Decal Glue Remedy (s) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-03-2015, 10:16 AM   #1
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Smile Decal Glue Remedy (s)

Howdy fello RV'ers. I have been studying the removal of the old decals from fiberglass mostly...I asked over at AIR-Forums and they said SHOUT (stain remover) would work good on the glue. I am not to sure about that! meanwhile I have been using rubber gloves and unleaded gas mixed with lacquer thinner to melt and remove the glue with the best success.
Gas is cheap here in Espanola NM . So far I can afford this much better.
But has any one ever come up with the absolute best way to get the decal glue off? Your input is appreciated
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:40 AM   #2
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Lets see.... Gasoline + lacquer thinner + low humidity + rubber gloves + friction = static spark + BOOM..... I hereby nominate this as the bad idea of the day......


I'm guessing that you are removing entire decals, not just the residue adhesive.
There are a number of better and safer ways to remove decals including rubber "Eraser" wheels on a drill, a heat gun and a plastic scraper and just the careful use of a single edge razor blade. Google RV Decal Removal for a bunch of better ideas.


IF all you want to do is remove adhesive residue from naked fiberglass, a small amount of acetone on a clean cloth is fairly safe.


I earlier wrote of a very rare Volvo P-1900 molded fiberglass convertible that was burned to the ground when the owner was using gasoline for a cleaner.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MisterBilliam View Post
Howdy fello RV'ers. I have been studying the removal of the old decals from fiberglass mostly...I asked over at AIR-Forums and they said SHOUT (stain remover) would work good on the glue. I am not to sure about that! meanwhile I have been using rubber gloves and unleaded gas mixed with lacquer thinner to melt and remove the glue with the best success.
Gas is cheap here in Espanola NM . So far I can afford this much better.
But has any one ever come up with the absolute best way to get the decal glue off? Your input is appreciated

Goo Gone or a similar product from the hardware store.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:47 AM   #4
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My favourite decal and 'sticky stuff" remover is brake cleaner. Test the surface you are removing from first and wear hand protection but it works the best and fastest. I worked in a fleet shop for many years where every vehicle was decalled. The decal eraser worked good to remove most of the decal (although be careful using these on your gel coat). The final sticky residue was removed with brake clean.

On my trailer I use a heat gun set on low to soften the decal but don't overheat the fiberglass and then pull off the decal itself, then brake clean to remove the adhesive.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:02 PM   #5
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Many adhesives employ multiple 'glue' agents' so that they will continue to stick when exposed to a single solvent. So, applying more than one cleaning agent may be required. Ronson lighter fluid should be your first choice. Cheep, easy to get and use. 99% isopropyl alcohol is your second choice. $3 at most drug stores and some supper markets. Finally, denatured alcohol dissolves lots of stuff, including silicone adhesive and calking.
These three safe and available chemicals can be mixed or used one at a time to remove most 'stickers' from most surfaces.
Be careful with lacquer thinner, in contains acetone. Acetone will melt many paints and plastics.
If all else fails, toluene and Methyl Ethyl Ketone (which is similar to Acetone) will dissolve/melt bonds that other solvents can't budge.
ONCE AGAIN I WARN, use these last fluids with great care or your decals will come off along with layers of your RV.
Andy
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:24 PM   #6
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3M makes a paste decal residue remover - also a rubberized buffing wheel that works pretty well. WD-40 also removes sticker residue.

Goo gone works pretty well too.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:44 PM   #7
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I certainly am aware of blowing up. Plus breathing the gas vapors does not feel very good either. I take the decals off a certain way with a special blade. And the glue in some form or other is left behind. Soaking it and saturating it with gas makes the glue swell up and puff then I hit it with a very aggressive floor buffer pad. But its still dangerous. If brake cleaner will do it I will use that, also will try the acetone. Thanks all--back to work!
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:57 PM   #8
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The 3Mô Stripe Off Wheel is for removing dried, cracked vinyl decals/stickers. I wouldn't use it for intact decals or the residual glue. Here's my experience with the 3Mô Stripe Off Wheel.

15 minutes with a 3Mô Stripe Off Wheel - Bigfoot

For the residual glue I used brake cleaner and denatured alcohol (whichever I had handy - both work the same). I removed ALL the graphics on my vintage Bigfoot using the wheel, a heat gun and plastic scraper (for the decals that weren't totally brittle), and the brake cleaner/denatured alcohol for final clean-up. A lot of work, but effective.
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:42 PM   #9
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Well I just got down from the ladder using the brake cleaner and an aggressive scuff pad...works great but you have to put thinner on a rag to pick or wipe it up before it starts(the glue) to set back up. Messy stuff- I despise vinyl.
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ArtWrangler View Post
Ronson lighter fluid should be your first choice. Cheep, easy to get and use. 99% isopropyl alcohol is your second choice. $3 at most drug stores and some supper markets. Finally, denatured alcohol dissolves lots of stuff, including silicone adhesive and calking.

If all else fails, toluene and Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Andy
I would caution against using any of these products simply due to their flammability. Especially since there are safe non-flammable options readily available
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:31 PM   #11
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I own a sign biz & we use Rapid Remover to take off the adhesive residue after you remove the decals. Only use a plastic razor blade so you don't damage the surface while scraping off the decal! Goo Gone is also pretty good in a pinch. a warm sunny day is a whole lot safer that heat guns - a few minutes talking & not paying attention can be expensive to fix. we tried Vinyl Off, it's supposed to remove the decal & the glue, but it also took off the clearcoat & the paint from a vehicle.
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sharon_b View Post
I own a sign biz & we use Rapid Remover to take off the adhesive residue after you remove the decals. Only use a plastic razor blade so you don't damage the surface while scraping off the decal! Goo Gone is also pretty good in a pinch. a warm sunny day is a whole lot safer that heat guns - a few minutes talking & not paying attention can be expensive to fix. we tried Vinyl Off, it's supposed to remove the decal & the glue, but it also took off the clearcoat & the paint from a vehicle.
Good advice Sharon
Like anything you definitely have to pay attention to what you are doing, especially when, in this case, a heat gun is used.
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:41 PM   #13
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I use a heat gun and a wood chisel to heat the vinyl and soften the adhesive. You can scrape most of the glue with the edge of the chisel. It will gum up and stick to the edge when it cools, but you can wipe it of with a coarse rag.
The heat gun I use is a high temp for electronic work, but the cheap Harbor Freight unit would probably work OK as well.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:21 AM   #14
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Vinyl-Off by Cystal Tek

Ok, so I removed and replaced all the decals on my former boler. I used this stuff and what a labour saver. Non-toxic, environmentally safe and no overpowering fumes.

Vinyl-Off by CrystalTek? Green products that work

The $12.00 bottle was good enough for my 13ft, but you may need more for anything bigger.
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