Remove a Security Tag From an Article of Clothing





Introduction: Remove a Security Tag From an Article of Clothing

I'm really not surprised a store forgot to do this, but in the end I was left to dealt with this.

When my Mom brought home her new pair of gloves, which she paid for not stole, she went to use them and found that the security tag (non-ink one) was still attached.

The following is a simple and very useful instructable to free your clothing articles.

Step 1: The Enemy and the Weapons

Here you have it. The super tight miniature pin that locks this device in place.

You won't need much if you have the proper tools.
- Ice pick or sharp skinny object (a pocket knife will work fine here)
- A pair of horse nippers. I highly recommend keeping a pair of these around at all times. They are basically a huge pair of toenail clippers, but super sharp. (heavy duty wire cutters will also work here, but might be a little harder to work with).
- A skinny flat-head screwdriver.

Step 2: Remove the Node

Start by taking your clippers of any kind and snipping the node off the back of the security tag. This might take a couple attempts, but removing as much as possible here will help you later.

Step 3: Remove the Foil

After snipping the plastic back, you'll find the culprit pointing through, a tiny spike of metal. Around it you'll also find a shinny piece of paper. Take any sharp object and scrap to remove this. You need direct access to what's beneath it.

Step 4: The Final Step - Leverage

There's only one last thing to do.

Take your skinny flat-head screwdriver and pry up just one side of the security tag. This is made of some high strength steel, like spring steel, and will take more effort then it looks.

You don't need to budge it much before the pin slides right out of the tag.

That's it!



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    31 Discussions

    Did this one have an ink pack? I assume not... Please be careful when attempting this on ink filled unit. As the store does not have to return the item, if you attempted to remove the security pack/tag. LoL ink packs are sooo funny when they blow/leak out onto expensive things.... ;)

    2 replies

    a security tag that sprays ink unless removed at the store (search for it in the let's make box

    Thanks for this, I had no clue how to remove it without damaging the item. We went through a self-checkout and the tag didn't beep on the way out, and the checker was only interested in counting the items in the cart to compare what was in the receipt. I could have wasted a 28-mile round trip because of the stupid tag.

    I bet if you return the item and make a huge fuss, they will give them to you at no cost. With the price of Fuel these days, having to drive back to a store to have a security device removed could cost more than the item did. Tell them, it's their mistake, why should you pay for the trip back.. Just my opinion. Of course if it's a $100 item they may not. A discount would be ok...

    I had them do this to me, but it was a DVD.. I went crazy removing the security device.. I ended up cutting it off with a dremel tool.
    I recently built a TV remote control kit, and for some reason every time I enter, or exit a store, it sets off their Security Alarms. I'm guessing the bare circuit board is mistaken for a security tag... Anyhow, I finally had to stick my project inside a small electronics part baggie. The Anti-static nature of the baggie blocks the alarm from going off. Now I can go into stores with impunity and turn off All their TV's using my made remote. It's harmless, after a few minutes they turn back on since they are in Retail Display Mode. It's just funny to watch people when the entire wall of TV's turns off... I'm the Diet Coke of Evil.. All the Flavor, but only 1 calorie.. Ha ha.

    Thank you SO much for posting this - I am in Australia and our tags are slightly different. I went shopping today and came home with my goods - all paid for and legit, went to try on the pants again for length and there is the damn tag. We live in the bush and town is 2 hours away so going back any time soon just for that was not an option - Helloooo Google; found your post - 2 minutes later job done- too damn easy - Thanks Mate it worked exactly as you said it would !!!

    It drives me nuts when I get home and the clerk forgot to take off the tag! Thanks for the handy instructable!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this -- someone donated a nice bag to our fundraiser but it had the ink tag still on it!! I just got it off with a little effort, as you said -- AWESOME!

    Thanks again!

    I just removed the rectangular ink-filled kind from a Land's End sweater by biting the soft plastic away on the smaller portion of the device with a pliers. Inside was a spring metal clip with a slit through which the pin is inserted.

    Knowing what I now know, it would've been faster to insert a can opener (the kind that punches a hole in a juice can top), large pin or small nail with a curved tip through the plastic right beside the pin (narrow side) to press the tabs upward to release it.

    The second method would be to turn one piece ninety degrees relative to the other and use two pairs of pliers to grab the ends of the smaller rectangular piece. Simply bend both ends downward over the portion containing the ink, curving the clip until the slit opens enough to release the pin.

    You can also buy a remover online legally. has some and you can email to buy one.

    You know, if you take your article of clothing back with the receipt, they would be more than happy to take it off for free.

    1 reply

    In my experience in the retail industry I know all about security tags the above security tag actually is not removed by an "electro magnet" when it's placed in the electric tag remover at the cashwrap it is secured by a metal retainer and when the tag is inserted all the way in two metal pins come up and apply pressure in the two indents on each side of the "node" releasing the grooved pin from the body and the tag is free .The second type of tag is removed by a magnet but not an electro magnet it's just a very strong magnet which pulls up a little metal washer like mechanism inside of the pin cavity releasing the security tag another method that will work to release this type of tag is actually just hold the garment and slap the tag against a hard surface almost like your skipping a rock the second method is to find a very powerful magnet and removing it just like personnel do .Hope this helps !!!!Be informed this is just for educational purposes please do not go get busted at your local clothing store for theft any thing over 50 dollars in considered a felony and most companies have a must prosecute law for anything over that amount .

    2 replies

    I am really glad to find this subject out here...just got home from store and found one of the bloody little buggers still attached. I'm going to try to remove it with the steps shown here; but for future reference: I'd like to have the magnet handy to save my beat up hands. You all mentioned using a strong magnet--but how strong? (i'm clueless on magnets) How do you know what strength of magnet you are getting and where the heck to you even get one? Thanks so much. robinw13

    sorry for the delay robin as you have probably removed the security tag by now but just incase your patiently waiting on a reply here it is ,Strong magnets are easily attainable over the net usually called neo magnets or "technically referred to as" neodymium magnets " or rare earth magnets and usually the strength is rated in lbs the more pounds these can pull the bigger they are so hope that's enough info for you and just google neo magnets and you will find tons of suplyers

    In my experience of removing these tags I find freezing them before sniping works pretty well. Gives you some room for error lol

    I know from experience (not from stealing, my sister got a shirt that Peebles never took the ink tag off of) that just about all of the ink tags stores use can easily be taken off by putting something like a hard drive magnet to the non-ink pack part of it. PS- then you can remove the glass ink capsules easier, then ttape them to a small firecracker and you have a small and loud ink bomb!

    1 reply

    Actually I think they are some sort of Electromagnet because when they but that bottom part thing in the holder thingee in the counter it kindof makes a noise and a light comes on, then it is off! Wow that was a hand full!!!