Question: velcro glue residue removal from armor

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mykindofscum

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Request to share your experiences:

I had industrial velcro on my stormtrooper armor parts, and have removed it in favor of gluing several of the arms, legs, etc parts together permanently.

It was "industrial strength" velcro, the actual velcro brand - the kind at Home Depot. In cleaning/prep, I am having a lot of difficulty removing the old velcro's glue residue. I tried a a cleaner and even razor scrapers, with not much luck so far.

Been asking around/researching online. Goo Gone has some positive reviews for various removals on Depot's website. Got recommendations from friends for everything from acetone to nail polish remover to gasoline to mineral spirits, Goo Gone, and two or three more I can't remember at the moment.

I also found this question/answer on the Velcro website:

Q. I used an adhesive-backed product and want to now remove it. How do I do that?

A. The best method to remove any of our adhesive-backed products is to use a citrus based adhesive remover. Be sure to read the instructions on the adhesive remover carefully.


Fine, velcro, and thank you, but what brand names are ya talkin' about??

I would appreciate any advice based on experiences removing velcro glue residue from plastic/armor/ABS, HIPS, or similar. Just trying to not make 25 trips to the store or put 14 kinds of chemicals on the armor that make it melt or something, ya know.

Thanks RPFers, sincerely appreciated!
 

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moose

Active Member
i've never had problems with goo gone for anything. i took dealer decals off of my car with it. it also may be citrus based, i'm not sure. i think i remember a nice smell from it, lol.
 

HadronMM

Member
Well, you want to be cautious and not screw up the armor, so I'd start with the most benign thing possible and then work up from there. Water first, soap and water, then denatured alcohol, acetone, etc. Any petroleum based products like mineral spirits are running the risk of messing up the plastic of the armor.
 

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Cal

Well-Known Member
I always take a piece of duct tape and stick to the residue and peel it off, if its stubborn I use lighter fluid.
 

Dart

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I usually start with duct tape to try and loosen as much as possible before I bust out the Goo Gone. It works well but make sure you rinse the area well afterwards or it'll smell really citrusy for a bit.
 

Nobby

Sr Member
If you've got a can of WD40 laying around, it is pretty good at removing most sticky stuff :D
 

Supa troop

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There is a tried and tested method to get rid of Velcro Residue and seriously its so easy

Use Regular Spray furniture polish, spray it on the residue and leave for a minute or 2 and then just wipe it clean, it may take take a couple of goes but trust me it works a treat
 

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mykindofscum

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
UPDATE

First, Sincere Thank You everyone for the suggestions.

Second, recap: The problem was glue residue left over on stormtrooper armor when I pulled up Velcro-brand industrial velcro strips. The Velcro website recommends using a citrus-based cleaner.

Third, okay, the update of what I've learned and applied so far:

SUPPLIES
Goo Gone
is one of the most common citrus-based cleaner available in many stores (Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, etc).

Interestingly, it may be available in different forms in different sections of the same store, so keep looking.

For example, in Home Depot's cleaning products section, they only carried one type of GG in a hand spray bottle. But in the paint/glue section, they had 3-4 types of Goo Gone (think home and "professional" mixes), and in varying sizes - including the spray bottle but also full gallon size.

Scraper
I've had a lot of success with a metal scraper / putty knife. Not the flat razor kind of glass scraper, that will cut or nick your plastic at some point.

Scouring pads
Regular Scotch Brite pads aren't strong enough, you need something stronger. While I went to several stores, Home Depot did have a nice 3-pack of some "plastic" scouring pads. You could probably use Brillo steel wool, but steel wool rusts so easily, which is something to look out for if you're doing this in your kitchen sink.

De-natured alcohol
Sorry to keep harping on Home Depot, I'm sure Lowe's and maybe Wal-Mart are similar. It just happened that HD was the 3rd store I went to over the course of running errands throughout the week, and everything I needed was on one aisle in the paint section. They had different sizes of denatured alcohol available, which will be helpful for the clean-up of the cleaning product.

The process
The longer the velcro glue residue can soak in Goo Gone, the better it breaks down the Velcro glue residue. For an arm or leg armor half, you may have to lay it longways and prop it slightly against something, so that it rests in such a position that the GG can cover and stay on the residue area without running off.

Use a combination of scouring pad and putty knife. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Wipe a little here and there, hold up and look at it, run your finger over it. Repeat GG, scouring pad, putty knife. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It's kind of a laborious process and you've got to put some "elbow grease" into it, but with the soaking and right tools, it can go fairly fast.

Scrub firmly but take care not to bear down too much or put too much pressure on your armor! Remember what you're working with!

I tried applying duct tape onto the residue and pulling, but it created more work and more mess. After that first try, I would not recommend doing that. But, it worked for someone else that was kind enough to post here, so I am going to try it again on a smaller piece like a forearm instead of thigh armor piece.

Clean up
The GG cleaner does leave a residue-y feeling. I'm still doing a work in progress, but it's taking several rounds of warm soap and water (now is an okay time to switch to the Scotch Brite pads, which are frequently on sale at grocery and drug stores)

This is also when you can wipe with the denatured alcohol as a poster mentioned above. I haven't got to that step yet, but anticipate it will take several rounds mixed with the soap/water scrubbing. Eventually when it's all clean, you'll want to use the denatured alcohol as last prep step before gluing the armor together (my project goal is to remove velcro and convert armor joining to use glue like E-6000 or whatever).

So, in a nutshell:
Soak, Scrub, Scrape!

Thanks again everyone for your advice, I really appreciate it.
 

Drago Lordist

Well-Known Member
I too would join on the Goo Gone bandwagon for stuff that's still tacky. I don't know what their industrial strength would do to armor though (red metal can, peels up floor tiles). If its old though - to the point that it's not sticky at all, I've had no trouble with sandpaper or a sanding block.
 

Shylaah

Sr Member
Well, as I've recommended before for icky sticky stuff on any non-porous surface what's always worked for me--automotive bug and tar remover. Spray it on, let it soak in and work a little bit, rub off the gunk with a soft cloth or your fingers depending on how big a spot the gunk is. Then wash the area with some mild soapy water, rinse well, dry and buff.......
......as always, try it out on an inconspicuous little spot before proceeding.

Shylaah
 

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