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Housekeeping tip? - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Housekeeping tip?
I'll get to responding on TL&tDM after work, but at the moment, I have a housekeeping quandary. Big glass doors, which people have been using tape on for about ten years. There are big dry tape spot marks, and I'd like to get rid of them. I've tried a label scraper (effective, but MUCHO time consuming), straight glass cleaner (not so effective), and a product called Goo Gone, which is meant to clean up smears and so on from labels, but doesn't work so well on spots that have been dry for a while.

Anyone know any magic bullet for this?

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sociofemme From: sociofemme Date: October 22nd, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe give WD40 a shot? If that doesn't work, there should be some stuff at the Home Depot called Goof Off that is way stronger than Goo Gone--if I remember correctly, though, it smells pretty bad, so that might be a last resort unless you can get some good ventilation.
From: suchcuriousity Date: October 22nd, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Goof Off is my solution for everything, but it does smell horrible.
shellebelle93 From: shellebelle93 Date: October 22nd, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm thinking of a product I used to use when I was cleaning for a living called "Vandalism Stain Remover" but I am not sure that would work.

I'd use googone or something like that and let it sit for a while, then use the label scraper. It might take a while to get them gone but eventually it will work. If it's really been like that for 10+ years, it's going to take a while to get the marks off.
ladylothwen From: ladylothwen Date: October 22nd, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
When all else failed my mother and I use Mean Green. Usually found at Dollar Generals.
ratcreature From: ratcreature Date: October 22nd, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I use cleaning alcohol to remove the sticky goo from labels, but I never tried this with old stains.
threnody From: threnody Date: October 22nd, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fingernail polish remover.

Saw it on an ep of How Clean Is Your House. :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 22nd, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dunno if that will work, but it makes logical sense! I'll pick some up on my break, which will give the opportunity of getting my nail polish off my hands as well...
From: maxzook Date: October 23rd, 2008 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)


The good news is that nail polish remover will likely work.

The bad news is that it's hard to find nail polish remover without lanolin -- and lanolin, although it won't hurt the windows, will take a lot of elbow grease to clean off of the glass, especially when it gets mixed with the dissolved schmutz from the tape.

You may have no alternative, but just have plenty of Windex handy.
From: maxzook Date: October 23rd, 2008 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
And don't do this until you've finished the chapter, or we'll go crazy waiting ;D
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 23rd, 2008 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Warning!

You can get straight acetone (old-fashioned nail polish remover) at beauty supply stores.

It's aqua regia: if acetone won't remove it, nothing will, even eons of time. And you can't spill it, it totally eats hard plastic and floor/furniture finishes of any kind.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 23rd, 2008 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Warning!

it's not Aqua Regia! Aqua Regia is a mixture of Nitric and Sulphuric acids used to dissolve gold, not what you need at all. Gasoline or hexane.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 23rd, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Warning!

Agh! I forgot there was actually a compound called aqua regia!

I just meant that acetone is kind of a universal solvent!
ncp From: ncp Date: October 22nd, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Vegetable Oil. Smear some on the sticky parts, and let it sit for about half an hour (maybe longer for the really stubborn spots). Then use soap and a gentle scrubber to wash it off.
amamama From: amamama Date: October 23rd, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agreed, like olive oil. That's the green, non-hazardous way to do it. Not instant (like gasoline which also works wonders), but works. Lavender oil is good too. It all depends on what kind of hazard you're willing to take.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: October 22nd, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have you tried turpentine? It gets most things off - I wouldn't use it on painted surfaces for that very reason, but glass will be OK.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 22nd, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

tape cleaning

Ordinary petrol (gasoline to you Americans). Don't let anyone smoke near it, or let your fire officer know. You can buy Hexane which has a similar effect in many Arts stores (Bestine I think is a proprietary name for this).

