Sticky Tack Removal
April 1, 2005 10:33 AM   Subscribe

I'm moving out of my apartment and I just removed all of the posters from my bedroom wall. Now, there are a lot of sticky tack spots all over the place. Here are some pictures. How do I get this gunk off?

I tried some dish washing soap, but they was of little help. I'm worried about using anything harsher because I don't want to rub the paint off. Any advice as to what products I could use would be greatly appreciated.
posted by panoptican to Home & Garden (20 answers total)
Try getting as much gunk off as you can with your fingers. Does the gunk stick to itself? Once you build up a wad it might work as a removal tool.

Then go at it with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. You'll need a few.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:43 AM on April 1, 2005

Maybe with "Goo Gone"? I use it to remove the gummy stuff left by some price tags, etc.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:43 AM on April 1, 2005

Response by poster: The gunk does stick to itself and I have removed about as much as I can. It's on there pretty good though and if I try to hard, it starts to peel the paint.

Thanks for the tip on the Magic Eraser. That looks like it may do the trick.
posted by panoptican at 10:45 AM on April 1, 2005

Lovely pics and I second the suggestion of Goo Gone. You can pick it up at most hardware/ general interest stores. From my experience, that stuff dissolves just about anything sticky.
posted by PhatLobley at 11:01 AM on April 1, 2005

Best answer: Have you tried shaving it off with a razor blade?
posted by orange swan at 11:06 AM on April 1, 2005

Be aware that Goo Gone is a citrus OIL. It may stain the wall (check a small spot first). Same with a sponge - I used the scrubby side of a kitchen sponge and ended up repainting when the color bled onto the wall.
posted by blackkar at 11:20 AM on April 1, 2005

Best answer: You might get a little more off with a plastic car ice scraper.

A lot of times, the landlords of apartment complexes will paint over the walls, so you may not have to worry about the discoloration, depending on your situation.
posted by Arch Stanton at 11:21 AM on April 1, 2005

When this happened to me, I had to use a sponge. First moisten the sponge a little and then scrub away with the rough side. With a normal dish sponge, you shouldn't have to worry about ruining the wall any more than the discoloration already will.
posted by jmd82 at 11:28 AM on April 1, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the help. I checked with the landlord and it turns out, he's just going to repaint after I leave anyway. He only asked that I get as much off as possible and a razor blade (duh!) did a pretty good job at that.
posted by panoptican at 11:55 AM on April 1, 2005

glad you found a solution panoptican.

still, for what it's worth, PLEASE, don't anybody use goo gone on your walls!

it's a citrus oil substance and will leave a nasty oily spot on the wall.
posted by subatomiczoo at 1:35 PM on April 1, 2005

I am unfamiliar with goo gone but its effect sounds like a vital component in my toolbox: Bestine.
It's labeled "rubber cement solvent" but it easily disolves any adhesive, leaving nothing behind. I first heard about it in a car magazine, as the solution for cleaning off bumper sticker residue. Bestine is available in stores which supply art supplies, and is a clear liquid, probably good for huffing -- I doubt that citrus oil is the source of its power.
posted by Rash at 3:53 PM on April 1, 2005

Rash - It should say on the label what the active ingredient is, especially if it's toxic.

My old standby for removing gooey stuff is Ronsonol lighter fluid. The active ingredient is naphthlene. Oh, and it's (duh) highly flammable. Not oily, though.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:24 PM on April 1, 2005

Another option. Get one of those cans of "air" they have for blowing dust out of computer equipment. Invert it so that it sprays liquid, and use it to freeze the crap and then chip or shave it off with something before it softens
posted by Good Brain at 10:57 PM on April 1, 2005

Lighter fluid (napthalene) is fantastic for removing all kinds of oily stuff from walls--including blutak residue and scuff marks. Really.
posted by grouse at 12:07 AM on April 2, 2005

Oh, wow, rash... Thanks for reminding me about Bestine (takes me way, way back — back to when newspapers were created via "paste-up"). I'm going to get some of that to try on various domestic sticky-problems, oh yeah!
posted by taz at 3:32 AM on April 2, 2005

Okay - the Bestine label says merely "Heptane Formula" and also "Harmful/fatal if swallowed, Extremely Flamamable."
posted by Rash at 2:13 PM on April 2, 2005

Best answer: I know it's too late for you, but for anyone else considering purchasing this stuff -- I've seen two kinds of formulations, the blue stuff and the white stuff. I used the blue kind years ago and it (A) is more oily (B) stains posters (B) doesn't come off as easily as the white stuff. They may have improved the formulation since then, but I haven't had any problem with the white kind.
posted by user92371 at 6:16 PM on April 2, 2005

user92371 - which "stuff" are you referring to?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:02 PM on April 3, 2005

Sorry about that -- the stuff that's stuck on the walls, the stuff that you use to stick posters, "to do" lists, and small placards of merit on your lonely apartment wall. The blue brand is apparently called "DAP Fun-Tak" and is stronger (I've seen at least one webpage on which someone mentioned the white stuff doesn't stick on their walls), but then you're dealing with the oily/staining/stickiness factor as I mentioned earlier. I don't know what the white one is called.

Gotta go, the rum is crossing my eyes.
posted by user92371 at 2:46 PM on April 3, 2005

Response by poster: I had some of the white stuff actually and that came off just fine. And as far as I can tell, it was just as sticky.
posted by panoptican at 2:03 PM on April 8, 2005

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