Bring A Dried Out Roll Of Masking Tape Back To Life With This Simple Trick

It's been a minute since you used masking tape to prevent your vacuum from scuffing your floorboards. Now you need it to seal up a box. Fortunately, you were able to find it buried in your junk drawer. Unfortunately, trying to peel off a piece is tougher than removing chewing gum from your daughter's hair. Several jagged slices plus a broken fingernail later and you're ready to toss the rest of the roll in the trash. Take a beat. There is an easy way to salvage a dried out roll of masking tape thanks to a popular kitchen appliance: a microwave oven.

You don't have to be a tightwad to want to rescue a roll of mutilated masking tape. The versatile adhesive is far from free, and if you're a budget-conscious homeowner, every penny counts. That's why it pays to preserve its value. Think about it: Where do you store your masking tape? Under your tool cart? In the trunk of your car? On a shelf in the garage? In the end, location matters. Placing a roll in a spot where it's exposed to extreme temperatures and humidity will almost guarantee that it'll look like a used cat scratching post the next time you try to rip off a piece. According to most tape manufacturers, the optimal storage environment is 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% relative humidity. In other words, when you aren't using it, keep masking tape in a cool, dry place away from moisture and direct sunlight.

Revive a roll of masking tape in the microwave

Generally, the shelf life of masking tape ranges from 6 months to 2 years. If you don't remember when you purchased your roll but can tell it's warped or dried out to the point where it's as ineffective as a paper with powder on it, consider a quick and easy resurrection courtesy of your microwave oven.

Start by placing a couple pieces of paper towel on the microwave oven's glass plate to protect it from the adhesive. Next, insert the old roll of masking tape and heat for 10 seconds. The warmth from the oven should soften the tape's adhesive allowing for a much easier peel. When it's done, remove the roll and try ripping off a piece. If it's still a challenge to extract a clean strip, place the roll back into the microwave and heat again for another 10 seconds. However, don't overdo it. The goal is to simply warm up the tape's adhesive, not to elevate it to such an extremely high temperature that it melts and completely compromises the tackiness. More importantly, heating masking tape for too long can create a safety hazard if you handle the roll when it's too hot. To be safe, consider using an oven mitt to remove the roll from the microwave, then allow it to cool for a few seconds prior to testing it. Doing so will prevent hot adhesive from getting on your skin or clothing.