How to take stickers off books safely

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by Davidius, Jan 8, 2009.

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  1. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Does anyone have tricks for getting stickers off of book covers without leaving a bunch of glue and paper or ruining the cover itself?
  2. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist

    Ether works really well, but then I have access to that; you probably don't. There's a product called "Goo gone" that we've used to good effect - there may be some book covers that don't take "goo gone" well, but the ones we've done have come out just fine.
  3. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    Try white vinegar. Put some on the sticker, let it sit for a few minutes, rub/scratch off the sticker.
  4. Witsius

    Witsius Puritan Board Freshman

    I'll second Todd's recommendation.
    I use water/vinegar in a spray bottle (or Windex if I cheat) for the easier stuff, and Goo-Gone for the nasty stuff (neutralizing and cleaning after with the water/vinegar solution).
    It's one of my pet peeves! when used bookstores, esp., use huge bonding price stickers that are a mess to get off.:mad: :rolleyes:
    I would welcome any other suggestions too.
  5. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    If you can't find anything that works, you might check with a library supply company. These types of places usually carry special sovlents that are designed to be used on books.
  6. Presbyterian Deacon

    Presbyterian Deacon Puritan Board Graduate

    Brodart has an "Adhesive Pick Up" Eraser for $2.30 that is designed to remove rubber cement residue. Brodart Library Supplies and Furnishings

    Brodart also carries "solvents" but usually a good Adhesive Pick-Up Eraser will do the trick!
  7. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I use a blow dryer to heat the stickers until they will peel easily off. Then take a piece of masking tape and turn it in on itself (end to end) with the sticky side out and after the book has cooled a bit press the masking tape over the sticky area repeatedly until all the sticky is gone. Works in about 99% of the cases I've tried.
  8. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    When I worked at the public library we used Goo Gone. Worked great.
  9. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    Nail polish remover. It'll take off the sticky stuff. If used on a glossy cover, it'll take off ball-point pen marks, too. I work at a publisher that gets a lot of returns and sometimes have to take off price stickers. You can also use a razor-like blade to get under the sticker (be careful, of course, because this can damage the book); for my own books I just use my fingernails and get off as much as I can, then use the nail polish remover to take off the sticky remains.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  10. Honor

    Honor de-cool

    I was just about to say what Casey said.
    Doesn't ether make you go to sleep? so you could start to take off a sticker and wake up with newpaper print of your forehead... duuude.
  11. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Thanks for the tips! Earlier I used a hair dryer and was able to get the sticker off pretty easily, then use nail polish remover to get the residue.
  12. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Hurray. I'm late, but I was going to say acetone, which is in nail polish remover.
  13. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Puritan Board Freshman

    I usually scratch the sticker off, then rub the residue off with my fingertips; the 'glue' breaks up into small balls if you rub it long enough; this does take some time, though.
  14. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    I assume we are talking about paperbacks and hardbacks with a gloss finish. Some of of these techniques will destroy a cloth bound book.

    Zippo lighter fluid works well, too. And, it works on many cloth bound books. Always test it on the inside back edge of a bit of the cover if you are trying it on a cloth bound. Learned this from a book collector.
  15. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Would nail polish remover hurt cloth?

    Also, I'm not sure I know how to tell the difference between hard back gloss and cloth. :um:
  16. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Lawrence is right about cloth. Cloth is often bound to a hard back (stiff cardboard) with a glue that could be dissolved by nail polish remover.

    Also, acetone doesn't stain or damage most cloth, unless it is some kind of plastic. It's a good idea to test it in a little noticed spot if you don't know for sure what it is.
  17. Hamalas

    Hamalas whippersnapper

    I worked in a bookstore for a year and half and the blow dryer tip is probably your best bet. (Although we did use the Goo Be Gone quite a bit too!) :2cents:
  18. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Acetone (real nail polish remover / there are non-acetone ones out their) can do a number on a cloth bound book. I know I mentioned that above, but don't make the mistake that I did one time. It can also degloss some hard covers.

    Naptha (lighter fluid and Coleman white gas) works on most cloth bound books. Naptha is a pretty powerful cleaning agent. It is also good for cleaning felt hats and ties. It is a dry cleaning chemical and leaves no smell.
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