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  1. #1
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Removing glue from handlebars

    Any simple tips for removing old handlebar tape adhesive/ glue from handlebars? I picked up some used bars that are in nice shape except for the adhesive, which is caked on so thick it would be hard to fit the bars through my stem.

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    Kerosene (or WD-40 which is basically Kerosene) will typically soften the goo and let you wipe it off. Acetone will de-tackify most adhesives and allow the dry stuff to be rubbed off.

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    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Kerosene (or WD-40 which is basically Kerosene) will typically soften the goo and let you wipe it off. Acetone will de-tackify most adhesives and allow the dry stuff to be rubbed off.
    If you want a less toxic equivalent of those options, pickup a product called goo-gone.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I've got some Goo-Gone. Will give that a try.

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    Xylene works well, but you will need some nitrile or vinyl gloves to work with it. Latex (and presumably rubber) does not hold up to it.

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    If you want a less toxic equivalent of those options, pickup a product called goo-gone.
    By what measure do you determine that Goo Gone is less toxic? From the MSDS of Goo Gone, it is 95% petroleum distillates with a little bit of lemon oil added for a nice odor. Kerosene is petroleum distillate without the lemon oil. It also cost $3 an ounce. $3 will buy you a gallon of kerosene (probably a bit more from a big box store) or $9 will buy you a gallon of odorless mineral spirits which evaporates quicker than kerosene.

    If you are going to claim something is less toxic, know something about the toxicity in the first place

    And if the lemony scent is necessary, a nice twist of lemon peel should take care of that
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  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinci View Post
    Xylene works well, but you will need some nitrile or vinyl gloves to work with it. Latex (and presumably rubber) does not hold up to it.
    Now that's real toxicity
    Stuart Black
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  8. #8
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    By what measure do you determine that Goo Gone is less toxic? From the MSDS of Goo Gone, it is 95% petroleum distillates with a little bit of lemon oil added for a nice odor. Kerosene is petroleum distillate without the lemon oil. It also cost $3 an ounce. $3 will buy you a gallon of kerosene (probably a bit more from a big box store) or $9 will buy you a gallon of odorless mineral spirits which evaporates quicker than kerosene.

    If you are going to claim something is less toxic, know something about the toxicity in the first place

    And if the lemony scent is necessary, a nice twist of lemon peel should take care of that
    Yeah, clearly a gel form of the chemical is going to be more dangerous than WD-40 aerosoled. Yeah I read that googled MSDS as well, i'm not impressed.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Yeah, clearly a gel form of the chemical is going to be more dangerous than WD-40 aerosoled. Yeah I read that googled MSDS as well, i'm not impressed.
    You don't have to use an aerosol like WD-40, which for this purpose, is just kerosene in expensively packaged form.

    A gallon can of kerosene doesn't add spray to the air and is safer from a handling and exposure standpoint.

  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Yeah, clearly a gel form of the chemical is going to be more dangerous than WD-40 aerosoled. Yeah I read that googled MSDS as well, i'm not impressed.
    You were addressing Goo Gone and kerosene relative toxicity. You said nothing about aerosol vs gel. Kerosene, and for that matter WD-40, isn't particularly toxic. Goo Gone is likely kerosene or a related petroleum cut with a little glycol ester added to make it gel and a little lemon oil to make sure it doesn't offend anyone.

    You aren't impressed by the MSDS? No MSDS is an impressive document. They aren't meant to be nail biting literature. They are meant to inform. This one does an adequate job...to someone who is knowledgeable about what information they are given.
    Stuart Black
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    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  11. #11
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    You want non-toxic? Try rubbing it the sticky bars with bacon grease and then cleaning the mess with hot water and Simple Green.

    Don't do this in your mother's living room.

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    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    You want non-toxic? Try rubbing it the sticky bars with bacon grease and then cleaning the mess with hot water and Simple Green.

    Don't do this in your mother's living room.
    Oh, and let me know if it worked.

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    What I try first to last
    1) water
    2) Spic 'n Span
    3) Paint Thinner
    4) Lacquer Thinner

  14. #14
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    Most bar tape uses rubber based glue so you want a solvent appropriate to that. Pure d-limonene (citrus degreaser) works very well, as does turpentine. BTW-pure citrus degreaser is a golden clear liquid, if it's milky or cloudy water's been added.

    Next on my list is nail polish remover which is very good on a variety of glues, then methanol. I only resort to things like MEK or acetone when others aren't doing the job.

    The secret is to understand that different glue bases require different solvents, and finding the right match will save you lots of time and elbow grease.
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  15. #15
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by operator
    Yeah, clearly a gel form of the chemical is going to be more dangerous than WD-40 aerosoled. Yeah I read that googled MSDS as well, i'm not impressed.
    You were addressing Goo Gone and kerosene relative toxicity. You said nothing about aerosol vs gel. Kerosene, and for that matter WD-40, isn't particularly toxic. Goo Gone is likely kerosene or a related petroleum cut with a little glycol ester added to make it gel and a little lemon oil to make sure it doesn't offend anyone.

    You aren't impressed by the MSDS? No MSDS is an impressive document. They aren't meant to be nail biting literature. They are meant to inform. This one does an adequate job...to someone who is knowledgeable about what information they are given.
    Yes! I love BF for this reason. So many people know so much about bikes here, that we can watch tangential arguments unfold about weird stuff under our sinks.

    This reminds me of the great Simpson's episode where Homer is cleaning the basement with the chemicals that read "use in a well ventilated area"...which he ignores. Then the cartoon creatures printed on the front of the chemical bottles climb off the labels and start attacking him .

  16. #16
    sch
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    Nail polish remover is acetone. Because of the rapid evaporation, it is explosive, so
    should be used outdoors. Paint thinner, kerosene or diesel fuel are less volatile and
    less expensive. Alcohols (methyl/ethyl/propyl) are not likely to work, being too polar to act as a rubber
    solvent, unless you go up to hexanol or octanol. If the cement is hardened it might scrape off.

  17. #17
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinci View Post
    Xylene works well, but you will need some nitrile or vinyl gloves to work with it.
    Real men would smoke while using it.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  18. #18
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    No one has mentioned a stiff-bristle brush! I like those copper bristle ones.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  19. #19
    Lounge Wizard ABUZZZ's Avatar
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    Here's the trick that has worked for me. Vegetable oil.. rub it on and let it sit for an hour and the glue wipes off cleanly. Repeat if necessary Then clean the bars with soap and water or alcohol to remover the oil. This also works on pill bottles, glass jars, etc. Totally biodegradable. Hold the applause.

  20. #20
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABUZZZ View Post
    Here's the trick that has worked for me. Vegetable oil.. rub it on and let it sit for an hour and the glue wipes off cleanly. Repeat if necessary Then clean the bars with soap and water or alcohol to remover the oil. This also works on pill bottles, glass jars, etc. Totally biodegradable. Hold the applause.
    My suggestion of bacon grease was only half tongue in cheek. Lipids will break it down.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
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