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Steam cleaning to remove residual adhesive?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by threeputt, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    21 foot cube van has had lettering removed. They did a pretty good job, not great gobs of glue left, but enough to catch road dirt and look bad.

    We have to letter all four sides of this beast and was wondering if steam is effective?

    I'm assuming you can rent a machine somewhere to do this, or hire it.

    Any experiences, good or bad?
     
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  2. Mike F

    Mike F Active Member

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    Just pick up a wallpaper steamer from Lowe's or Home Depot, there's a few members here who say they work great for this kinda stuff.
     
  3. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Would that be a rental item? Or purchase?
     
  4. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    I would imagine they are fairly inexpensive to purchase, but I'm sure a rental place has one if you just want to try it
     
  5. sfr table hockey

    sfr table hockey Very Active Member

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    They only cost $60 -$80 so just buy one. But they tend to be better when removing the vinyl and with it the residue comes with it. After the fact where its just residue it may not be as productive as chemicals would.

    Also you would need a long handle like tool to scrape once the residue was hot and not be too close to fingers.

    Never tried this but to adhear a scrap piece of vinyl over the area that has the residue and press on and then use the steam to heat up and pull off may take the residue with it.
     
  6. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

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    denatured alcohol and paper towels will take off what's left.
     
  7. johnnysigns

    johnnysigns Very Active Member

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    I use mineral spirits and a single edge razor. If you wanna get really fancy you can use a dedicated rivet brush to do those and finish everything off w/ denatured alcohol. Denatured will generally remove any hazing marks the razors will leave in the aluminum paint on the panels. That's hazing, not gouges into the aluminum.

    This the same method we used doing fleet removals when we couldn't or weren't able get a hot power washer in play to blast the crap off.
     
  8. Branded Signs

    Branded Signs Member

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    Actually, we just had quite a bit of luck on a local police van that had adhesive from reflective lettering left behind by using a pressure washer. Of course, that was after hours of peeling and hitting the really bad spots with citrus, but I was pleasantly surprised with the pressure wash.
     
  9. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    3M adhesive remover, apply, let sit a minute, rub off with plastic razor...repeat as needed.
    Clean surface with normal cleaner when finished.

    I should copy and paste this I have typed it so many times in this forum....
     
  10. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    The Wagners... steam wallpaper remover works great taking vinyl off on backlight signs.

    It also works great taking glue residue left from vinyl removal.

    ...I run across this alot, sign installers or shops are either so cheap or think of them self's only.

    But after I use the steamer to lessen the use of, Rapid-Tac Rapid Remover to get the rest & clean better.

    The fastest removal is ..Just use Rapid-Tac ..Rapid Removal & a scraper of your choice from razor blade (dull) to the fancy ones.
     
  11. Mikeifg

    Mikeifg Active Member

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    Elbow Grease people.....There's no magic machine. Goof off, any paint prep cleaner, orange adhesive remover...etc..
     
  12. SIGNTIME

    SIGNTIME Active Member

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    this is exactly how we do it works great and wont hurt the paint ... we have a steamer and like said above it works good with the vinyl still there
     
  13. Wraptrick

    Wraptrick Member

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    The steamer won't do anything but move the little gobs of adhesive around... great for removing worn out vinyl, but you'll definitely want to use adhesive remover or alcohol to get it all off.
     
  14. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    Steam won't work.
    Rapid Remover + time/labor + material.
    Charge accordingly.
     
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