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What's your recipe for Application Fluid?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by fullpoint, Oct 16, 2020 at 3:37 PM.

  1. fullpoint

    fullpoint Member

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    We used to use Rapid Tac but making our own these days.

    We use 10 droplets of Dawn each 32oz of water.

    It works fine but the fluid seems to go "bad" fast. Like moldy or whatever. It smells bad too.

    Do you all people mind sharing your recipe?

    FP
     
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  2. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    Try using distilled water in it instead. I used dollar store windex for years, never a problem.
     
  3. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I use Rapidtac 2, but in a pinch, a couple drops of dish liquid and a splash of denatured alcohol in a windex bottle
     
  4. Bubba06

    Bubba06 Just Somebody

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    50% alcohol 50% water, about 5 drops of baby shampoo.
    In the summer a little more water
    In the winter a little more alcohol
     
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  5. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    I use a pump hand sprayer.
    I prefer baby shampoo or baby wash, but it takes more soap than Dawn.
    I would suggest you get a high quality pump container for the soap, and figure out how many pumps works for you.
    Start with 1-2 pumps & try to apply graphics, add pumps until the graphics is able to be slid around.
    The mix should feel somewhat slippery in your hand, but not greasy.


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  6. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    RapidTac is nothing more than Purified water with fragrance and a surfactant additive to lower the surface tension between the liquid and the substrate. A few drops of a simple dish soap like "Dawn" or "Joy" will work just as well. Some folks prefer "Baby Shampoo". RapidTac costs an arm & leg because of shipping, MSDS, etc. and is meant for those that are just lazy enough to not mix their own concoction and/or will not or are not comfortable with mastering the 'Dry Application' method. Some folks like to add a small percentage of alcohol to the mix. Too much alcohol can be detrimental to the life of the adhesive of some vinyls. Purified Water is used in order to reduce impurities that may contribute to a mold or fungal development which may occur with water that is not chlorinated or purified by other means. Chlorinated Tap water may still contain enough impurities to promote unwanted growths or smells.
     
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  7. Robert Armerding

    Robert Armerding Merchant Member

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    A little caution. All of the soaps mentioned have a chemical that attacks the adhesive on your vinyl. Some more, some less.

    As SignosaurusRex mentioned, purified water, without anything added, is the safest way to go.

    [Addendum to the above. Please see SignosaurusRex following post #9 on this topic.]

    SignosaurusRex also reminds us that "Too much alcohol can be detrimental to the life of the adhesive of some vinyls."
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 5:14 AM
  8. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Always wanted to mix my own but RapidTac has always worked great for me. The only time I use it is for installing etch material. I now have another leg and arm to buy another gallon if need be. But speaking of those sayings, I don't like changing horses in the middle of the stream either.
    Had my truck windows tinted the other day and asked the guy what he used for installing the tint and he quoted the baby shampoo formula.
    Think I am going to mix up some Joy and water and test it out.
     
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  9. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    Robert, I did not say that. I did say that Purified Water is best.
    However, one still needs a surfactant added. If one prefers the least amount of chemicals in the soap choice... Zote® laundry flakes have no detergents and the bare minimum of ingredients short of a minimal amout of Citronella for a light fragrance. One can easily dissolve a bare amount of flakes in purified water for a great app fluid with a light citrus aroma.
    If one wishes to eliminate the use of any soaps, they can simply measure out roughly 1 quart of purified water and drop in a fresh unrolled spermicidal condom. The Nonoxynol-9 used on the condom is also a great surfactant that won't effect the adhesives. A bit more expensive... but an option non the less and best left to emergency situations only.
     
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  10. Robert Armerding

    Robert Armerding Merchant Member

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    SignosaurusRex Thank you for correcting my post.
     
  11. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Looks like you need some help with your listening skills...
     
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  12. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Rex, can I use that unrolled condom after I drop it in the water or do I let it stay in the bottle and shake it up once in awhile.
     
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  13. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    Do as you please.... :eek:
     
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  14. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    Not so much a "Listening" issue. I could have been a bit more clear! I forgot that the Peanut Gallery was still lingering about.:rolleyes:
     
  15. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Mind listing which chemical it is? 3M themselves actually train you to use baby soap, so I can't see it being bad.


    Winded has a waxy substance which prevents vinyl from adhering it's best.

    Most dollar store windex anti streak of brands have amonia... Which will eat the glue away. But baby soap should be fine.
     
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  16. Robert Armerding

    Robert Armerding Merchant Member

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    ikarasu I am not a chemical scientist. The RapidTac sales rep explained it to me. There are various acids in soaps. Just let a little get in your eyes and you know what I am talking about.
    So let me suggest a simple test for baby shampoo. Take a small scrap of vinyl. Take off the backing. Straight out of the bottle, pour some baby shampoo on the adhesive and let it set overnight, maybe several days. That gives you a chance to see what really is going on. Just a thought.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020 at 10:42 PM
  17. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    Nothing will eat the adhesive enough to ruin it. Cheap windex works fine. Rapid tac smells better and seems to evaporate a little faster. Why does everyone go through so much of this that it becomes an issue? The old timers I was around as a kid would laugh you out of the shop for using it except in a handful or rare cases.
     
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  18. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    Soaps are actually alkaline, not acidic.
     
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  19. fullpoint

    fullpoint Member

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    We are pretty comfortable with dry installation as long as it's printed graphic.
    We had a few jobs with tint film in past months. You just CAN NOT install them without fluid.

    The maker of the tint film told me that Rapid Tac dries too fast for the film and advised us to make our own soap fluid.


     
  20. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    We do a lot of PPF installs. Impossible to do dry! And to get certified from 3M you need to take their course and wrap a dozen or so vehicles. Well... 3ms official instructions are to use a mixture of alcohol + water and baby soap. We go through a gallon or so every vehicle we do depending on partial or full install. and it works better than rapid tac because you can can control how fast it dries via how much alcohol you use.


    It's pretty much all we do as a wet install...that and a few frosted / translucent installs! But we use rapid tac for those.


    Our installer has used wndex for 20 years without any issues as well. We dont anymore just because if 3M ever found out Wed be removed as good installers from their website... But no issues. One time I used one with amonia though.. It fell down after a week
     
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