Monday, December 13, 2010

Removing a label's sticky residue from a book cover

I spotted this after a search on google, and to my surprise it works really well.

1. Remove as much of the paper label as possible;
2. Smear on a little peanut butter on a paper towel;
3. Leave it for a few seconds;
4. Remove the residue with a piece of clean paper towel;
5. Repeat 2-5 as necessary;
6. If it smells a little peanutty, put a tiny amount of washing up liquid on another piece of paper towel and wipe off.

I just did this on the cover of a paperback and there is now no trace - so I'm very impressed.

The chemist in me found this interesting -I'd guess that the peanut oil weakens the bond between the glue and the surface of the cover, and the ground up peanuts act as abrasive to remove the scraps of paper and polymer. Then the detergent picks up and removes the traces of oil. It would be quite interesting to analyse a little further.


Blogger Anne S said...

Clare, Eucalyptus oil works a treat removing sticky labels, with less effort.

Mon Dec 13, 11:54:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Anne, I wonder if most oils would do. Eucalyptus would smell nicer I guess, too.

Tue Dec 14, 06:45:00 am  
Blogger Brian Clegg said...

I was going to suggest trying olive oil, though not based on experience. I suspect a mix of nitric and sulphuric acid (I refuse to type sulfuric) would get the label off as well... but probably most of the cover too.

Tue Dec 14, 08:56:00 am  
Blogger Anne S said...

Euchalyptus Oil is quite useful in other ways as well as being a household cleaner; it is soothing as an inhalant when your nose is clogged up with a cold.

Tue Dec 14, 09:13:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Ah, nitric and sulphuric acid - such a potent mixture. I remember using it for something or other, I think it may have been adding a NO(2)+ (can't do subfixes)group to a benzene ring but I don't have much cause to do that sort of thing these days, sadly...well, actually happily... Amazing I can remember it, really. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Brian.

I think I'd rather have olive or Anne's euchalyptus oil, and always good when things are multipurpose, I think. I shall have to get some of the euchalyptus, I don't think I've ever had any.

Tue Dec 14, 10:13:00 pm  
Blogger Lee said...

Wonderful oily suggestions. Till now I've struggled with all sorts of solvents.

Happy New Year, Clare!

Wed Jan 05, 02:46:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Simple, and it really works! Glad you liked it, Lee. Happy new year to you too.

Wed Jan 05, 02:50:00 pm  

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