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Topic: Sticker residue ok?

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Subject: Sticker residue ok?
Date Posted: 10/6/2014 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2011
Posts: 323
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I just bought a second hand book that has some sticker residue on it on the front cover.   It's a paperback.  Is this ok to post?

mistie -
Date Posted: 10/6/2014 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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Last Edited on: 10/8/14 2:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/6/2014 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,668
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Well, actually, while stickers are OK, sticker residue is usually either sticky or dirty and books are not allowed to be sticky or dirty. I leave stickers on books that I am going to mail out, but I do remove sticker residue if there is something like that on the books. Rubbing alcohol can work to remove goo, as does Goo-Gone, which you can find at stores like WalMart and target.
Date Posted: 10/6/2014 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,322
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As a new member, I had one of the first books I mailed marked Received with a Problem due to sticker residue.  If I'd left the sticker on the book, I'd have been okay.

Date Posted: 10/6/2014 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,446
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I always use an alcohol swab to gently remove the sticky and wipe dry when done.  Do it carefully, sometimes it'll start to take the color off the cover.

Subject: sticker residue
Date Posted: 10/6/2014 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2006
Posts: 22
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Goo-gone and a cotton ball or Avon skin-so-soft and a cotton ball both work very well and don't damage the ink. If it seems oily afterwards, wipe with a tissue.  Book cover is like new!

Date Posted: 10/7/2014 3:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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Goo-Gone often works well, but not always. It depends upon the particular surface of the cover and the type of sticker. Some sticker residues come off easily, and some don't. Some residues do not soften or come off with either Goo-Gone, isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, or ethanol.

Solvents work best when removing residue from slick book cover surfaces and will likely damage matte surfaces, so be careful. I recommend using a soft, lint-free cotton rag like an old t-shirt, for example, rather than swabs like Q-tips, and I don't recommend cotton balls. Also, if you haven't done much of this before or are not sure about using the solvent (Goo-gone, alcohol, or other), I recommend gently trying the solvent on an inconspicuous area of the cover where there is no residue to see if it removes color or otherwise damages the cover surface. If the cover appears to be impervious to the solvent, then go ahead and gently try it on the area with the residue.

It is best to rub gently and take your time. Vigorous rubbing or scrubbing can result in damage to the cover so go slowly and check frequently to see if any color is being removed from the cover or if the cover shows signs of damage.

Sometimes a soft cloth dampened with water can also be effective in cleaning a book cover from grime and certain residues. The cloth should be only lightly dampened and used only a slick surface cover, never on a matte surface. Again, gently test this on an inconspicuous area of the cover before trying to remove grime or residue. Sometimes even slick or slick-ish covers can be damaged using solvents like Goo-Gone, alcohol, or water, especially if these are applied vigorously or with too much pressure.

On covers with matte surfaces, sometimes you can remove sticker residues by rubbing gently with a soft, dry cloth. It really depends upon the type of sticker, goo, and cover surface. Also, some glue residues may come off by rubbing gently with your finger, and sometimes you may even be able to remove un-sticky residues by gently and very carefully scraping with a razor blade. As always, exercise caution with whatever method you choose.

There is no single "right" way to remove sticker residue from a cover. Many different types of glue are used on stickers, and the method selected also depends upon the particular book cover surface, the age of the sticker, and other factors. Erring on the side of caution is always recommended when removing sticker goo or other grime. If the cover shows any sign of damage while removing residue or grime, it is best to stop immediately to assess the solvent, how it is being applied, and the cover surface. You may be able to adjust the method you are using or try a different solvent or technique. Or it may be best to simply stop and go no further rather than risk additional damage.

 



Last Edited on: 10/7/14 3:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/7/2014 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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I first try with a small piece of scotch tape. You make the tape into a loop and gently roll over the sticker area.  Before the smelly liquids.

Date Posted: 10/7/2014 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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If all else fails, you can try lighter fluid.

Date Posted: 10/7/2014 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2011
Posts: 12
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Since we're discussing easiest/safest way to remove sticker residue, here's my two cents: I almost always use coconut oil.  It doesn't damage the ink (on shiny paperbacks), never takes off any color, it's pretty viscous so it doesn't have time to run like other liquids and damage pages, and it works really, really well.  Plus, it's natural and has a nice smell (which usually disappears right away, anyway) unlike rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid, etc.  I just dab my finger in and rub it on, then wipe it off with a cloth.  Works so well.  You might need to do it twice to get all the residue off, but usually it works the first time.  Just make sure all the paper from the sticker is gone before you do this- it doesn't take paper off.

As for posting books with sticker residue... Since I know I can get it off, I personally don't mind.  But to be on the safe side, I would always try to remove it before sending a book out to someone else.  It could be construed as dirty, and you never know how the requestor will feel about it.

Date Posted: 10/7/2014 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,515
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I haven't had much luck with Goo-gone no matter the job.  Plus it leaves a very strong scent which might make it against a requestor's RC.

But wrapping a book that has sticker residue has resulted in the wrapping sticking to the book, then causing damage when the package is opened.

Date Posted: 10/8/2014 3:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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Emily, thanks for including the tip about about using adhesive tape to lift off residue. I have done this, too, but forgot to mention it in my previous post.

Sunnie, thanks for the tip about coconut oil. I'll try it, although I'm a little concerned about the long-term effects of using a natural food oil.

Jeanne, I have often (but not always) had good results with Goo-gone, and have not had a problem with strong, lingering scent. There are several formulations of the product and I haven't tried the citrus scented variation. My experience has been that the scent dissipates quickly, but perhaps my nose just isn't sensitive enough.

Date Posted: 10/8/2014 6:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,668
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The Goo Gone smell fades completely within an hour or so. Just don't wrap the book up right after you clean it and it should be OK.

Date Posted: 10/8/2014 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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We were previously involved in an Internet bookstore.  We had to remove stickers and the residue with solvent and some type of chisel or scraping tool.

It worked well but after cleaning hundreds of books I cannot tolerate solvents any longer. 

Since then I tried condioner, alcohol and prefer the carton sealing tape method.  

There is a technique in using tape so you don't tear the cover or artwork.

I have a Goo Gone Pen that I use as a last resort.  I use it very sparingly,  then air out to get rid of the smell. 

 

 

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 10/8/14 9:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/8/2014 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2011
Posts: 12
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I can see where you might not want to use an oil... but as long as you wipe it all off, there shouldn't be any long term effects.  I've used it on a ton of my own books and never had a problem.

The tape method also sounds really useful- I'm going to give this a try in the future, too.

Date Posted: 10/8/2014 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,515
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I treat things with goo-gone in my laundry room as it has a counter where I can work, then leave things to dry/air out.  I have had the scent last for weeks!   I can't air things out outside using my lanai due to the humidity here  in FL getting books damp once evening rolls round.

Will have to try the rolled tape method next time!
  

Date Posted: 10/9/2014 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,251
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When removing a sticker, if you aim a hair dryer at the sticker, it softens the adhesive so that the majority of the adhesive comes off with the sticker. Having said that, I am a huge fan of Goo Gone, which I get at Dollar Tree stores, cheap and cheerful. Others have mentioned that the scent is long lasting -- not my experience, but then my sniffer might not be as sensitive as others. Another trick I have used to remove sticker residue is a pencil eraser, but that totally depends on how dried out the residue is...just something else to try.