How to get Blu Tack off walls: 5 ways to remove adhesive putty without damage

Trying to lift this pale blue adhesive substance? This is how to get Blu Tack off walls without damaging paint or wallpaper

A graphic with yellow background, white text and Blu Tac stationery
(Image credit: Future)

Got adhesive putty on your partitions? You'll want to know how to get Blu Tack off walls pronto if it's causing damage to your paint or wallpaper. Typically, this sticky substance is excellent for attaching wall art without needing to drill nails into your concrete or plasterboard walls. On the flip side, however, it can leave an oily stain, or if not removed with care, can deface your wall coverings.

So if you're wondering how to clean walls, we'll show you how to detach this pressure-sensitive solidity off of decorated surfaces and clean up any grubby remains.

How to get Blu Tack off walls

Shopping list

1. Fresh Blu Tack (opens in new tab): stick to Bostik on Amazon
2.
White vinegar (opens in new tab): get it by the gallon on Amazon
3. Goo gone remover (opens in new tab) or chewing gum remover
4. Lighter fuel (opens in new tab)
5. Citrus-based adhesive remover (opens in new tab)
6. Microfiber cloths (opens in new tab): pick your colors/sizes on Amazon
7. Cake/dough scraper (opens in new tab): lots of sweet options on Amazon
8. Kitchen towel (opens in new tab): paper towels for all purposes
9. Sugar soap (opens in new tab): Everbuild's comes with a trigger for easy application
10. Washing-up liquid: we like Dawn
(opens in new tab)11. Cotton swabs: use the rest of these Diane branded Q-tips (opens in new tab) for your cosmetic needs
12. An old or cheap toothbrush: this Colgate twin pack (opens in new tab) is cheap, and you can keep the other as a spare
13. A cheap spray bottle: Glass containers (opens in new tab) look uber chic

1. Remove Blu Tack with Blu Tack

A person holding adhesive blu tack to remove blu tack on walls

(Image credit: Bostik)

Nope, not a copy error. The same tacky material that's causing trouble, can come to your rescue when you want to save your best peel-and-stick wallpaper. If rolling the gummy matter with your fingertips hasn't worked, Bostik (opens in new tab) (the creators of Blu Tack) have come up with a simple video on how to get sticky tack off the wall and clean up those grease-like patches that might get left behind. 

How to:

  1. Simply roll away the old Blu Tack remnants, apply a small amount of your chosen cleaning product (Goo Gone (opens in new tab)is our fave) to a section of the microfiber cloth or kitchen paper (opens in new tab), and dab (don't rub!) the affected area. Do a patch test on an inconspicuous area first, to ensure that your chosen product will not mark the wall.
  2. Finally, with a clean and dry piece of cloth or kitchen roll, dab over the same area - the oily mark is dissolved and your stain has been lifted.

Tip: The best cleaning products like Goo Gone, can also help to get makeup out of clothes and gum off of the carpet, so it's worth buying a few bottles for all your needs.

2. Wipe it away with white vinegar 

We all know the benefits of cleaning with vinegar to remove stains on clothes, fabrics, and upholstery. But did you know you can also use acetic acid to get blobs of blu tack off of your walls?

Whether you're looking to take the tack off your teen's dorm walls, or your kids' tastes in music have changed, this natural, non-toxic cleaner will quickly take care of the oleaginous evidence left behind by poster putty.

Asides from being a super-affordable cleaner, white vinegar (opens in new tab) won't lift emulsion, so you needn't worry about any touch-up work when cleaning a painted wall. All you need to do is lightly saturate the affected area with a vinegar-soaked rag, allow it to work its magic, and then wipe gently with a clean cloth. Or if you want to target a specific area you could use a spray bottle (opens in new tab) (filled with vinegar), or a vinegar-doused cotton bud (opens in new tab).

3. Dissolve it with a citrus-based cleaner

While rubbing lemon or orange on a wall might not get rid of stubborn Blu Tack stains off walls, using a citrus-based cleaner might. According to FBC Chemical (opens in new tab): 'Citrus degreasers are powerful and effective cleaners. Limonene (commonly called d-limonene or citrus terpenes) is a naturally occurring solvent found in the oils of citrus fruits. Commonly processed from orange peel oils, d-limonene is a biodegradable and eco-friendly cleaning product.'

ADVANTAGE the Wonder Cleaner 20X Multi-Purpose Ultra Concentrated Formula (opens in new tab)(available on Amazon) is an ideal product if you want to get sticky tack off the wall, and you live with young children or pets.

Alternatively, if you run out of citrus-based stain remover, you can make a DIY homemade version with white vinegar, dish soap, water, and lemon. The advantage of cleaning with lemon is that it'll counter the mild vinegar odor and your walls will smell zesty and fresh.

'Blu tack can be a bit of a nightmare because if it’s been left on the wall for a while then they can leave a stubborn stain behind.' explains Nic Shaklock, head of marketing and brand development, online-bedrooms.co.uk (opens in new tab)

'One way to get rid of this is to use a little bit of washing up liquid and scrub away the stain gently in circular motions with a small scrubbing brush or even a toothbrush. I’d advise testing this on a small area of the wall that’s not in direct sight, perhaps pick a spot behind some furniture just to make sure it doesn’t damage your paint.'

4. Use a magic eraser

A melamine sponge aka Magic Eraser (available from Amazon) (opens in new tab) is a miracle tool when it comes to stain removal. And all you have to do is add water.

'One of the most common reasons for deductions to be made from a deposit at the end of a tenancy are scuff and Blu-Tack marks on walls,' says Stephen Haigh, head of property sales, Purple Frog Property (opens in new tab).

'While magic sponges may not have come from Hogwarts, they'll certainly help you make marks and dirt disappear! But, don't get too carried away when using the sponges on walls, especially where they are textured or have wallpaper. If you rub too hard you may damage the wall.'

Does Blu Tack rip paint off walls?

Knowing how to rent often means understanding your tenancy agreement inside-out. More often than not, a landlord will have rules in the contract about how you can (and cannot) decorate your walls, and which fittings and fixtures are permitted. Should you choose to go against these formal instructions, or haphazardly remove Blu Tack, you risk losing all or part of your deposit, which can be a costly mistake to make, as one housing expert explains:

'Blu Tack can pull the paint and even the wallpaper off the walls,' warns Cate Fairbanks, Jack Ojari, press officer at My Deposits (opens in new tab).

'It can also leave grease marks and in some cases, the tack dries so hard, that it can’t easily be removed without causing some damage. You don’t want a deduction from your deposit for redecoration at the end of the tenancy because of the damage removing the blu-tack has caused.'

'Remember it is your responsibility to return the property in the same condition it was in at the start of the tenancy, as recorded in the check-in inventory. Although reasonable wear and tear cannot be deducted from your deposit, blu tack marks do not count as reasonable wear and tear. ‘White tack’ may seem like an alternative, but you should still avoid using this as it can also leave grease marks.'

Christina Chrysostomou
Christina Chrysostomou

Christina joined the Real Homes team as a digital writer in June 2021. Prior to this, she worked for Good Homes magazine and home interest events including the Ideal Home Show and Grand Designs Live. She lives close to Epping Forest and is spoiled for choice with lush green spaces, but loves her own English garden that adjoins her ground-floor maisonette, complete with a floral melange of roses, lavender, jasmine, and an apple tree.


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