These are not nice chemicals. Don't smoke near them, or inhale them too much. You might get high as a kite. Open windows to let air circulate and remove the smell and vapours.

lilacsigil From: lilacsigil Date: October 22nd, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eucalyptus oil is great for getting muck off metal and glass. Meth or turps should get most things off, too, but smells nastier!
alkari From: alkari Date: October 22nd, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Second this. You have to let the old goo soften, so smear on the oil, then put a piece of paper towelling over it and leave for 10-30 mins. You should then be able to wipe off the goo, or scrape it off very easily with a scraper. And eucalyptus oil smells nice and is environmentally friendly!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 23rd, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is where I have to learn Australian. It took me a little while to figure out "methyl alcohol"... "meth" so has a different meaning here! ;p

I wish eucalyptus oil was easy to get here. It sounds like a much lovelier smell.
bends From: bends Date: October 22nd, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
nail polish remover for sure
sep12 From: sep12 Date: October 22nd, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
try lighter fluid. we use it at work to get sticky stuff off customer products. it dries your hands out, but it works well.
aiglet From: aiglet Date: October 23rd, 2008 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
That's what I use. Or, oddly enough, old-school Windex. (If you can find the stuff that hasn't been reformulated with green and friendly chemicals. It'll strip paint.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 23rd, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to see about getting old school Windex anyway. Aside from the tape spots, the glass is just dirty, and the glass cleaner we have is horribly streaky.
milaya36 From: milaya36 Date: October 22nd, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
*puts on chemist hat* Nail polish remover is acetone, so it should work, but if it doesn't, then you probably need something more nonpolar. Hexane, as suggested above, or really just plain gasoline (preferably of higher octane) are both good ideas. We usually use toluene or xylene for particularly tricky substances (I work for a company that makes industrial lubricants, which means lots of sticky goo that stays on benchtops and beakers forever), but those are probably more difficult to get your hands on and also fairly toxic.

In terms of safety, yes, good ventilation for any of these products is absolutely a must. Wear cleaning gloves, even if you're going the acetone route, and keep away from any open flames! (Not that you'd, you know, be cooking or anything near the doors, but just in case...)
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: October 23rd, 2008 12:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Our apartment came with a sketchy, rusty can of 3M brand "Adhesive, Wax & Mark Remover," which contains Naptha, Xylene and Ethylbenzene. When Goo Gone fails me this stuff, while highly smelly, flamable and toxic, takes anything off. Approved for use on glass! Don't let the cat lick it!
milaya36 From: milaya36 Date: October 23rd, 2008 11:05 am (UTC) (Link)
That's really awesome. Yeah, all three of those are aromatics, which means 1) awesome at dissolving particularly tricky polymers and 2) toxic, toxic, toxic. I wonder if they discontinued it at some point because of the chemicals used?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 23rd, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know, but I may look for it, one way or the other.
From: glynngriffiths Date: October 22nd, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Rubbing alcohol is very good for new goo residue, so it might be worth a shot on old goo, too. Otherwise, acetone is pretty fail-safe, I think. Good luck with your goo spots!

moonlitwoods From: moonlitwoods Date: October 22nd, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Energine would probably work. It comes in a small can, usually found near kitchen cleaning products in the grocery store.
riah_chan From: riah_chan Date: October 23rd, 2008 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I usually use a razor blade for stuff like that... it takes a while but the chemicals don't kill me.
From: kobegrace Date: October 23rd, 2008 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't have any suggestions. I just want to see how this turns out.
mincot From: mincot Date: October 23rd, 2008 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Razor blade plus nail polish remover. Then wash with clear water. Then vinegar and a squeegee.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 23rd, 2008 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Don't Bother with Chemicals!

I had the exact same problem with my french doors. I finally solved my problem more or less the way NCP suggested, except that instead of oil, I took paper towels, soaked them in hot water, slapped them on the glass and let them sit for about half an hour, then used a mildly soapy sponge (the plastic mesh kind that is so good for not damaging teflon).

Obviously the waiting is a trifle tedious, but it works with no chemicals or the necessity to invest in anything other than possibly the mesh sponge.

Best of luck!

Sara Libby

BTW -- I haven't been commenting much lately, but I'm reading and enjoying Teddy as much as ever.
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: October 23rd, 2008 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Liquid Downy fabric softener. Slather it on, let it soak for a while, then go over it with a scraper. I had to fool with the same problem in my classroom once, and it worked like a charm.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 23rd, 2008 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Houskeeping Tip

The use of acetone is a good choice, but is spectacularly flammible, plus an inhalation hazard. Something (slightly) less fammible is VM&P Naphtha, available from the paint department of the local home center, hardware store, paint store, etc. Use with paper towels, rubber gloves (it can dissovle the fats out of your skin), and plenty of ventilation. Actually, that warning applies to the acetone, as well. You don't say whether these doors are exterior or deep inside a building, either factor would affect the ventilation problem. There are also cleaning services available that do this sort of thing for a living.

Fred Nelson
Working in Industrial Safety since the early 70's
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