How to Remove Broken 3M Command Strips

December 29, 2022

Easy trick for removing a broken Command strip from walls or windows! 

I have a super quick tip to remove broken 3M Command strips that I have found very helpful over the years! 

I find most of the time when I go to remove a Command hook, the sticky strip breaks at just the right part so that I can't pull on it anymore. 

This easy fix allows you to remove the wall or window hooks without access to the tab. 

I use the Command strips often, especially at the holidays. So this is especially helpful this time of year! 

When it comes to removing them from the wall, I start pulling and grimacing because I'm SURE the hook is going to break free and snap back at my face or my hand. 

It never fails that the tab breaks, on at least one of them! 

The tab breaks off just under the hook and then I'm left with the hook and the sticky stuff still on the wall (or window) and no way to get it off: 
broken command strip on window

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The thing is, you can't just pull this off -- at least on a wall. 

It will pull your drywall off (I tell you this from personal experience) and leave a nice little spot to repaint or patch. 

On a window or mirror you'll need some leverage to get it to pop off, and you risk scratching the surface. 

This is my easy Command strip removal method and it works every time! I'm guessing you'll have what you need in the bathroom. 

Just grab some dental floss: 
floss for command strips

I mean, we have lots of this stuff from the dentist right? Ours seem to multiply. If you need one let me know. :) 

Cut off a decent length of dental floss so you can grip it well on both ends. 

Moving it back and forth, wedge the floss behind the plastic part -- if you can get it behind the sticky stuff, that's great!

If not it will still work:
how to remove broken command strips

Wiggle it down behind until it reaches the bottom. Your hook will come right off!

If your hook is really stuck your floss may break -- sometimes I have to use a couple pieces, sometimes one does the trick. 

If you have fishing line that also works great for removing stuck Command strips! 

Sometimes the sticky part may still be left on the surface. 

On the wall I find it peels right off without damage when you can pull up a corner and peel it off. Work slowly and it should come off easily.

On this window it wasn't as easy with the heat baking it on for, ahem…a few months: 
remove command strip from window

If it's SUPER stuck to mirror or glass, grab a straight razor/scraper and clean the residue off with that. Most of mine came off and I used some Goo Gone to get the rest. 

 A helpful reader recommended using a hair dryer if you don't have floss. Great idea!

It's just silly how easy it is to do this and now I am free to cringe away when I remove Command hooks around the house -- because I now know how to get them off without damage. 

Here's an image to pin this and save for later if you'd like: 
how to remove stuck command strips

I love quick and easy tips like this so I like to share them with you! 

Do you break your strips every time as well? 

It is entirely possible I'm the only person with the irrational fear of the sticky tape so maybe I'm the only one who needs this. Ha! Wouldn't be the first time. 

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  1. Thanks so much for the tip! I've never had one break while removing, but I recently moved and while taking down all the ones in my apartment I had quite a few fly off the wall into my hand - one even took a gouge out of my thumb! It's made me pretty gun-shy about using them in my new home but with this tip. I feel much better about it. Thanks again!

  2. I do the exact same thing when I am taking them off the wall, I just know that little tab it going to come off. I have only had it happen once, and yes, there was a nice little bit of drywall that I got to patch up afterwards. It definitely holds on tight, it should make me feel more relaxed knowing that the hook isn't going to just fall off the wall!

  3. Genius! Thanks so much for this tip! I had no idea. Will definitely remember this as I use these hooks all the time :)

  4. I'm just glad I'm not the only one! Then when they do break, I freak out and start manhandling the hook, taking off chunks of paint in the process. Definitely going to have to try this!

  5. Pro-tip: when removing them, hold the hook still against the wall with one hand and pull down on the tab with the other. It'll still come off but it won't be able to snap into your hand. :)

    1. That's a great tip for Plan A. Then use floss for Plan B, if needed. Thanks Collen.

  6. Hmmm. I have the opposite problem. I have tried several different types of the 3M hooks and they keep falling off the wall/ceiling. Even if they stay up a few days, they always just fall off by themselves. I've written them pretty much off as "don't work".

    1. I was going to write the exact same thing until I read your comment! I used to try to use these for a lot of things but kept getting disappointed. They really don’t work.

  7. The Command Hooks don't seem to like my plaster walls. I use them all the time at school and I have a few in my shower to hang bath sponges. I'll have to remember this. I'm always afraid of getting them stuck.

  8. Ahhh breath of fresh air. I have some right now I need to use this trick with. Thank you!

  9. THANK YOU, this just saved my dorm room walls- the tabs were stuck underneath a sign I hung up with 4 command strips. One failed attempt left a mark that hopefully I won't get charged for and knew I needed to find another option. Worked like a charm. Thanks again!!

  10. Found this page because I broke the strip... dental floss did the trick! Thanks!!

  11. Worked perfectly -- DW40 + fishing line = broken tab gone.

  12. Love the tip. Worked perfectly. Thanks so much

  13. Thank you this worked like a charm.

  14. Great idea. I used polyester thread cos strongest thing I could think of that would work like floss (had no fishing line). Also squirted few drops of WD-40 in top hoping to loosen glue but no idea if this helped. Was stuck to gloss painted door so don't recommend trying the oil on delicate surfaces.

  15. I have stared at a broken command strip on my fireplace mantel for at least 4 years. Today I found your post and you solved the problem...GENIUS! Thank you for the advice!

  16. Thank you going to try dental floss..the screw driver didn't work 🤭

  17. Thank you so much for this! I usually have no problems removing Command hooks from the walls, but this morning, the tab on the sticky part stretched too far down and actually broke before removing the hook from the wall. I was wondering how I was going to remove the hook without ruining the wall and paint, so I am going to try this.

  18. HA! Your tip just made my day and my life easier! I use these things all over my house and move things often. I have little marks all around because I have stripped the paint from the tabs breaking. No More :)

  19. Hmmmm. You mean no more spatula?

  20. I had a clear command hook fall off of a painted door but the strip remained stuck to the wall and it’s one of the clear ones. Of course when I tried to remove it the tab broke so now I have the clear strip stuck on there. There isn’t much to grab a hold of, and I don’t want to use any thing sharp and damage the nice smooth finish on the door (fairly new house). Any suggestions for that? I have found that when pulling the strip down, I stop after a bit and move my hand further up the strip to finish pulling and it is less likely to break. If you can pull with one hand, use your other hand over the hook so it doesn’t snap and hit your face. They certainly aren’t perfect, as my daughter’s roommate had black command strips leave residue on their apartment walls as they didn’t come off cleanly. Thanks for the dental floss tip!

  21. I had a clear hook fall off of a painted door but the strip stated stuck. Then the tab broke when I tried to remove it. Since it’s the clear type, there isn’t much to grab a hold of, it basically looks like a piece of clear tape. Any suggestions on how to remove it? Not sure if goo gone or something similar would even get under it to loosen the adhesive. I tried the hair dryer without any success. Thanks!

  22. Thanks for the tip! We are renting right now and don't want to damage the walls.

  23. Om my gosh, thank you! Both my sticky strips broke immediately on one of those heavy duty large Command hooks that I had on drywall above the fireplace. The floss idea worked so well and didn't leave any mark whatsoever. I am so happy I found your website! Happy New Year to you and your family :)


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