Removing adhesives, was Re: Reel-to-reel tape decks (was: Re: ZX81 denigrated!)

From: james <>
Date: Sun Dec 5 06:31:41 2004

On Sat, 2004-12-04 at 07:14, William Maddox wrote:
> Tony Duell wrote:
> > Lighter fluid is often a good solvent for removing adhesive residue...
> By far the best stuff I've ever used is "Goo-Gone", a citrus-solvent/
> petroleum-solvent blend. Perhaps it (or an equivalent) is sold in the
> UK. I've also used Goo-Gone for cleaning ink from plastic surfaces.
> It is a bit harsher than isopropanol, but take off some marks that
> isopropanol will not, and doesn't visibly affect opaque plastics (or
> most transparent ones for that matter).

I've found that nearly any non-hardening adhesive will release with
heat. I've removed lots of labels with a hair dryer. Once the adhesive
is soft enough it will usually "follow" the more absorbtive material
(the paper of the lable) rather than stay on the harder surface. Meaning
it mostly comes off with the label rather than leaving glop on your
article. You have to get the underlying surface hot enough so that when
you remove the heat the label won't quickly re-stick as heat is pulled
into the surface. If it's metal and I can get behind it I will leave the
hair dryer (or a gas torch for large metal panels) on from behind as I
slowly pull the sticker.

If any residue is left it should be small (like around the perimeter and
if you get it with a solvent while still hot it should clean easily.
Before someone sues me for bodily injury please note that some solvents
will break down into incredibly toxic aromatic compounds in the presence
of heat (like phosgene). Printing press blanket cleaner (a fantastic
solvent for stickers) will do this.

This trick I learned from an autobody shop and their efforts to remove
bumper stickers with gas torches.
Received on Sun Dec 05 2004 - 06:31:41 GMT

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