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Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by StayEzio, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. StayEzio


    Oct 20, 2013
    What is the easiest and the safest way to remove a sticker from a bass guitar ? :confused:
  2. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    First step is to know what type of finish you are dealing with.

    If you have nitrocellulose lacquer, do not use alcohol. For nitro, you can use napthalene, (lighter fluid).

    Polyurethane is less likely to be damaged. Goo Gone, WD40, and alcohol should all work.
  3. StayEzio


    Oct 20, 2013
    So is this wd 40 thing safe cuz i am not sure which material it is ... would a hair dryer do the job ?
  4. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    I would not use WD40 on a nitro finish.
    A hair dryer may work.
    There are different types of stickers. I bought a MIM Stratocaster a few years ago that was covered with stickers, and they peeled off very easily. I was surprised that I only needed to use a solvent for a very little bit of the final clean up.
  5. Naptha - lighter fluid- works great on polyurethane.
    sissy kathy likes this.
  6. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Go another direction with products called Goo Gone and Goof Off. Both are made just for your problem. :)
  7. OogieWaWa


    Mar 17, 2013
    Oak Harbor, OH
    You could try gently removing them mechanically; use your fingernail or something softer than the finish (toothpick, popsicle stick, plastic scraper) carefully so as not to scratch the finish. Peel off everything you can. Lift, don't dig. Then for any adhesive and last layer of paper that is left on the surface, wrap duct tape sticky-side out around your fingers. Push it on the adhesive and then pull away rapidly from one edge over, sometimes the adhesive would rather stick to the duct tape than the finish. "Pat" it that way and you should be able to get most or all of it off with no chemicals. Watch out for an older, valuable instrument; for a cracked or crazed finish you may end up lifting the finish instead, take it to a pro.
  8. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    Hey folks; Opening up this old zombie thread. I read this and other suggestions on the internet.
    I found a foolproof way that took me 5 MINUTES !
    Here it is:

    You need an iron, a wet piece of cloth (towel, washcloth) and fingernail polish 'REMOVER'

    1. heat up the iron on 'cotton' setting (hot)
    2. wet the cloth and lay it over the sticker.
    3. Iron it. Steam will come off, keep ironing for 30-60 seconds.
    4. Remove towel and use a metal spoon to (gently) scrape off the sticker.

    Repeat the above if there's still a majority of the sticker left.
    5. When only some glue is left, moisten a cloth with the fingernail polish 'Remover'. It will wipe off everything !!
    6. Clean up the bass with some water and dry

    Best of luck
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  9. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    ^^NOT fingernail polish. fingernail polish REMOVER, AKA acetone.^^
    Warhawk likes this.
  10. You can get a quart of acetone at Home Depot for what you'll pay for a small bottle of nail polish remover.
  11. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    A note of caution:

    It doesn't matter if you use fingernail polish remover or acetone. They're essentially the same thing. What does matter is what kind of finish to which you are applying it. Polys are fine.

    Acetone will remove nitrocellulose lacquer right along with the "sticker." If you are unsure of what kind of finish is on the instrument, test on scrap or a spot that no one will see.
    Warhawk likes this.
  12. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Just to spread more fear and paranoia, I've read about stickers sinking into nitro finishes if they've been there for a long time. It is probably risky trying to remove these!

    I've removed stickers and found a tanline in lighter poly finishes on older instruments.

    The glue from your stickers might have also already harmed a nitro finish.

    Even a poly finish can be scratched when you remove the sticker. I would try and squeegee it off with an old credit card, having dissolved the paper layer of the sticker with whatever solvent you go for. The gluey under layer needs more work, and I would use a solvent-soaked cloth for this.

    I've seen instruments with poly finishes, and scratched sticker tanlines in the finish. A previous owner used something mildly abrasive to remove the sticker, and the finish scratched before the sticker fully gave up.
  13. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    That WOULD make a difference; good catch.
  14. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I'd be really careful using any kind of hard scraper on your bass, especially something made of metal.

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