'glass safe adhesive remover

I’m peeling off some old minicell padding and such off a composite boat, and it has left the sticky component on the deck and inside the boat. Looking for recommendations for an adhesive remover that won’t hsarm the gelcoat.


Acetone should take off the old adhesive and it should be gentle enough on the gel coat.

For those more experienced with gelcoats, please correct me if I’m wrong.

i’ve heard it said that acetone
actually diminished the color of gelcoat, and to remove adhesive rubbing alcohol is better for any area with colored gelcoat.

very possible
I have only used it on the inside of boats and if anything faded I wouldn’t have noticed as it was a white interior.

Someone suggested heat
I am going through the same headache, but the boat is wood, so I’m worried about damaging the epoxy instead of gelcoat.

So far I’ve removed most of the Barge Cement crud with plain old elbow grease–scraping, pinching, and peeling with fingernails (not recommended, because it is causing tendonitis). Last night I talked with an experienced kayak builder who said he had used a heat gun to soften drysuit gasket glue, which I assume would also be rubber cement. Said it made it much easier to scrape off.

I’m going to try it tomorrow, using a hair dryer.

Avon Skin-so-soft
works very well on the adhesive used on warning stickers, windshiels stickers etc. I’ve not tried it on contact cement but I’m reasonably sure it won’t harm the surface and is user friendly.

Lacquer thinner
It removes most glues very effectively and won’t hurt the 'glass in any way. I’ve used it on dozens of boats.

Lacquer Thinner
Many brands are mostly acetone.

I don’t know about that…
…but the stuff I’ve used doesn’t smell like acetone and has no effect on glass boats.

acetone-LIGHT USE
a quick wipe with acetone’s OK but it does remove gel coat! prolonged soaking will remove gelcoat. If it’s on a seat, who cares?

Paint thinners works on some adhesives. and it’s not toxic like lacquer thinner, acetone, tolulene, MEK.


Petroleum Naphtha, aka Colman Stove Fuel, aka White Gas, is the solvent in most contact cements and will probably take the stuff you’re dealing with off. It won’t heart the gel coat but it is very flammable and not the best thing to breath in quantity.