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What's the worst thing to use to clean vintage decals?

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What's the worst thing to use to clean vintage decals?

Old 03-10-21, 10:44 AM
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What's the worst thing to use to clean vintage decals?

Several of the decals on one of the new bikes have what appears to be medical tape over the 531 decals. Normally my bikes are already disintegrated by the time I get ahold of them. I know they are usually super delicate paper stickers, so I am not sure what the best course of action would be. Usually I'd use a little high test alcohol, but wondering if some baby oil might be better.

Any suggestions?
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Old 03-10-21, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
Several of the decals on one of the new bikes have what appears to be medical tape over the 531 decals. Normally my bikes are already disintegrated by the time I get ahold of them. I know they are usually super delicate paper stickers, so I am not sure what the best course of action would be. Usually I'd use a little high test alcohol, but wondering if some baby oil might be better.

Any suggestions?
Post some pictures so members can see what you are describing....might get a better and more effective response.
Best, Ben
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Old 03-10-21, 11:06 AM
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Old 03-10-21, 12:08 PM
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I’ve used WD40 for similar projects with success. However I’d hate to have you use it and have it destroy your decals somehow ?
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Old 03-10-21, 12:08 PM
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Flamethrower?
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Old 03-10-21, 12:24 PM
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try some rubbing alcohol or maybe goo gone.
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Old 03-10-21, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
Flamethrower?
I was going to say acetone.

But perhaps flamethrower + acetone woudl be the worst thing to use.

Belt-sander and chainsaw also come to mind.
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Old 03-10-21, 12:26 PM
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Worst? Without being as barbaric as those in the flamethrower camp, I'll vote for media blasting.
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Old 03-10-21, 12:30 PM
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Worst? Hammer and chisel might do it.

Not worst: Water and hand soap, vinegar or lemon juice, or olive oil.

Usually work for me unless caked-on oily grime on mechs.

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Old 03-10-21, 12:36 PM
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Start with water - place a moist paper towel on there and let it sit. Sometime, this will soften the adhesive and you can "roll" it off but rubbing with a finger.
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Old 03-10-21, 12:51 PM
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Stay away from commercial cleaners like Spray-Nine or even WD-40, especially on old decals. Dawn dish soap and water is my go-to.
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Old 03-10-21, 01:50 PM
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Flamethrower?
Earth moving equipment, clearly.
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Old 03-10-21, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Deepcherry View Post
Hammer and chisel
This is C&V after all. Those other methods are too high tech.
Although, Germany did use flamethowers in WWI
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Old 03-10-21, 04:04 PM
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My goodness, the threads these days!

Set an original Campy brifter box on fire (with the brifters still inside) and burn it off. Then scrape off the charred residue with a brake disc. But you should throw away that fork anyhow. It is definitely bent.

[/thread]

To avoid posting something that lacks substance, I can say that acetone is harsher than most other solvents you could try. I have had good luck with ethyl acetate (commonly found in non-acetone nail polish remover) to remove rattle-can paint while leaving original finishes untouched. Isopropyl alcohol is less harsh, and I would say goo-gone is a step lower still, on the totem pole of harshness.
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Old 03-10-21, 04:17 PM
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I was thinking nuclear blast, but then I thought black hole. If you are going to take something down, you might as well take the solar system with it.

1. Water and Dawn
2. If that don't work, Goo Gone
3. If that don't work, alcohol
4. If that don't work, acetone
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Old 03-10-21, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
1. Water and Dawn
2. If that don't work, Goo Gone
3. If that don't work, alcohol
4. If that don't work, acetone
3.5. Ethyl acetate, which is in many brands of non-acetone nail polish remover. Trust me, I'm a chemist.
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Old 03-10-21, 04:50 PM
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Has anyone suggested a Sawzall?

Otherwise, trust the chemist.
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Old 03-10-21, 05:01 PM
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Black shoe polish.
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Old 03-10-21, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
Several of the decals on one of the new bikes have what appears to be medical tape over the 531 decals. Normally my bikes are already disintegrated by the time I get ahold of them. I know they are usually super delicate paper stickers, so I am not sure what the best course of action would be. Usually I'd use a little high test alcohol, but wondering if some baby oil might be better.

Any suggestions?
OP,
The adhesive on the tape looks like it has dried out and may be hard to lift without removing the decal. Waterslides have a water-soluble glue on them which makes removal of the tape difficult/impossible.
Is the tape residue on the area that the tape has been hard or is it still reasonably pliable? If so you might try rubbing the tape off by starting on an area that does not have any decal underneath (low heat from a hairdryer may soften it a bit) it to see if it will rub off....if so continue with care.
But I am afraid that you will need to purchase some replacements...the ones on the frame seem beyond saving.
Good Luck, Ben


BTW, the title of the thread elicited the hilarious responses that were on point....worst/best?
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Old 03-10-21, 07:11 PM
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Old 03-10-21, 08:33 PM
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You guys are pretty creative. I was just gonna say a wire brush.
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Old 03-10-21, 08:39 PM
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Old 03-10-21, 08:44 PM
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Old 03-10-21, 09:19 PM
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If I weren’t going to purchase replacement decals I would use dawn dish soap and water. But I would purchase replacements.
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Old 03-10-21, 09:51 PM
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Use a gun.
Take the cannoli.
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