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Thread: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

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    Question How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    Many of us like to gaffer our cameras, lenses, flashes, etc for protection against scratches, marks, etc but there are situations that when you decided to remove the gaffer tape especially after a long of period of time, you may be surprised that there will be sticky residual left behind when you peeled off the gaffer tape. Somebody told me it is due to the hot weather in Singapore. High temperature will actually dissolve the sticky surface of the gaffer tape, and stick on the surface of the items that you had applied the tape on.

    Can WD-40, baby oil, rubbing alcohol and Goo Gone work? Or you have better solutions?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    Some ppl swear by Zippo lighter fluid

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zig Ziggler View Post
    Some ppl swear by Zippo lighter fluid
    No, it doesn't work on very sticky residual; only those very mild one can be removed.

  4. #4

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    isopropyl rubbing alcohol works wonders.
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    Moderator Francis247's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    Zippo does work actually, but you need a lot of clean cloth.
    One issue is also dependent on the surface. If it is those rubbery surface then it is tough...
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  6. #6

    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    Use a new piece of gaffer and stick it off.
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    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?


  8. #8

    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    Quote Originally Posted by user12343 View Post
    isopropyl rubbing alcohol works wonders.
    i swear by this too. not sure about zippo fuel..

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    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    if the material steel you can try thinner, or nail removal liquid, if the surface made from plastic, try to use "Kayu Putih Oil", make sure you don't use tissue paper to clean but using soft cloth.

    but before that, try to cut some gaffer tape and twist around so the stick part is at the top, then use your hand to stick and peel the residue, sometimes it works with this method.

    from all of that, thinner is the most powerfull one, sure its gone, be carefull, its highly flammable
    Last edited by xl1; 10th September 2013 at 09:42 AM.
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    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
    Many of us like to gaffer our cameras, lenses, flashes, etc for protection against scratches, marks, etc but there are situations that when you decided to remove the gaffer tape especially after a long of period of time, you may be surprised that there will be sticky residual left behind when you peeled off the gaffer tape. Somebody told me it is due to the hot weather in Singapore. High temperature will actually dissolve the sticky surface of the gaffer tape, and stick on the surface of the items that you had applied the tape on.

    Can WD-40, baby oil, rubbing alcohol and Goo Gone work? Or you have better solutions?
    My solution I wont gaffer tape my camera save all the hassle of removal.
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  11. #11

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    Careful some may damage or worst melt plastic. So test on small area 1st.
    Hardware store has those sticky residue cleaner.
    Those mentioned above may work on some area.

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    Use a new piece of gaffer and stick it off.
    That is the correct way to do it. That is how we do it in the adhesive industry.

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    Senior Member ricleo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    i use matte vinyl decals for cars instead of gaffer tapes. achieves the same purpose of protection against scratches, easier to apply smoothly and yet easier to remove with a hair dryer after heating up a little. Many have been using the Carbon Fibre look alike 3M vinyl decals for their lens hoods.

    note the easy to remove part applies to good/better quality vinyl and not the cheapest low quality ones from china.
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    Senior Member ricleo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    for example, my latest "gaffer" project

    lens hood and lens are gaffered with different car decals (scrub black and matte black) to have some variation.



    what the lens should look like pre-gaffer (from another forum user)
    Last edited by ricleo; 10th September 2013 at 11:41 AM.
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    Viynl based tape/sheeting usually uses synthetic adhesives that can react to certain plastics so it wise to not use them unless you are taping them to metal parts. Gaffer is most often preferred because it uses natural latex adhesive.

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    Senior Member ricleo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Viynl based tape/sheeting usually uses synthetic adhesives that can react to certain plastics so it wise to not use them unless you are taping them to metal parts. Gaffer is most often preferred because it uses natural latex adhesive.
    Ok the part about synthetic and reactions is new to me. Given that car vinyl decals are applied onto automobiles with a layer of paint, wouldn't adhesives thst are safe for such purposes be ok for lens hoods or cameras?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricleo View Post

    Ok the part about synthetic and reactions is new to me. Given that car vinyl decals are applied onto automobiles with a layer of paint, wouldn't adhesives thst are safe for such purposes be ok for lens hoods or cameras?
    Automobiles are metal with paint and clearcoat. It is not plastic so the likelyhood of reaction is zero. Plastics is a different matter.

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    Senior Member ricleo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    I see...I have no in depth experience with the adhesive industry...but want to know more to clarify the risks of using vinyl decals vs gaffer tapes. Regarding vehicles and clearcoat, typically clearcoat is made of urethane or polyurethane, which itself is a form of plastic.

    I know some adhesives can corode and have chemical reactions to certain types of plastics, but i've only seen this with liquid adhesives, and not really on adhesives that are bonded to tapes/vinyl.

    would the adhesives used by 3M on their carbon fibre vinyls be safer?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Automobiles are metal with paint and clearcoat. It is not plastic so the likelyhood of reaction is zero. Plastics is a different matter.
    Last edited by ricleo; 10th September 2013 at 04:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricleo View Post
    I see...I have no in depth experience with the adhesive industry...but want to know more to clarify the risks of using vinyl decals vs gaffer tapes. Regarding vehicles and clearcoat, typically clearcoat is made of urethane or polyurethane, which itself is a form of plastic.

    I know some adhesives can corode and have chemical reactions to certain types of plastics, but i've only seen this with liquid adhesives, and not really on adhesives that are bonded to tapes/vinyl.

    would the adhesives used by 3M on their carbon fibre vinyls be safer?
    Nope. The adhesives on the 3M faux carbon fiber vinyls are not safer.

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    Default Re: How to remove sticky residual from Gaffer Tape?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Nope. The adhesives on the 3M faux carbon fiber vinyls are not safer.
    this thread should be put up as a sticky!!
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