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Topic: Any advice for removing sticky residue?

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Subject: Any advice for removing sticky residue?
Date Posted: 8/13/2011 12:23 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,983
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Ugh.  A wish list book I've been waiting on for two years just arrived.  A new member wrapped the book in press and seal plastic wrap (or something similar to it).  I managed to get it off without ripping the dust jacket, but now it's covered in a gummy/sticky residue. 

Anyone know of a way/have a recommendation to get rid of the residue without causing liquid damage to the book?

Date Posted: 8/13/2011 1:02 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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I first try using Scotch tape.  It will often pick up gummy stuff.  Other folks swear by Goo Gone.  I hate the smell of it.  My used bookstore uses nail polish remover.  More yucky smells.

Date Posted: 8/13/2011 1:32 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,983
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I thought of GooGone, but the residue is literally covering every inch of the dust jacket.  Grrr... I'm so upset!  I've been waiting for this book for so long and it's so disappointing it's brought me nearly to tears!

Date Posted: 8/13/2011 1:42 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I can understand wanting to protect the book, but Press & Seal sounds like such a bad idea to me. Even the Help Center document Using the PBS Wrapper: a Tutorial says, under Notes: "A brand of plastic wrap called Press-N-Seal has glue that can leave a sticky residue on books; this brand is NOT recommended."

I'm a proponent of Goo Gone. When used minimally, it can work wonders. The smell is understandably a deal-breaker for some, but I've not found it to be a problem for me. I've never heard of using Scotch Tape, it sounds like a wonderful alternative!

eta: Alisa, that sounds like a labor of love no matter how you go about it. I'm sorry you've had such a disappointing swap :(



Last Edited on: 8/13/11 1:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/13/2011 2:03 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,261
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I use Goo Gone all the time to clean up books - most of what I buy comes from the local thrift store and they use a grease pen to mark the price on the cover.  It works great for taking that off. 

The Goodwill store just changed from little white price stickers to 2 inch long colored stickers that always leaves lots of glue behind when pulled off and the Goo Gone works wonders on that too. 

I don't know about using it on every inch of a book, but what I would suggest is trying to do it a bit at a time - take a paper towel soaked in GG and wipe the book down - then let it sit for a while.  Go back and wipe and repeat.  If you try and scrub it all off at once it's possible to get the cover too moist and then you end up etching/rubbing the cover.  Of course, it's easier to clean the waxier type covers, but even these can get too wet.   I've had success on some pretty stubborn stickers (I hate to leave any kind on my books either keepers or books I'm going to trade), but I have to admit, I've never tried to clean a whole book.

My only other suggestion, if cleaning the book seems like to much to tackle, is to take regular plastic wrap and cut it to match the book cover.  The residue will cause the plastic wrap to stick and stay on the book.  This way, you can touch the book to read it , lay it down without it sticking to a table and at least  handle the book you've been waiting for.   That was how I coped with the one book that someone wrapped in Press and Seal that was sent to me.

 

Date Posted: 8/13/2011 2:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,953
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Goo Gone works great, and since the stuff is petroleum based, the smell dissipates really fast.

 For press-n-seal, you may just want to try rubbing alcohol first, though. Rubbing alcohol will clean books off very nicely, even some sticky stuff, and I find that while nothing beats GG for very messy gummy stuff, alcohol will work just fine for faintly sticky residue.

Date Posted: 8/13/2011 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 5,781
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First take the dustcover off the book. (GooGone will not come off the book pages or paper cover)

I prefer De-Solv-It. It's similar to GooGone but doesn't have that petrol. smell. Use it sparingly and change your paper towel often.

Date Posted: 8/14/2011 2:25 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,983
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Well, I brought the book over to show my Dad (the engineer and inventor of the family) this afternoon, and he ended up taking some sort of orange dissolve cleaner to it with a microfiber cloth.  I only saw it after the fact since he did it while I was busy with something else, but whatever he did worked.  No liquid damage of any kind and the book looks and feels as good as new. 

A happy ending...

Date Posted: 8/14/2011 2:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,215
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I use Un-Do when I get something like that.  It's designed for scrapbookers - and I know it won't destroy the paper if I get it on a page.

Date Posted: 8/14/2011 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 356
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I use Un-Do when I get something like that. It's designed for scrapbookers - and I know it won't destroy the paper if I get it on a page.

Michelle, I totally agree with you.  Un-Do is my favorite product for removing gummy stickers and residue. 

Date Posted: 8/14/2011 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,953
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I actually find that goo gone evaporates very nicely if it gets in the paper orvsoaks into the cover. It looks like a stain at first but in a few hours it evaporates completely. On the books I've seen, you can't tell it was ever used. I'll how've to check out the un-do stuff though.
Date Posted: 8/14/2011 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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How does Un-Do smell?

Date Posted: 8/14/2011 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,983
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In my opinion, it smells about the same as the GooGone.  But it's been awhile since I've used GooGone, so I don't know for sure.