10 September 2014

The nifty (and safe!) adhesive-removal trick

While the debate over the merit of sharing small tidbits on blogs (“filler”?! or “keeping it real”?!?!) rages elsewhere, I’ll come down firmly in the camp of loving tiny, “isn’t this neat?” posts. Some tips that seem insanely silly at the time have become game-changers in how I do things around my house. I always inside-out bag my paintbrushes, use a paint-tape shelf to catch drywall/plaster dust, roll my clothes when I pack, and hang everything with my nifty paint-stick hanger. And my brown sugar? Never better. I wasn’t looking for those tips when I read about them, and now I don’t know any other way.

So today I have another one of those tips, one I learned when assembling the crib. See, the GULLIVER crib – and perhaps every IKEA crib – comes with safety warnings across the top rail of both side pieces. And not just one small sticker: there’s warnings in multiple languages across three stickers that take up at least half of the top rail. (I forgot to snap a shot, but you can see them on a similar crib here. And don’t forget, both sides!)

Considering that top rail may eventually be Baby P’s favorite place to gum and chew, I wanted to remove the stickers before he swallowed them. Also: they were totes fugly.

But oh, IKEA made those stickers so hard to remove. Here I am trying to remove them:

And here.

And here I’m finishing up. Finishing up one side, that is.

And here I am, starting the next one, OMG.

Seriously, I have fourteen photos just like those. It took nearly as long to remove those stickers as it did to build the rest of the crib. I’m not the only one who fought a lengthy battle against those stickers – a quick google search shows they’ve frustrated many others as well.

By peeling suuuuuper sloooowly, I was able to get the stickers off mostly in one piece. But there was still an excessive amount of sticky residue left behind, ready to collect dust and gross me out indefinitely. Normally I’d use Goo Gone to get it off, but again: my child is probably going to chew on this someday. I’d prefer that he doesn’t suck on something akin to lighter fluid.

So I called to Mr. P and asked him to google around and find a non-toxic adhesive remover to use on the crib. He came up with this.

One part coconut oil, one part baking soda. He mixed together about a teaspoon of each to make a gently abrasive, oily paste.

I dabbed a paper towel in the mixture, swiped it against the crib rail, and I’ll be darned if every single bit of sticky stuff didn’t come right off. Right off! With practically no effort!

Now, I doubt this would have been nearly as effective if I hadn’t peeled off most of the sticker to start with. But for wiping away sticky residue? MAGICAL. And it’s totally edible! I plan to save this stuff for all the stickers on toys and whatnot that will inevitably end up in our kid’s mouth... as well as any other stickers that our child might apply to places I’d rather stickers not be, whether or not he subsequently tries to eat them. From here on out, I’ll only have to bust out the Goo Gone when my much safer, much nicer-smelling adhesive remover fails me.

Another life-changing tip for me, and hopefully for you!


CalcDave said...

For what it's worth, the place I landed after searching was here: http://www.rosybluhandmade.com/2012/03/05/diy-gunk-remover-easy-recipe-to-remove-sticky-adhesive-residue/

Rachel C said...

I love your tidbit posts and don't see them as filler at all. (Granted, I tend to only view filler as completely pointless posts that provide nothing, and even then, who cares!? I just breeze on past to the next day.)

Another handy dandy tip for removing stickers, use a hair dryer to heat the sticker PRIOR to pulling it off. It loosens the sticky and makes the sticker come off must easier and in bigger chunks. You usually still need the gunk remover, but it helps pulling easier.

Michelle G. said...

What a great tip! I should try that on our Gulliver crib too (unless Ellie has already gnawed them off ready *runs to check crib*)

Sarah said...

@Rachel, I totally forgot about the hairdryer trick! I remembered it AFTER I struggled with those stupid stickers, ugh. Between the hairdryer and the coconut oil, though, maybe I'll never need Goo Gone again! Its smell has always made me nervous...

@Michelle, YAY CRIB TWINS!! Great minds think alike! And who knows, maybe Ellie needed a bit of roughage in her diet? :)

Mechelle Dyer said...

Now don't forget to add wire clips and screwdrivers so that you will be equipped to unpack toys from the ridiculous packaging they come in and you're ready to roll. :)

Staci Resnick said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I was ready to pull my hair out trying to remove these stickers and did not want to resort to GooGone for obvious reasons. This worked like a charm and took no time at all! Magic I swear, but Science wins again!

Anonymous said...

This worked like a charm! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you....I loved how easy it was to make, how environmentally friendly it is and how safe it is. Just simply wonderful!

Preme Diesel said...

Didn't have coconut oil but used Olive Oil in it's place. Worked like a charm!

Unknown said...

Finally something worked!!! Thank you for your useful post! I tried the washing machine, handwash, vinegar, baking soda and vinegar mixture... nothing have worked! But with your formula it's just gone in a minute! No effort!! Great! Thank you again :)

PamS said...

Fantastic! So simple! I didn't have coconut oil and used vegetable oil instead - same great results and I was using it on the IKEA Besta wall units.