Removing sticker from carbon blade

What’s an effective and safe way to remove a big plastic sticker from a carbon paddle blade?

I’m pretty tool challenged and ignorant, but I don’t think I should be using the razor blade or putty knife I’ve used on my car window. Then, there’s the secondary issue of getting rid of the gummy glue residue that usually remains. I don’t want to use a chemical that could harm the expensive carbon blade.


It depends on how much you care if
there is some minor abrasion after you scrape off the sticker and clean off the glue. I would choose a razor blade equivalent that I felt confident about handling. It has to be worked at a very low angle. Remember that a carbon fiber face is softer on the average than a glass paddle face, because glass is harder than graphite.

Maybe start at a corner and see if you can lift the sticker enough that you can try pulling on it. If the sticker is strong enough, you may be able to slowly pull the sticker off, in one piece or in segments. That way you won’t have to risk the scraper. And perhaps there will be less sticker residue if you can pull the sticker off.

The resin will be epoxy. Acetone attacks epoxy, but not violently. But I wouldn’t use acetone. I’ve used WD40 on bumper stickers. I’m sure it won’t harm epoxy, but it’s kind of messy and smelly. Other cleaning oils may work. Probably products marketed specifically for removing bumper stickers will be safe, but what do I know?

Instead of a razor blade, a 1/4" or 1/2" chisel held at a very low angle may work. I use a chisel to skim the vinyl off the ABS on Royalex. It usually works in a single pass, and unless the surface gets pretty concave, the blade doesn’t dig into the ABS.

Lighter fluid
I always used lighter fluid and a bit of wood as a scraper. That shouldn’t do anything to the finish, hopefully.

Heat helps
Just leaving the blade in the sun for a while is helpful, but a hair dryer or heat gun is faster. Don’t over heat. If it’s uncomfortable to the touch (but doesn’t actually burn your fingers) you’re about right.

Instead of a razor blade or chisel (which work but are pretty likely to scratch with the slightest mistake), use a piece of hard plastic. (It can be sharpened with a file or cut at an angle with a paper shears if you’re so inclined.) The material used for nameplates on office desks is what we use at the sign shop I sometimes work at. I’m sure there’s a product made for that, but hard plastic works and isn’t very hard to find. Takes a little patience and having a fingernail or two helps also.

The residual adhesive can be removed with a commercial citronella oil adhesive remover or a cleaner like “Goof off”, “Goo Gone”, or “Oops”. Even hand cleaner like Go Jo will do it eventually, but don’t rub it or the grit will scuff the surface. Just moisten the adhesive, let it soak for a couple minutes, and scrape it off with your plastic. Repeat until clean and polish with rubbing compound if you’re a perfectionist. “Heat”, the isopropal winter gasoline additive, can be used to clean also. It’s pretty gentle, certainly more so than alcohol stove fuel.

Goo Be Gone
Buy it at the dollar store. Removes the glue left by labels.

What I do…
Just finished taking off old, and putting on new, Mad River Canoe labels.

  1. Used wife’s hair dryer, just as PJC described to get the label to loosen from the old adhesive & the canoe hull.

  2. Used Goo Gone on the adhesive residue. Apply just enough to wet down the area of old adhesive residue.

    Let it sit for a few minutes before trying to remove the residue, and repeat Goo Gone application if necessary.

  3. An additional step I use before applying new labels is to thoroughly clean the area where I applied Goo Gone with alcohol.

    Have used this method on kevlar, fiberglass, and Royalex canoes with no problems. Not sure about the paddle; only problem would probably be using too much heat.


Griots adhesive remover
Took the stickers off a carbon Lendal blade with this stuff, works great. Tkamd

I just did this a couple days ago.

I just used my thumbnail to get it started and pulled slowly from there. If the adhesive separated from the sticker I started a new corner and worked back to the center.

It helps if the sticker/paddle is new(ish). The hairdryer might help if its stubborn but Ive found you can get the adhesive too hot and ti sticks to the surface more than the sticker.

My favorite way of removing the leftover adhesive is just to use masking tape and taping over the adhesive, (press down where the stuff is) then slowly peel again. Or you can roll the tape and just “dab” at it repeatedly and the stuff usually comes up and you dont risk scratching the surface below at all.

Removing a label from new Zav?
Is it the Zav label or some other label?

It’s one of those safety labels about
not paddling with the shaft too close to your face, lest a wave modify your nose.

It’s a ZRE label from an older Zav
They put the wrong label (a non-outrigger label) on a Zav outrigger bent shaft I bought in 2007, and I just got the correct label from them when I got a new paddle. So I want to remove the old-wrong and put on the new-correct label.

It doesn’t work on The ZRE paddles
My wife has been trying various things for several weeks to get the ZRE label glue off one of her paddles, and the first tthing she ntried was the goo be gone and it doesn’t work.

Jack L

Leave it on . These small outfits need the advertising.

As a boat builder, I always operated on the premise that a customer removing the identifying sticker effectively voided his/her own warranty.

I don’t mind small logos
But I don’t like being a billboard for the company. Small emblems are welcome but not gaudy huge signs. Same with t-shirts, I don’t buy those, even from companies I like, that are full chest or back advertising displays. But if I like the company I am proud to display a small logo to draw attention to the product.

I recently removed a full-blade sticker by warming in running hot water and carefully peeling with my fingernail.

So you would not want me to remove
a misleading sticker? Such as Pack on a RapidFire?

Right, but what if in the case of two
different ZRE paddles the sticker starts to come off.

On the first one we asked for and got a replacement.

Jack L

Bug spray
Any kind of mosquito spray, works great on tape, stckers, decals, gets it off and gets rid of the sticky residue as well

The effective part is…
The alcohol is what matters. Instead of using bug spray, hairspray or almost any other aerosol use liquid denatured alcohol from any home depot/sherwin should come in quarts and gallons.

After Sticker & Glue Removed
How do you get rid of the discoloration or worse yet, the residual image or graphics permanently branded on to the paddle? The graphics from old sticker can’t be cleaned off, so Im just living with it and hope the sun, either weathers it or blends it away, over time.