Removing Bandage Adhesive
October 27, 2004 3:02 PM   Subscribe

What is a good way to get the residual glue from medical tape / EKG pads off the skin? Lots of soap and water doesn't seem to be doing the trick. [mi]
posted by Chanther to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
rubbing alcohol? either that or nail polish remover.
posted by Hackworth at 3:05 PM on October 27, 2004

Response by poster: Just got out of the hospital. I'm fine, but I had IVs and lots of needle sticks and EKG pads. Now I'm home and all of that's gone - but I've got glue (from the tape and pads) all over my arms, legs, and chest. I can't get it off with soap and water, despite a half-dozen attempts. Is there something that will do a better job of getting it off, without taking the rest of my skin with it?
posted by Chanther at 3:06 PM on October 27, 2004

rubbing alcohol should be enough without resorting to nail polish remover. keep in mind that you might have skin irritation for a bit even after the glue comes off (which might make it seem like it's still there).

disclaimer: do not use the nail polish remover internally to remove swallowed glue. do not use it to fill a zippo. do not run around the neighbourhood naked, spraying bleach and ammonia out of a bottle of nail polish remover while setting shit on fire with a zippo.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:16 PM on October 27, 2004

You might try baby oil and gentle scrubbing. When I had shoulder surgery, it was covered with foam tape that left a goo like you describe. The baby oil worked where other things didn't, but it took a couple of attempts. Patience, I'm afraid, is your friend here.
posted by tommasz at 3:18 PM on October 27, 2004

I'm reminded of a story my parents sometimes tell about a trip they took to holland way back when. Somewhere along the way one of them got a cut, and the bandages they bought left a lot of the glue on the skin. So they went to a pharmacy, asked the very question you did -- and were sold a pint bottle of ether!

It apparently worked really well. So if you happen to have some...
posted by Mark Doner at 3:51 PM on October 27, 2004

Ether's toxic and highly [in]flammable. Stick to rubbing alcohol, vodka, alcohol swabs, or the like.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:05 PM on October 27, 2004

Best answer: Try a little olive oil. Lighter fluid works, too, but I'm hesitant to suggest anyone put it on their skin.
posted by majick at 5:21 PM on October 27, 2004

Go with the olive oil. It'll clean off the goo, and it's also a good moisturizer.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 7:37 PM on October 27, 2004

ikkyu2, it's a joke.

I agree with you, it's a wildly inappropriate thing to use.

(Alcohol is toxic, and burns readily, too.)
posted by Mark Doner at 7:50 PM on October 27, 2004

peanut butter will work in a pinch.
posted by mecran01 at 8:20 PM on October 27, 2004

Response by poster: Many thanks. Rubbing alcohol didn't seem to do the trick, but the olive oil seemed to change the consistency somehow, to the point where it would indeed come off with soap and water. My clothes aren't sticking to me anymore, huzzah!

I appreciate the advice.
posted by Chanther at 5:59 AM on October 28, 2004

Any good pharmacy should have adhesive remover available
posted by Pressed Rat at 7:21 AM on October 28, 2004

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