Removing Duct Tape Adhesive   Leave a comment

One thing that I have learned during our recent move is that it really easy to clean up after duct tape.

Back story: During the last minute packing rush I realized that most of our paper, tape, the big labeling marker, and the sticky notes had all been packed and transported to the new house before moving day. So the morning of our moving day I was desperately looking for some way to label the destination room for furniture and boxes. My eyes landed on the roll of duct tape and that’s what I used to label EVERYTHING that was left. It worked really well, but then we had boxes, cloth, wood furniture, and plastic stuff with duct tape on them. At first I was really worried. I was afraid that in my haste I had ruined all of my wood furniture. Then I carefully gripped the corner of one of the strips of duct tape, and slowly pulled it back. Most of the glue came off with the tape, and there was no damage to the item. So far so good. I figured that I would need orange oil cleaner as a solvent to remove the duct tape glue. I’ve learned during the bottle cutting and reusing that I’ve been doing the last few years that removal of most glues in use today for labels and such seem to require an oil or a degreaser like orange oil. Since all I had in my immediate vicinity was a bowl of cold water with a dash of castile soap when I removed that first strip of duct tape, I decided to give it a try. And you know what? It worked! All I needed to completely remove duct tape adhesive residue was a damp rag!

Duct tape has this reputation as being able to do anything. People consider it an uber-tool. There are books with hundreds (thousands?) of uses for duct tape. I’ve heard of people holding cars together with duct tape. (Of course, sealing ducts is one of the things that duct tape is not good for.) But for all that propaganda, the adhesive apparently dissolves in water and dries up in heat, making it a relatively mild adhesive.

Seems like there’s a message here about being strong, yet gentle. Utilitarian, yet low impact. Or just that even when a major aspect of something is weak (the adhesive of the tape), the whole can still be very powerful.


Posted September 14, 2010 by mayakey in cleaning, musings

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