How do I remove adhesive residue from a graphite pool cue?
December 25, 2003 8:09 AM   Subscribe

I got a beautiful graphite pool cue for Christmas, but someone (not the gift giver) put a sticker on the shaft that has left a terrible gummy adhesive residue. How do I go about removing the residue without damaging the finish or the shaft itself? Google doesn't have all that much to say-- mostly companies selling professional adhesive removers. I have heard that WD-40 or nail polish remover would work, but would either hurt the cue? Thanks.
posted by pheideaux to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total)
Have you tried hot water yet? If so, try to find an inconspicuous spot to try the WD-40 or nail polish remover. I would try WD-40 first. Also, give this question a day or so to develop before you decide on your next step.

Finally, from , I found these ideas: duct tape, use a rubber implement if you must scrape, a hair dryer, paint thinner, and pine oil.
posted by mischief at 8:27 AM on December 25, 2003

Peanut butter. Really.
posted by TimeFactor at 8:28 AM on December 25, 2003

Goo Gone is a good, safe all-purpose solvent. But as with anything, check the label carefully and test in an inconspicuous spot first.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:33 AM on December 25, 2003

Put some lighter fluid (or anything with naptha) on a paper towel, and rub the sticker off. I know it sounds like the kind of thing that would damage a finish, but it doesn't. I've experimented and found that lighter fluid (I use Ronsonol or Zippo fluid, but anything similar is fine) works far more reliably than WD-40, acetone/nail polish remover, machine oil, or anything else. It evaporates quickly, doesn't stain, and leaves no residue on anything less porous than tissue paper.

I learned the trick from an optician who used lighter fluid to remove manufacturer's stickers from lenses and frames. I figure if it is good enough for coated and uncoated optics, it should work okay for just about everything else.
posted by majick at 8:43 AM on December 25, 2003

There's a product called Undo. Removes any label/sticker even those that are not designed to be removed like illegal parking stickers and refurbished electronics notices. You can buy it at any restoration Hardware strore.

NB: Its some sort of solvent, and you should be very careful about using any solvent based solution on carbon fiber anything. test it carefully before
posted by Fupped Duck at 10:16 AM on December 25, 2003

It's called Un-Du, and you can buy it at places like Office Max and Bed Bath and Beyond - or the many places listed in a Google search.

The stuff is amazing, by the way - it's worked well for us on all kinds of things, but as the previous poster said, test first.
posted by jca at 10:26 AM on December 25, 2003

2nd the WD40 and naptha suggestions. Don't use nail polish, very risky. Brake cleaner can work, but is really toxic and might damage the finish.

I wonder if Simple Green would do the job. Anyone ever try?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:37 AM on December 25, 2003

Pledge (or any other aerosal furniture polish) is pretty much the defacto cue-cleaner the world over; to use it, spray it onto a paper towel and then rub it over the affected area and then rub it off with a dry section of the towel.
posted by boaz at 11:21 AM on December 25, 2003

Use any very weak organic solvent. Vegetable oil will do just fine... and then you can get the oil off with soap and water.
posted by ptermit at 2:57 PM on December 25, 2003

I second the motion for Goo Gone. Don't use anything like nail polish remover.. it will dull the finish.
posted by xyzzy at 4:04 PM on December 25, 2003

Mineral spirits.
posted by yoga at 5:00 PM on December 25, 2003

Thanks for the great suggestions and the warnings against nail polish remover, everyone. Have I mentioned I love AskMeFi?
posted by pheideaux at 5:04 PM on December 25, 2003

I use PB without Jam. I'm sure they still sell it somewhere.
posted by srboisvert at 6:10 PM on December 25, 2003

Eucalyptus Oil. I don't know how prevalent it is in the states, but it works wonders on removing adhesive goo. I used it to get rid of a pile of stickers on my guitar, and it didn't damage it at all.
posted by cheaily at 7:20 PM on December 25, 2003

Sometimes all it takes is some gentle rubbing with a white vinyl eraser. If that doesn't work I go straight to the lighter fluid.
posted by xiffix at 9:57 PM on December 25, 2003

Duct Tape. I can't say it enough.

Fire with fire!
posted by armoured-ant at 12:02 PM on December 26, 2003

Hair spray. Not messy, not a solvent.
posted by kaefer at 12:40 PM on December 26, 2003

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