glue residue removal?

Does anyone have any suggestions for easily removing the gray adhesive residue left from duct tape. The tape was on the inside walls of my carbon fiber solo canoe which is a somewhat rough surface. I’ve tried using WD40, but doesn’t touch the stuff. Unfortunately, the tape was on the boat for about 1 year and the adhesive is really dry. Any suggestions appreciated.

try nail polish remover
works well on Weldwood. Also the stuff used to clean wax off X-country skis.

“Goof-Off” solvent
I’ve used in removing black tar from white carpet with no damage to the carpet as well as old adhesives from glass, plastics and wood.

Goof Off

Or Goo-Gone. may be the same stuff.

Nail polish remover is essentially acetone.

You can get a quart or acetone at the hardware store for the same price as a few ounces of nail polish remover at the drug store.

Be careful
Acetone can attack the resin. Use it sparingly.




go easy
acetone is the cleanup solvent of choice for fiberglass and epoxy, but after the hardening process acetone’s power is greatly diminished, if not nearly eliminated.

But it still has the power to dull, or otherwise discolor, the surface.

Use a soft, damp cloth and be quick about it.

note: to those without kevlar or fiberglass layups do be advised that acetone dissolves vinyl (think royalex and most other PVC-based plastics).

For a little fun, try filling a styrofoam cup with acetone!

yep goof off
the pure solvents like acetone or lacquer thinner seem to soften the underlying material as much as remove stuff. Goof off seems to just work on the adhesive

If the glue has dried
and is solid you might have good results by scraping off the dried glue with some kind of a scraper or even the back edge of a butter knife then clean up anything else thats left with mineral spirits.

NO acetone! Use lacquer thinner
Acetone can damage all of the types of resins used for building boats (polyester, vinylester, epoxy). It’s also too volatile compared to other solvents, evaporating before it dissolves the goo. Lacquer thinner is safer for the boat and more effective, but with any chemical thinner, either use it outdoors or wear an organic vapor respirator.

cleanup solvent of choice
A canadian kayak magazine featuring a CLC PAX18 kit said the same thing. Don’t know why they said that. Acetone is NOT the solvent of choice for cleaning up epoxy. It evaporates much too quickly, you increase the likelyhood of breathing vapors or transporting what is being dissolved through gloves or exposed skin.

If a person wanted to clean up tools I’d suggest sticking with low volatility/low toxicity solvents and doing it before curing starts. Plain alcohol and elbow grease works fine. It’s a losing game trying to dissolve partially cured epoxy as a removal method. Better to get it off as soon as possible.

If you really wanted a killer solvent for epoxy methyl ethyl ketone is just that but I think it’s got a higher toxicity than acetone. I bought it for my first s&g construction because a West Systems boom mentioned it as a solvent used in industry. I used it once then took it to the paint recycling station at the dump.

If folks are thinking of using these brain killing solvents in large quantities they should be wearing an appropriate respirator and barrier protections.

Try lighter fluid
Zippo or Ronsonol – (really napthalene). It’s reasonably gentle and you can get it anywhere they sell cigarettes.

The lighter fluid did it!
I carefully tried the nail polish remover, it didn’t touch the dried on glue residue. Couldn’t scrape it off since it was on the fabric side of the carbon and not a smooth surface. I then tried the lighter fluid and with a little elbow grease it removed most all of the gunk so it’s hardly visible. I then quickly cleaned off all surfaces and sprayed with Protectant 303 and looks like new.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Fast Orange: Fine For Cleaning Tools
Discovered a few years ago that Fast Orange-type hand cleaners work really well on tools, rubber gloves, etc., when the epoxy is still wet. We just smear it on fairly generously, then wipe it off with a clean piece of rag. Repeat if needed, which it seldom is. Way nicer stuff to work with than acetone, or the twisted-evil-devil-from-hell multi-syllable solvents some sources recommend. Get the sort without pumice - the Home Hardware version works well.