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Thread: how to clean off masking tape residue

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default how to clean off masking tape residue

    I'm wondering how to remove old masking tape residue. My wife collects antiques and a plastic object she got has some masking tape residue on it from a long time ago. I need to get the residue off without damaging the plastic. I'm thinking I need to soak it with something like paint thinner or WD40. Something like Acetone would probably harm the plastic.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    Try Lift-Off or Goof Off. They are available at Lowe's or Home Depot and come in an aerosol can or squirt bottle.

    Works everytime.

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    Flashaholic* BatteryCharger's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    Get some bug and tar remover meant for cars. It's designed to take stuff like that off of painted and plastic surfaces. Most solvents like goof off and paint thinner will destroy the plastic.

  4. #4

    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    try lighter fluid, or charcoal lighter fluid (which is naptha) sometimes that works.

  5. #5

    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    Things like Goo-Gone contain a citrus solvent called d-limonene. It's good for removing things like tape residue, but would require a high dwell time before it would mar plastics. It's still a good idea to try the weakest product first, like baby oil. Baby oil, and even vegetable oil, while mild, have a good reputation for removing masking tape residue.

  6. #6

    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    Ronsonol lighter fluid has been good, but better test it on a non-visible area of the plastic first. Other brands of lighter fluid seem to leave residue.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    I'm with batterycharger on this one. I got some bubble gum on the lower plastic cladding of my car (and being an OCD ish clean car freak) I used some Automotive International car solvent, smells a lot like a bug and tar remover/lighter fluid/naptha I had (used it because well, I had it on hand.)

    I always follow up with a pH balanced soap. (and on a car with wax.)

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    Flashaholic* billybright's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    A friend of mine is an antiques dealer, he says WD40 spray is great!

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    Flashaholic* Trashman's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    Ok, this is an easy one for me. I use car wax (I use the liquid carnuba type). It works perfectly, and it works VERY easily. It doesn't make a mess either. I just dab a bit on a cloth (even a paper towel will work) and rub the adhesive remains. I've used this method so many times and am always happy and pleased that I made the discovery.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    Use a bit of new masking tape to lift the residue off. Tape it on lightly n reuse the same section until its no longer sticky. Use another part until all gone.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    Also, you might try some good, old fashioned rubbing alcohol. I've used it before to take off light tape residue and it worked like a charm!

    PJD

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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    At work we use a commercial strength orange citris cleaner for removing everything from tape to pine sap.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    BE CAREFUL!!! If you are using cleaners on antiques or collectibles, you can easily remove the finish and very seriously decrease the value of the item. How seriously? By as much as 75%.

    Valuable items require professional advice or work. Removing adhesives can be very, very tricky stuff. The solvents that remove the glue can very quickly damage the finish or the actual object.

    Even if these are things she is going to turn around and resell, why lose money?

    Contact an antiques dealer in the area and have them recommend someone to talk with. If you can't find anyone, check with one of the bigger libraries in the area and see if they have a conservator or preservation specialist who might be able to recommend information.

    I used to work in a research library and my mother collected a wide variety of stuff. Ah, the crap, er.. valuable knowledge you learn and remember over the years...

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    Flashaholic* TrueBlue's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    Vegetable oil is very safe but slow acting. It will remove the masking take goo. If you use a solvent it will surely destroy whatever is under the goo. What you need to to loosen the binders holding the goo to the base.

    Example: I had a guy with an 'internet emergency' once. He had just spilled bottles of enamel paint on his family's cherished family table. What a mess it was. People on the net were screaming to get laquer thinner to clean it up. I knew better so I begged him to go to the kitchen and get vegetable oil, liberally pour the oil on the paint mess, then clean with a lots of rags. Luckily he listened to me and the table was fine. When his parent got home they were so impressed that their son polished their antique table. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    After oiling OOOO steel wool could be used to help the goo come off.

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    *Flashaholic* this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    WD-40 always works well for me.

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    Flashaholic* Unicorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    I go with the recommendation for the car wax. Or just about any type of wax should work. It might take a little time and effort, but it's better than risking the item.

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    Flashaholic* AlphaTea's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to clean off masking tape residue

    [ QUOTE ]
    Kevin Tan said:
    Use a bit of new masking tape to lift the residue off. Tape it on lightly n reuse the same section until its no longer sticky. Use another part until all gone.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I was going to make this suggestion too.

    I work in a calibration facility and we have all kinds of stickers on our instruments that have to be replaced after a new calibration. I have tried most of the items listed above. Good ol' masking tape usually works for just about everything. I usually just unwind enough on the roll that I can rewind it backwards onto itself. You end up with a roll that is sticky on the outside. Poke your hand in the middle and rock it back and forth over the stuff you are trying to remove.

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