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Removing a sticker from Body?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jknight, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. jknight


    Aug 20, 2007
    Walnut Creek, CA
    I just bought a used bass that has a hideous sticker on it. It was half removed leaving behind pieces of the sticker and its adhesive. Any suggestions on removing it without damage to the body?
  2. FireArm


    May 17, 2007
    This could be an urban myth (as ive not tried it myself) but my friend got a gibson thunderbird and that had some kind of "made in the usa" sticker on the back of the headstock - he said a little bit of zippo lighter fluid managed to ease it off with no damage at all to his bass...

    as i said ive not tried it but he claimed it worked a treat for him.
  3. Isn't rubbing alcohol supposed to work?
  4. Mikeyd74


    Jul 28, 2007
    Lighter fluid does work, but use it sparingly.....and DO NOT use rubbing alcohol. I personally prefer Martin Guitar polish. I let it sit on the spot for a few seconds and then use a hell of a lot of elbow grease. Rinse/Repeat. Better safe then sorry.
  5. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Adhesives used on "stickers" are usually one of two types. The first is water soluble and the second reacts to petroleum based solvents. Neither solvent is dangerous to use on nitro and modern finishes. Some examples are naphtha, paint thinner, and lighter fluid. Try water, or water with a little bit of soap, first. If that doesn't remove the adhesive almost immediately, then move on to some the second solvent.

    Some techs like to use heat. If one is careful it is a viable alternative. A heat gun is moved rapidly over the label and melts the adhesive. As soon as the label can be moved begin wiping up the adhesive residue. Move quickly because as soon as it begins to cool it will become a sticky mess.

    Alcohol is safe to use on nitro but will damage a french polished surface very quickly. Alcohol does not do a very good job of removing most adhesives. Acetone will damage both french polish and nitro cellulose finishes in short order.
  6. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    Just wipe it with regular cooking oil. Dissolves the adhesive - works like a charm! ;)
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  7. I've personally used Zippo fluid, works beautifully in sparing amounts applied with an old tshirt. Depending on how long the sticker has been there and the condition of the bass it might leave a ghost shadow or a spot that looks less faded than the rest.
  8. ryano


    Aug 20, 2007
    Boston Area

    I've never tried this but I'm about to...

    I've heard peanut butter works and your bass smells great too. Someone else suggested cooking oil which seems to indicate peanut butter would work as well, due to the oil content.

  9. enim


    Jun 29, 2006
    Chicago, Illinois
    Im not joking when i say this.

    Shaving Cream. The old style stuff, not the gels or whatever.

    a) The contained butane and propane are gentle solvents when used as such.
    b) Its actually a super-light polish.
    c) It removes stickers from nearly everything, and can also remove dried marker from dry-erase boards, AND clean your hands afterwards
  10. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir... Supporting Member

    May 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    GOO-GONE is meant for removing stickers and stuff like that, but read the label first. I have only used it on metal and plastic, not on finished wood, yet.
  11. jknight


    Aug 20, 2007
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Thanks for all the responses!

    I'm going to try the water and soap and then the cooking oil in that order as I have them readily available. I will post my results after trying them.
  12. I actually used goo-gone on a Squier guitar plastered in stickers. They all came off easily, including one on the neck. The neck feels amazing now - I have to wonder if that contributed to it somehow. But anyway, it worked fine for me...so long as you can stand the smell of orange on the instrument for the next week.
  13. jknight


    Aug 20, 2007
    Walnut Creek, CA
    A couple people at work recommended goo-gone. I think I'm going to try that tonight. Just don't want to damage my first bass!
  14. Ahh, the wonders of wd-40 never cease to amaze me. Try it along with a PLASTIC paint scraper.(Be gentle.)
  15. I believe babay oil or mineral oil also works

    Paint thinner would work for sure but it may remove the finish from you bass.

    If it's really stubborn you can remove the gunk along with your basses finish with some good laquer thinner.
  16. jknight


    Aug 20, 2007
    Walnut Creek, CA
    That may actually be a good idea. The bass could use a refinish but I'm not sure I'm up for that yet. I'd just like to get it clean and fix the jazz pup on it.
  17. WD-40 will work, but I never used to to remove from a sticker frm wood.

    You can try wetting a small towel or a sponge, ring out the excessive water and heat it in a microwave for about 15 -20 seconds. It will be hot so use an oven mitt to grab it from the microwave. Let it sit on the sticker for a few minutes. That should loosen the adhesive enough to remove the sticker. Then use a little soap and water to remove it completely. This I have done and works very well
  18. Goo-Gone is the $#!+. I've used it on everything from guitars (classic Rics & Ibanezes) to furniture to cars. Wood, metal, glass, paint... it only dissolves the goo... nothing else beneath it!

    ...and I LIKE the orange smell!
  19. jknight


    Aug 20, 2007
    Walnut Creek, CA
    The goo-gone and some soap and water did the trick perfectly!

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