Removing Safety Tags

by Tabitha Harwell

The feeling of a new store purchase can leave you giddy with excitement. However, your excitement may turn to dread if the store left the security tag on the item of clothing. Security tags are an inventory-control item that are placed on merchandise to prevent in-store theft. Unfortunately, the tags may be hidden within the clothing and not activate as you walk out of the store, leaving you with a dilemma. If returning to the store is not an option, attempt to pry the tag off yourself.

Items you will need

  • Sharp scissors
  • Thin wire cutters
  • Small, thin saw blade
Step 1

Cut the tag off with scissors if it is attached with thread or sewn into a hemline. Stores may place a security tag on the label of the item, therefore it can be removed simply by cutting the label out of the item.

Step 2

Remove any cardboard that may be inserted into an ink-release tag. These tags are notorious for spitting ink onto the clothing if someone attempts to open the security tag. There are ways to open the tag without activating the ink.

Step 3

Wipe the thin wire cutters off with a clean rag to remove any oil or grime. The wire cutters should be small and thin with a long nose. Because the cutters will be inserted into the space between the ink and pin, the cutters will rub against the clothing and may make a mark or stain.

Step 4

Insert the wire cutters into the space between the clothing and the smaller side of the security tag. The larger side of the tag typically contains the ink; therefore work from the other side.

Step 5

Wiggle the wire cutters inward until you hit the metal pin. Gently squeeze the wire cutters until the pin pops. Do not try to turn the wire cutters to widen the gap -- this will break the seal and cause the ink to explode. If you are unable to reach the metal pin with the wire cutters, then remove the cutters and use the thin saw. The saw should slide easily between the fabric and pin head. However, use caution when sliding the saw on the fabric because it may snag.

Step 6

Cut the pin and remove the tag. Discard both pieces immediately to prevent an unwanted ink explosion.

Warnings

  • Do not pull the security tag apart, because the ink will explode. Do not place the tag in the freezer and use a hammer to remove it. This is only a myth.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Tabitha Harwell has been writing since 2008, with articles appearing in local publications and various websites. Her background includes a career in the fashion and beauty industry. Harwell holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations.