Got Tagged? How to Remove Old Navy Security Tags at Home

We’ve all been there – you get home from a successful Old Navy haul, excited to rock your new threads, only to find you’ve been tagged. Those bulky plastic security devices are a total buzzkill when you’re trying to style your fresh fits. Thankfully, removing Old Navy security tags doesn’t require heavy duty tools or a trip back to the store. With some clever DIY techniques, you can liberate your new loot in no time.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through how to remove different types of Old Navy security tags from various clothing items. You’ll learn handy household hacks for ditching those dreadful devices from dresses, jeans, shirts and more. We’ve got insider tips to make the process easy and pain-free. Pretty soon you’ll be tag-free and ready to flaunt your finds.

remove security tag from clothes old navy

The Lowdown on Old Navy Security Tags

Before we dig into removal methods, let’s break down the basic designs of Old Navy security tags so you know what you’re dealing with.

The most common type is a bulky plastic tag attached with a single pin. This versatile tag can be used on various clothing items. The pin pierces the fabric and is locked into place.

For thinner materials like t-shirts, Old Navy uses sticker tags. These have an adhesive backing and are simply stuck onto the garment. No pins involved.

On delicate fabrics like silks or lace, Old Navy relies on tear-away tags. These are threaded directly into a garment seam and have a perforated design so they can be torn off.

Finally, for shoes, bags and accessories, Old Navy uses reusable plastic tags attached through grommets or eyelets. These can be removed with a magnetic detacher.

Old Navy Security Tags

How to Remove Old Navy Security Tag from Clothes at Home

Now let’s explore homemade methods for tackling each tag type solo without any special tools and even with a magnet or without a magnet.

Removing Plastic Pin Tags from Tops, Dresses, Sweaters and More

Plastic pin tags are commonly used on thicker fabrics like denim, sweaters, jackets and dresses. Here’s how to break free of these pesky pins when an electromagnetic detacher isn’t handy.

The Boiling Water Method

For pinned tags on cotton, polyester or other heat-safe fabrics, boiling water is your secret weapon. Here are the steps:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil on the stove. You’ll need enough water to fully submerge the tagged portion of the garment.
  2. Turn off the heat. Carefully plunge the tagged area of the clothing into the hot water.
  3. Let the tag and fabric soak for 30 seconds to soften the plastic.
  4. Remove the item and, working quickly before it cools, use pliers to bend back and forth until the pin loosens.
  5. Finally, yank off the detached tag! Give the pierced fabric a few tugs to enlarge the hole and improve the look.

The boiling water softens the rigid plastic so the pin can wiggle free from the fabric hole. Just be careful, as boiling water can damage delicate materials.

The Blow Dryer Method

For heat-sensitive fabrics like wool, silk or synthetic blends, try using a blow dryer instead of boiling water. Here’s how:

  1. Turn your blow dryer to the highest heat setting.
  2. Clamp the tag tightly with pliers.
  3. Run the hot air up and down the tag for 60 seconds, concentrating on the pin inset.
  4. Then, keeping the pliers clamped, wiggle the tag back and forth to loosen the pin.
  5. Once detached, pull off the tag and clean up the hole as needed.

The targeted heat from the blow dryer softens the pin area without drenching the entire garment. Be sure to keep the dryer moving to avoid burning delicate fabrics.

The Thickness Method

For sturdy fabrics, you can use the fabric itself to create tension against the pin.

  1. Wedge the tag’s pin between two stacks of books. Place fabric on both sides of the pin.
  2. Squeeze the books together tightly to apply pressure on the pin.
  3. Hold for 60 seconds, then try wiggling the tag free.
  4. Repeat the pressure process if needed until the pin detaches.

Paperback or hardcover books work equally well for this technique. The more books, the merrier!

The Needle Method

For lightly pinned tags, you may be able to flick them off using the edge of a needle or pin.

  1. Place a pinhead underneath the garment fabric right next to the security tag pin.
  2. Wedge it firmly into position.
  3. Press the needle sideways against the security pin.
  4. Flick repeatedly inward to push the pin up and out.
  5. Keep flicking until the loosened pin detaches fully.

Be cautious with this method and do not tear the fabric. Stop if it isn’t budging easily.

So there you have it – four DIY methods for removing pinned security tags using common household items. With some patience and experimentation, you can find the right technique for each garment material.

Eliminating Sticker Tags from T-Shirts, Hats and More

Peeling those clingy sticker tags off shirts without leaving a sticky residue is truly an art form. Here are some DIY removal tips and tricks.

The Oil Method

Oil is great for seeping under sticker tags and dissolving the adhesive. Try this:

  1. Apply a liberal amount of vegetable, olive or coconut oil directly onto the sticker, saturating it.
  2. Let it soak for 2-3 minutes. The oil will slide under the sticker and break down the glue.
  3. Slowly peel up one corner of the tag. If it resists, apply more oil and wait longer.
  4. Once you can grip it, remove the sticker gently and slowly.
  5. Use an oil-dampened paper towel to wipe away any remaining adhesive.

Don’t yank the sticker off quickly or it could tear and leave sticker shreds behind. Take it slow and steady.

The Blow Dryer Method

A blow dryer can also tackle sticker tags, especially on synthetic fabrics where oil isn’t ideal.

  1. Set your blow dryer to the hottest setting.
  2. Hold it 2-3 inches from the tag and heat it for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Try gently lifting a corner. Heat more if needed to loosen the adhesive.
  4. Once freed, slowly peel off the sticker while applying heat.

