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Getting rid of sticky stuff


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#1 mcatrophy

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 06:46 AM

When I went on my recent European tour, I used a roll-bag strapped to the luggage rack with a cargo net. Knowing I'd be having the bag on and off many times, and probably in a hurry, I wrapped generous amounts of duct tape* round the handrails and the rear cross-piece to protect the paint from being scratched by the hooks or from the bag rubbing.

(Click on image for larger view)
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This did exactly what I wanted. However, when I came to take the tape off ...

It was left on for about six weeks; baked in the sun, cooled in the rain. There was no way it would come off cleanly. Stripping off the tape left varying degrees of white sticky behind, sometimes with bits of the cloth layer, sometimes without.

So, I wanted a way of getting this off without resorting to scraping, which would scratch the paint worse than the cargo net.

I tried some alcohol (isopropyl, not whiskey); that barely touched it. So, having trawled the Forum for ideas, I bought some liquid gold (at 5 for a tiny bottle) in the form of Goo Gone. That faired no better than the alcohol.

Looked round the garage to see what else I had, spied my lawn mower petrol supply only to find the can was empty. (I knew there was very little in the bike.)

Looked round some more and spied some WD40. Nothing to lose.

Sprayed it on, immediately I could see the white gunge start to soften. So I removed the rack to stop WD40 going all over the bike, laid it on some newspaper, and sprayed WD40 generously all over the sticky stuff.

Waited a few minutes, and found I could rub the mixture off with rag with relatively little problem; just a couple of areas where a second spray-and-wait were needed.

So, WD40 beats Goo Gone hands down for removing duct tape adhesive.

*For the record, the tape was branded "Elephant Tape". Maybe WD40 won't work for all, but worth a try if you're stuckPosted Image.

Ps. Not sure where to post this, perhaps a moderator can put it where it belongs?

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#2 petey

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 07:28 AM

Yes DW40 saved me many times in the past remooving glue, tar, grease and general crud... :o
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#3 garyahouse

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 08:24 AM

The other day I was trying to remover oil residue from the fins of my daughters bike. It oozes oil from the cylinder head. Grease Lighting (normally a pretty effective degreaser) had mixed results. However, a couple squirts of WD 40 - Wow!!!!!

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#4 Blind Squirrel

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:05 AM

If it was Friday I could make a wise crack about MEM being an expert at "Getting rid of sticky stuff" :rolleyes:

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#5 SacramentoMike

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:48 AM

NOTHING works as well as acetone on tape residue or anything like it. Nail polish remover is just scented acetone, though acetone itself doesn't smell bad at all. I buy quart cans of acetone at Home Depot (or any other hardware store) and it's very cheap. It's in the Paint aisle with the thinners. Just test on a painted surface before you wipe it all over. Use plenty on a pretty wet rag and use a fresh part of the rag each application. Evaporates very fast, too, so just keep putting more on till it finishes the job.
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#6 ahchiu

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:11 AM

I use Goo Gone
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#7 Fingerflicker

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:18 AM

I always keep some Turtle Wax automotive "Bug & Tar" remover. Has acitone and will leave a wax coating behind. My 2 cents.
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#8 mcatrophy

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 11:22 AM

NOTHING works as well as acetone on tape residue or anything like it. .. I buy quart cans of acetone at Home Depot (or any other hardware store) and it's very cheap ...

We don't seem able to buy "chemicals" in the UK.

I use Goo Gone

As I said in my original post, too expensive and, in this case, ineffective.

I always keep some Turtle Wax automotive "Bug & Tar" remover. Has acitone and will leave a wax coating behind. My 2 cents.

Might work, but realise I had thick sticky stuff over a relatively large area. Being able to simply spray the WD40 all over it made the job easy.


If it was Friday I could make a wise crack about MEM being an expert at "Getting rid of sticky stuff" :rolleyes:

Are you trying to say cleaning is women's work ?????

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#9 Big Sky

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 01:10 PM

WD-40 makes for a pretty good, safe solvent. I've used it that way. Goo Gone has worked well for me, too, but you need to apply it fairly liberally and let it soak in, wipe, reapply, wait, wipe... But it works better than anything else I've found for the sticky residue left behind by the stuck-on wheel weights.
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#10 Joe2Lmaker

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 01:31 PM

Everyone should try Starrett M1.

I've recommended this stuff to a several skeptics, all of whom have become converts!

Works as an adhesive remover, degreaser, rust inhibitor...

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I buy it by the gallon

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http://www.starrett.com/
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#11 DJB

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 03:13 PM

Ok without cheating what does WD40 stand for and who paid to develop it?
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#12 DennisJ

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 03:29 PM

Waster Displacement Formula 40, Boeing Aircraft

Should be Water Displacement Formula 40

#13 Fred W

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 03:34 PM

I do know the WD is Water Displacement, but don't know why 40 or who started it. I also know that, while it may work to get duct tape residue off of things it is a crappy general lubricant, and not as good at penetrating frozen fastyeners as a real penetrating oil like PB Blaster.

edit - seems I was beat to the punch ;)


Here is my "go-to" all purpose solvent. I keep a can in the garage at all times. Way better than Goo Gone.

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#14 RaYzerman19

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 06:01 PM

Naptha is best for goo residues, as it is a slow evaporating solvent that won't harm paint. Sorry you guys with acetone, that is just wrong. WD 40 contains Stoddard Solvent, which is very much akin to naptha and is sometimes called heavy naptha.
But WD40 has light oil in it also, and IMHO I agree with Fred, it's not a very good lubricant.
The Starrett stuff is mostly hydrotreated light petroleum distillate, AKA, dearomatized kerosene. It should work too.

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#15 art miller

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 06:05 PM

WD40 has many useful applications. You have named a few. If you ever get that nasty rain suit burnt on a muffler, soak the area with WD40 and it will take it off. WD40 is also a very good cutting oil. I use it when drilling, cutting or filing metal. I know mechanist who use it as a cutting oil on the lathe.
Be careful when using acetone on painted surfaces. Don't let it stand long as it will remove clear coat.
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#16 Joe2Lmaker

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 06:30 PM

Naptha is best for goo residues, ...

Does naptha (a.k.a. Coleman Fuel) have a shelf life?
I never know if I should keep it around and eventually use it up or just use it to start fires in the firepit.
I'd hate to gum up my lantern or stove.
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#17 HotRodZilla

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 07:58 PM

The "40" in WD40 came from the number of forumlas they tried before they thought they had it right. This time, it was the 40th formula...Hence, Water Displacement 40.

Also...Don't use it to lubricate guns. It gums up and will cause more problems than it will solve...However, I too have used it for removing gunk and currently have two cans of it in my garage. It's versitle stuff.
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#18 MEM

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 08:23 PM

If it was Friday I could make a wise crack about MEM being an expert at "Getting rid of sticky stuff" :rolleyes:

WHAAAAT ?! WTH would I know about that ? OK it's Friday now, wiseguy. Go for it :lol:


I admit .... this IS an odd caption for a straight-up thread. But who am I to judge ? :unsure: (and it's good to know about the WD40 :D)
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#19 Larry33319

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 05:54 AM

One day at work I was bored and actually read the little pamphlet that comes with WD40. It is truly amazing stuff. If you have ever driven down a fairly new road and had black road tar get on your car, it will dissolve that as well.
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#20 BkrK12

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 06:47 AM

Spray mosquito repellent, with a high Deet content. Will also take magic marker off aluminum siding. Makes you want to not think about what it does to your skin.

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