in some circumstances and not in others. We’ve already mentioned that Blu Tack contains oil as an ingredient, but this isn’t enough to stain a wall over time.
The oil in Blu Tack can only seep into porous or bad quality paints and wallpaper. Long-term exposure will cause stains in the first instance but may also disintegrate the paint and wallpaper. Obviously, Blu Tack won’t badly harm your walls, but it can certainly pinpoint poor quality.
We would advise avoiding the use of Blu Tack on wallpaper. Poor quality wallpaper will tear away with Blu Tack when it is removed, causing small misshapen circles of missing paper. There is no easy fix to this and it can’t be covered up with paint.
Where possible, only use Blu Tack on walls that are not wallpapered. It’s much easier to repaint a lightly coloured wall that has suffered from Blu Tack oil stains than to fix wallpaper with multiple rips and tears.
Other potential fixes
Some homeowners have suggested the use of rubber erasers, dry-cleaning fluid, sugar soap solutions, and the product “Sticky Stuff Remover” by Mykal. We’ve already mentioned De.Solv.It, who are another brand that sell a version of “Sticky Stuff Remover”.
For the future, instead of using Blu Tack, we suggest giving the alternative white tack version a try. White tack is less likely to stain, but you may find that it’s not as strong as Blu Tack is when it comes to keeping stuff up on your walls.