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  • removing glue left from vinyl. How do you do it?

    Posted by F. Skierk on April 8, 2002 at 4:03 pm

    im lettering a few vans for a local company.
    the problem im having is this. the vans have vinyl on them already & it seems to be stuck solid.
    can anyone suggest a good way to remove the vinyl & how do i get the thick glue gum off.
    its taking me more time to strip & clean a van than it would letter it. its driving me crazy.
    please help!

    Graham.Scanlan replied 22 years ago 8 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Brian Hays

    April 8, 2002 at 5:18 pm

    I am no expert but i think taking longer to remove than put on is the way it is! i don’t think there is a simple way.

    Use a heat gun to heat it up peel it off & get some glue remover from one of the vinyl suppliers. They all do it.

  • jim

    April 8, 2002 at 6:39 pm

    This has happened to me before, and had to use a cloth soaked in white spirit, and rub it on the glue. it does take time. and even then the image might be still superimposed on the vehicle. to get this off use t cut, then polish back up. hope this advice helps


  • Alex Wilson

    April 8, 2002 at 9:42 pm

    Try AutoGlym tar & glue remover for vehicles you can get it from most car accessory shops. Its a bit expensive but it works very quickly on old glue marks.

  • Martin Pearson

    April 8, 2002 at 10:47 pm

    Hi Sally
    Most suppliers do products to remove vinyl and adhesive but they tend to be expensive, heat guns/hairdryers help to soften the vinyl and aid removal. Lighter fluid works well to remove adhesive residue. I charge as much to strip a van as I do to letter it as its so time consuming. The alternative is to get the company to stip them for you. when they realise how difficult it can be they usually come back.

  • Robert Lambie

    April 9, 2002 at 9:07 am

    Hi sally
    I normally use a heat gun to strip vinyl. If the vinyl?s has been on for a fair time. Heat the panel its on rather than the vinyl. Say you have a 6? letter. Heat the letter & at least a 6 inches all round the letter but also a further 12inches to the right. This is because by the time you strip the letter your working on, the heat that you applied to the right has already started softening the vinyl on the next letters. Keep doing this as you work. Keeping the heat gun moving all the time. This way it doesn?t scorch the paintwork. Do this till the metal is pretty warm to touch by hand.
    The vinyl should come straight off with no glue left.
    When you only heat the letter the glue tends to be left because your not heating the glue all the way through. You need to soften it all. This is why heating the panel is better.
    If you do get any glue left. Use tar & glue remover. It?s much cheaper than all the fancy glue removers on the market & does a better job. You can buy it anywhere really. Car valet companies get lots of it in so if you?re stuck ask them where they buy it.
    Anyway just soak the glue and leave it for about 2-3 mins. When you return just rub it off it comes off with ease.
    I hope this makes sense.

  • Steve Broughton

    April 11, 2002 at 4:49 pm

    Sally, easiest way i have found to remove vinyl is a 20 quid steam wallpaper stripper from Wickes or Argos. Easy it just falls off, i found that doing a lot with a heat gun tended to burn your fingers. A stripper takes half the time.

  • Joe McNamara

    April 12, 2002 at 6:38 am

    Steve’s right-
    I’ve been to a commercial vehicle auction near me and they have a bay dedicated just to vinyl removal – asked the old guy doing the stripping ( nice job – not 🙂 ) what he used to get rid of the glue and mess left behind. Then he got out the trusty wallpaper steamer – try it yourself – they’re the best tool for the job and it won’t scorch the paint!

  • Graham.Scanlan

    May 6, 2002 at 6:22 pm

    oopps maybe a bit late for this post, but i only just seen it 😛

    and since its my posting day today i would like to share the following

    very effective product named

    Flexi-prep is a glue-remover and de-greaser ,

    take 1 bottle into the shower instead of 2 😛

    Europoint sell this and i think for around 33 pound for 5 ltrs

    very good results on Banners, Forex, Vehicles, Glass etc

    hard to tell you about this product with sounding like an advert 🙁

    sorry robert if it sounds that way, bit sometimes i get over excited

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