Thursday, June 11, 2015

Quick tip: Broken Command strips removal

Easy trick for removing a broken 3M Command strip! 

Well thank you so much for the lovely comments this week! If you missed the "new" living room and our summer house tour earlier this week be sure to check them out. I appreciate your comments here and on social media so very much. (I'm pretty sure I've gotten to all the questions too.) :)

Today I have a super quick tip for you that I have found very helpful. I think the need for this is mostly my fault, but this method to fix it works every time. 

I'm talking about those 3M command strips -- the little tab and hooks you can use to hang stuff? I use them quite often, especially at the holidays. But when it comes to removing them I tend to freak out a bit and break them. I'm sure it's my fault -- I start pulling and grimacing because I'm SURE the tab is going to break free and snap back at my hand. It's totally goofy and irrational but it's a thing with me. I mean, how much would the little plastic thing hurt anyway? But I do it EVERY time. 

When I do that I end up breaking the tab…every time. It snaps off 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: 
how to remove broken 3m command strips

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 patch. 

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. 
See my policies and disclosure page for more information.

So this is my method now and it works every time. I grab some dental floss: 
removing stuck command strips

I mean, we have lots of this stuff from the dentist right? We DO floss by the way, but prefer the little handheld flossers. Just so you know. ;) 

So you take the floss behind the plastic part -- if you can get it behind the sticky stuff, do it! Just wiggle it down behind until it reaches the bottom: 
how to remove broken command strips

If your hook is really stuck your floss may break -- sometimes I have to use a few pieces, sometimes one does the trick. If you have fishing wire that also works great for this! 

The hook will come right off and sometimes you're left with the sticky part. On the wall I find it peels right off without damage when you can get a corner off. (At least in my experience.) On this window it wasn't as easy with the heat baking it on for ahem…a few months: 
broken command strip removal

Most of that one came off and I used some Goo Gone to get the rest. 

It's just silly how easy it is to do this and now I am free to cringe away when I take off future hooks -- cause I now know how to get them off without damage. ;) 

Here's an image to pin if you'd like: 
removing stuck command strips

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

See more of our home here. To shop items in our home, click here! Never miss a post by signing up to get posts via email


  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".

  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. 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.

  14. 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!

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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 :)


I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!