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Getting mermaids off of your bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    just felt like i should post this cuz it might help someone. I'll be kind enough to add this for search reference:

    sticker removal
    getting stickers off my bass
    how can i get stickers off my bass

    i had a mermaid sticker on pickguard and it left a ton of glue and paper on it. i couldn't get it off and stuck other horrible stickers on top. last night (after about 6 months) i thought i'd give another run at getting everything off. the new stickers pulled up most of the crap that was left behind by the mermaid. i then took what was still sticky from the new ones and kept dabbing at glue that still remained and it worked miracles. i just kept dabbing at what was there and eventually got it all to come off.

    trying to wipe glue away with a rag does not work. it spreads it, makes it worse and even harder to get off.

    that's all. hope it helps someone.
  2. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    The obvious question here is, why, in God's name, would you ever want to remove a Mermaid sticker from your bass?!?!? It is an integral part of anyone's instrument!

    I mean, you may as well go ahead remove the pickups while you're at it! :D :p
  3. BustinJustin

    BustinJustin banned

    Sep 12, 2003
    NYC, LI too
    Use lighter fluid... it works wonders.. BE CAREFUL JOE!!!!!!!

    I haven't ever put a sticker on any bass, but I will promise you it works!
  4. Yes, Naptha (lighter fluid) works very well. You have to do it quick tho, as it can react with the pickguard material.

    High-percent alchol (@98%...a buck at CVS) can do a good job too. And less harmful to the pickguard... takes a bit longer...
  5. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    He probably had to remove the mermaids to make room for the naked Flea pics. :D

    I find Goo Gone and alot of patience to be good for taking stickers off.
  6. ubersam


    Oct 12, 2000
    Ditto. It must be the mixture of naptha+citrus oil (most likely d-limonene).
  7. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Eucalyptus oil (if you have it in the states) does wonders for me. Smells nice aswell :)
  8. Spearsy

    Spearsy Workin' at it ... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    Western Pennsylvania
    I tried to warn him.
    But, my son did the same thing with a big red star.

    When he wanted it off, we used a bottle of citrus-based stuff called "Goo-gone" You can get it a Wally world.

    Works like a charm and it's non-flamable ...

  9. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
    rubbing alcohal, and nailpolish remover.
  10. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    I prefer to use gasoline as a removal agent WHILE drinking whiskey and smoking a butt. That way if something bad happens, I'll remember never to put another sticker on my bass.
  11. ubersam


    Oct 12, 2000

    uumm... before someone has an accident... I just want to say that Goo-Gone IS flammable, or according to their lable, "Combustible". It contains petroleum distillates (naptha) after all.

    So ya, be careful.
  12. Bigwig


    Dec 27, 2003
    i agree
  13. SciFiGuy


    Dec 27, 2003
    Madison, IN
    That's what Jimi thought...


    I guess he finally got tired of the Kingston Trio sticker.
  14. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I use mineral spirits.
  15. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Don't use nail polish remover on a lacquered instrument (like Gibson and others) or you will seriously regret it.
  16. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Believe it or not but Avon skin so soft takes off glue and gooo. It also repels mosquitos and makes things smell "girly".
    My wife was an Avon dealer for awhile so we have some at home. One speaker cabinet that I bought used had some star shaped stickers on the front of the grill. The guy took the stickers off but the grill still had star shaped glue on it. I tried alchohol, nail polish remover but nothing was getting the job done. My wife suggested skin so soft (spray it on the rag then wipe) a couple of min later my cab was goo-less. Don't know what it will do to the finish of your bass so you should try it on a small area on the back of the bass and see what happens. Don't want to be responsible for the finish/paint getting removed from your bass.
  17. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
  18. We've had a discussion about this before down in "Luthiers"...

    While on the surface, your statement looks completely out of line - nailpolish remover is generally acetone with some oil in it to keep the nail from looking dry. In fact, there are some brands of nailpolish remover that DON'T have acetone and may be very useful on certain guitar finishes. Nail polish is essentially nitrocellulose lacquer and that's why acetone is the main ingredient of these products.

    But as it turns out, Sally Beauty supply has a nail polish remover that doesn't have acetone in it. It's called "Adios" nail polish remover. A poster proved it with some semi-scientific testing and it works. It does have propanone as an ingredient and I think this is some sort of hydrocarbon solvent but it doesn't seem to mess with poly finishes. The observation that it can be used on styrene is also an indication that it is mild to these plastics. Pretty cool.

    Here's the entire discussion:


    ///// CAUTION ///// This product, like any other solvent product, is not specifically intended for use on guitar finishes. Use of it could damage a finish beyond easy repair. If you choose to try one of these solvents on your instrument, you should test it in an inconspicuous place - a pickup pocket, neck pocket or under a pickguard - to see how it affects your specific finish.
  19. pbassphred


    Jul 12, 2004
    laquer thinner
    just watch the finish of your bass
  20. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Darn you beat me to it. WD-40, duct tape, and twins, a few of my favorite things. :D