The blow dryer softens the adhesive so the sticker can release cleanly.

The Peanut Butter Method

If you’re fresh out of oils and heat tools, nutty old peanut butter may do the trick. Here’s how:

  1. Use a spoon to coat the entire sticker with a thick layer of creamy peanut butter.
  2. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes to penetrate the adhesive.
  3. Wipe gently under one edge and slowly peel up the sticker.
  4. Keep wiping peanut oil underneath as you pull, preventing residue.
  5. Clean off any leftover goo with soap and water.

The natural oils in peanut butter can dissolve sticker adhesives pretty well in a pinch!

So next time Old Navy over-stickers your new tee, grab some peanut butter from the pantry and put it to work on that pesky tag!

Removing Tear-Away Tags from Silky and Lacy Items

For flimsy fabrics like silk, lace and chiffon, Old Navy uses tear-away tags threaded into a seam. Removing them takes light hands and strategic snipping. Here are some tips:

  • Carefully study the tag to find where it’s stitched into a seam. You’ll need to snip on one side of the stitching.
  • Use sharp, precision scissors to avoid shredding delicate threads.
  • Angle the blades horizontally and snip the threads immediately next to the tag, freeing up an edge.
  • Once you’ve cut an entry point, gently tear the tag free from the seam by wiggling it out.
  • Try not to pull too hard or you may damage the fabric.
  • Take it slowly! Rushing increases the risk of tearing.
  • If needed, make additional judicious snips to fully remove the tag.
  • Clean up any loose threads left behind for a flawless finish.

With a steady hand and the right blade work, you can liberate your silky new garment without a hitch!

Releasing Grommet and Eyelet Tags from Handbags, Shoes and Accessories

Old Navy uses reusable hard plastic tags on non-clothing items like shoes, hats, bags and belts. Looping through grommets and eyelets, these tags pop open with magnets. No ripping or cutting required!

If you don’t have a magnetic detacher handy, you can improvise with household magnets:

  • Strong refrigerator magnets are ideal for smaller grommets and eyelets.
  • For large purse grommets, try running a swiping magnet back and forth across the surface.
  • Place the item on a hard surface like a table or tiled floor to avoid pinching fingers.
  • You may need multiple passes over the grommet before it pops open.
  • For a hands-free option, affix a magnetic tool tray to a metal surface.
  • Place the tagged bag or accessory in the tray and let magnetism work its magic!

With the right positioning, your household magnets can release those reusable security tags, no detacher required.

Now you know how to break free of any kind of Old Navy security tag using common household objects. Next time you get tagged, try boiling water, peanut butter, refrigerator magnets and more. Pretty soon you’ll be styling your new looks tag-free!

You can also read on; Stores like Old Navy

6 Tips for Avoiding Security Tags Altogether

If you want to avoid the tag removal hassle entirely, here are some useful tips:

  • Politely ask cashiers to remove tags at checkout. They have tools to quickly detach them.
  • For online orders, request no security tags in delivery instructions. Online items often ship tagged.
  • Buy from Old Navy’s tag-free line when possible. Not everything has a tag!
  • Pat attention while cashiers are ringing you up so you can spot tags and request removal.
  • Immediately inspect purchases before leaving the store and point out any lingering tags.
  • Keep a magnetic detacher at home so you can instantly remove grommet/eyelet tags.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Old Navy Security Tags

Below are answers to some common questions about liberating your new looks from Old Navy’s security devices:

What are the small silver stickers on Old Navy clothing?

Those silver stickers are RFID tags used for inventory management. They can be left on clothing without affecting wear and are harmless.

Will boiling water damage or shrink my clothes when removing pins?

Boiling water carries a minor risk of damage to delicate fabrics. Take care and use lower heat methods on silk, wool, spandex blends, etc.

How can I get rid of security tag residue left on clothes?

Try rubbing the residue spot with oil, peanut butter or vodka to dissolve it, then wash as usual. Avoid scratching it or you may damage the fabric.

What’s the safest way to remove a tear-away tag from lace or chiffon?

Use the sharpest, smallest scissors you can find and snip the securing stitches just next to the tag. Avoid tugging too hard when removing tear-away tags.

Can household magnets really detach those reusable plastic tags?

Yes! Running strong swiping or refrigerator magnets back and forth over grommets and eyelets generates enough magnetic force to pop them open.

How can I prevent security tag damage when shopping at Old Navy?

Politely ask cashiers to remove tags on delicate items at checkout. Also thoroughly inspect purchases before leaving the store.

What should I avoid when trying to remove a sticky sticker tag?

Never rip sticker tags off forcefully as this can damage fabrics. Take it slow, use oil or heat to dissolve the sticky adhesive, and peel gently.

Why does Old Navy use security tags?

Tags help Old Navy prevent retail theft in stores. Different tag types are tailored to different product types and materials to securely protect merchandise.


Dealing with security tags can put a damper on your Old Navy haul happiness. But armed with the tips in this guide, you can ditch those pesky devices and finally rock your new looks.

Remember these key points for smooth sailing:

  • Identify your tag type – pin, sticker, tear-away, grommet – and use the best removal method for each.
  • Boiling water, blow dryers, peanut butter and magnets are your new best friends.
  • Take it slowly, especially with delicate fabrics. Rushing leads to damage.
  • Prevent tags from the start by speaking up at checkout and inspecting online orders.

Soon you’ll be a security tag removal expert! Now blast your new Old Navy playlist and relish the tag-free glory of your haul.

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