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Adhesive removal

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The time has come to remove the EVA foam from our cockpit. Anyone got any suggestions on the best way to get the residual adhesive off? Its the 3M backing which comes on the EVA sheets. I have heard that there are flapper wheels/discs that take it off without damaging the gel coat? 

 

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Mineral spirits works pretty well too.

Softens and weakens the goo, and it scrapes off easily.  Used it to clean the surfaces before doing windows with the VHB sticky tape, and worked great.

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It takes a while no matter how you do it, and you won't be happy with the results.  I find the orange not so toxic paint remover works about as well as anything. Slop it on and wait a good long time, like overnight. The next morning use a single edge razor blade and lots of paper towels.  

Naptha, benzine , xylene and the 3m crap are toxic as hell and not stuff you want to spend the day with. I never fount the rubber flappy things to work worth a crap.

SHC

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Start with white vinegar. That dissolves more adhesives than many people are aware of. After that try 90% alcohol....

 If those don't work then acetone.... I used to use MEK, etc. but no longer. I've already done enough damage to my nerves... If you still have goo, heat, a putty knife and a good sense of humor.

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I'd try acetone, not at toxic as MEK or toluene (your body makes acetone). The problem with acetone is it evaporates too quickly to soak in well. WD40 actually works surprisingly well on some stuff,  it's the Stoddard solvent in it that does the desolving, you can buy straight Stoddard solvent at some suppliers. 

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If the surface is flat a very sharp chisel used almost parallel the to the surface can work on some adhesives or caulk. Go super slow, keep it flat to keep the edges from digging in, and re sharpen frequently. It is a method of last resort but was the only thing that got rid of the ancient silicone and mystery white crud on my port-light project. 

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4 hours ago, DDW said:

I'd try acetone, not at toxic as MEK or toluene (your body makes acetone). The problem with acetone is it evaporates too quickly to soak in well. WD40 actually works surprisingly well on some stuff,  it's the Stoddard solvent in it that does the desolving, you can buy straight Stoddard solvent at some suppliers. 

If you're peeling a sheet off, acetone works great. Just get a squeeze bottle and keep the receding interface wetted as you pull the sheet away from the hull. 

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Some of the citrus solvents seem to be pretty good at adhesives. I use LPS Presolve a lot for this. It doesn't evaporate immediately which helps soak the adhesive. Of course citrus oils have been identified as a carcinogen, but then what hasn't?

Another tip is plastic razor blades. Not as good as a metal tool for scraping, but also no typically damaging to paint or gel coat. They are polycarbonate, so can't be used with acetone or MEK (they will just melt) but work well with Stoddard or citrus solvents. 

Some adhesives (and most oils and greases) are quite effectively dissolved with vegetable oil which is a powerful - if slow - solvent for petroleum based stuff, including many plastics. 

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LX2000 is a high D-limonene degreaser concentrate designed to be diluted down with water.  Most citrus solvents don't contain enough of this active ingredient.   One day I was out of our regular citrus adhesive remover and used this on some old decal adhesive.  It worked very well, nice slow evaporation rate, but pretty hard on 1 part paints.  Spray and go do something else while it works.   It is what simple green was supposed to be, diluted to different ratios it covers everything from adhesive removal, to engine degreasing to light duty cleaning of bathrooms/bilges.  PH is fairly neutral so it's safer around aluminium and easier on the hands/lungs than purple power or simple green, most multi-purpose/safest cleaner I've ever found. 

For adhesive specific we mostly use Rapid Remover, it's a citrus/mineral spirits adhesive remover, much faster than Goo-gone, biggest problem with it is fast evaporation in the summer.    If the adhesive is thicker, we spray it down with rapid remover, lay bounty(not the cheap ones, nor the Scott blue ones) paper towels on it, spray them down to saturate them, and cover them with 3m masking plastic(cheap fast to unfold but any plastic wrap will do), let it soak for a couple hours, come back and wipe the now loose goop off with the saturated towels, wrap the mess plastic side out and throw away.  Quick mist with more rapid remover and a pass with a plastic razor and final wipe and it's totally clean. 

 

Plastic double edged razor blades: They are available in 3 hardnesses and different plastics.  The hardest(polycarbonate) ones are great on flat surfaces, but they can be brittle.  The softer ones are ok with acetone but wear quickly.  We use titan razor blade holders(the ones with a screw to hold the blade) because they leave the most blade exposed and at a nice angle for removing decals and adhesive, and can be chucked in an acetone bucket to dissolve adhesive off them after the blade is worn out.   

The adhesive remover wheels work well, but are pretty slow on larger areas if you use the drill mounted ones.  Much faster ones are available on air tools. 

 

 

 

 

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Use alcohol and flour.  No, I'm not joking.  Actually, it doesn't have to be alcohol, use whatever solvent works, but the flour is important.  Pour the solvent over an area and let it sit a while to loosen the glue.  Then dump a small pile of flour on it and rub with your hand.  Then loosened glue will now stick to the flour and make small balls that are easy to clean up.

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As you can see from the replies its a bitch of a job, solvents are messy but if you go that way you need to find the right solvent and use plenty of it.  I prefer these, you have to be a bit careful about heat build up but they work.  There are a few different brands, not all are equal.

3mtm-stripe-off-wheels-4-x-5-8-inches-61

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1 hour ago, Moonduster said:

Adhesive solvents are for people who have never seen 3M Stripe Off Wheels ...

 

Wheels are great for their purpose(small decals, names, stripes).  I will definitely second the 3M choice. They just work better when it comes to the drill mounted ones.  For large uniformly coated areas(foam padding, stuck on non skid, hull liner etc) these are too slow especially somewhere with lots of inside corners and angles where they won't reach.  The big high RMP ones on a dedicated air tool are better but still won't get into tight corners well.

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Just removed old SeaDek and no-skidding tape on my VX on Saturday... 3M Automotive grade Adhesive Remover. Best thing I've ever used. No need to use the wheels... those things are a pain in the ass.

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Xylene- it’s the 1st ingredient in any adhesive remover- it’s cheap, super effective and there’s no need for wheels, just soak with product, have a beer, come back and scrape off with plastic Sheetrock knife- 

its my go to adhesive remover for anything sticky- saves hours of time and frustration- 

 

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My formula for a Adhesive Remover, works on all types of adhesives:

 

1 Gallon of Gasoline / 4 Litres Petrol

3 Gallons of Kerosene / 12 Litres of Parafin

 

 

 

Mix well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spread liberally around affected areas. Let soak.

 

 

 

Light match. Throw onto affected area. Problem solved!

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