How Do You Remove Clothing Security Tag Like a Pro?

Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Chase Reiner

Removing a clothing security tag requires caution. Common methods involve using strong magnets or a rubber band to create friction. However, these actions might damage clothes or be unlawful. It’s best to return to the store with proof of purchase for professional removal to avoid any issues.

What Are Clothing Security Tags?

Clothing security tags are devices used to prevent theft in retail stores. These tags are attached to garments using a pin or other locking mechanism. They typically contain a metal component that sets off alarms at store exits if not properly removed or deactivated during checkout.

The Different Types of Clothing Security Tags

Different Types of Clothing Security Tags

Clothing tags are made up of three major components: the tag, which houses the receiver, the pin that goes through to the garment, and the closing mechanism that keeps the pin in place. In addition to various release mechanisms, tags come in various sizes and designs to accommodate the pin component of the structure, and these variances can affect how easy the pin is to defeat. 

Traditional designs include Pencil or square tags that require a little pin about the size of a thumbtack. Tags made from clamshells that are circular. The tag body and pinhead are usually the exact sizes. There are various types of  security tags, such as:

Mechanical Security Tag

Mechanical tags, which arrived later on the tag scene than magnetic tags, were at their peak in the 2000s and are still used today. Mechanical tags are resistant to magnetic detachers and initially provided a better level of theft prevention. 

They usually necessitate the use of a portable or powered mechanical detacher. They are most easily removed. These tags are attached to the clothes with pins or other mechanical attachments.

Magnetic Security Tags 

Magnetic tags are the most complex and most arduous to remove. To demagnetize them, you’ll need the correct tools since attempting to remove them without knowing how it can irreparably damage the clothes. 

Magnetic tags come in various strengths and are detached using high-powered magnets. They’ve been designed to be increasingly difficult to remove illegally throughout the years, with the most recent technology claiming nearly impregnable security. They are classified as follows:

Standard: This option, which includes a standard strength magnet, is still familiar with legacy systems but offers the most fantastic possibility for thwarting theft.

Superlock: Tags of this grade give additional resistance against unauthorized removal by employing a high-powered magnet that is frequently more than double the strength of conventional magnets.

HyperLock: This tag Features many high-powered magnets arranged in a single detached body. Would-be criminals find it difficult to make, obtain, and transport hyperlock detachers. This progression of magnetic technology arose from a requirement for improved security and is available in ranges such as the boosting range. 

All lower strength tags can be released using hyperlock detachers.

Multi-Polar: This is the most recent patented technology that requires sophisticated bi-directional magnets to release a tag. No matter how strong, other magnet detachers will not be able to remove multipolar tags. 

NeoTag Multipolar tags are the culmination of years of research and development, and they represent the pinnacle of magnet release tag technology.

Ink Security Tags

Because ink tags are somewhat expensive, they are used infrequently. The ink is contained within a small glass tube that may leak if opened with too much effort. Some ink tags are translucent, allowing you to see the ink inside and identify it as an ink tag. 

However, some ink tags do not have a window to display the ink. In that scenario, treat the tag as an ink tag and proceed with caution while attempting to remove it. Remember to follow the label directions to avoid getting ink on your clothes.

The 6 Proven Ways of Removing Clothing Security Tag

Ways of Removing Clothing Security Tag

These tags can be brutal to remove, and if you are not cautious, you may ruin the clothes. You’ll need the right equipment to remove a security tag. Some of the methods of removing the security tags from clothes are:

Using needle-nose pliers:

This method is ideal for ink tags. The first step is to lay the garment on the surface with the ink cartridge facing up. Grip one side of the rectangular tag with pliers. Then, with a new pair of pliers, grip the tag on the opposite side. 

Gently bend the tag down on both ends with the pliers. Be careful not to overbend it, as this may cause the ink to spill. Bend until the lock smashes open, then halt. Please make sure that you tug on the pin to loosen it.

Rubber band method:

Make sure the ink cartridge on the tag is facing down. The ink cartridge is the tag element that protrudes from the plastic bag. It is located on the pin’s opposite side. Pull the tag away from the clothing. As far away as possible, the ink does not damage your clothes as much if the sensor fails. 

The next step is to wrap a rubber band all around the security tag’s pin and fasten it. Rubber bands that are thick and broad enough to be durable while thin enough to twist around a pin are ideal for this task. It will aid in the removal of the pin. Finally, you use one hand to grip the larger half of the ink tag. 

Remove the pin with your other hand. The bands should apply enough force that the pin pops off or is easily detached from the remainder of the tag. If the first rubber band doesn’t loosen enough, repeat the process.

Use a flathead screwdriver:

Place the garment on a table or the floor with the rectangular portion pointing up, using a flathead screwdriver on a rectangular tag. 

Place the screwdriver along the edge of the tag’s raised region. Firmly press down to penetrate the plastic where the head is placed. Continue around the raised region until you can remove it. 

Using the screwdriver, lift one of the metal arms holding the pin in place. The pin should go through the hole, allowing you to separate the security tag’s two halves safely.

Using a plier and a candle:

Heat the domed portion of the tag using a candle. Then, using pliers, begin removing the melted plastic section to free the spring from the base cylinder. You’ll then discover a needle wrapped in a ball bearing. Remove the needle with care.

Knife and lighter:

When removing electro-magnet tags, use a lighter to burn the dome-shaped portion of the tag. The plastic will almost certainly catch fire after a few seconds of exposure to heat. 

Cut the dome into bits with a knife or similar device. The spring and tag will almost totally pop out.

Through freezing:

Another method for removing security tags from clothing is to place them in the freezer. After freezing, remove the clothing and set them aside for at least an hour before attempting to detach the tag. You can remove them with standard household tools such as pliers or scissors.

What to Look Out for When Removing the Clothing Security Tag

  •  Exercise extreme caution if you intend to “burn it off.” Plastic is highly harmful when burned. Plastic may catch fire, and it can burn quickly when it does! The smoke produced by burning plastic is heavy and black. It can set off your smoke detectors and make you ill. 
  • If you must do this at home, do so in your sink with the windows open and a fan running. If it catches fire, it won’t hurt to have a gallon of water on hand.
  • Please do not attempt to chop it off because the region you will have to cut through will practically be in your hand. However, don some protective gloves and ensure you are not chopping on top of anything vital if you must do this.
  • If you want to freeze it, make sure to try to remove it outside. Never, ever try to remove something from your home. Your home will be destroyed by ink. Even if you place newspaper or boxes over, the ink will leak or spray through.


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