adhesive tape removal

How to Remove Adhesive Tape from Plaques and Trophy Plates

Bob Hagel and his wife Dana own Eagle’s Mark Awards & Signs, offering a full line of personalized products using laser engraving, sand etching, and full-color UV direct print on products. They have offered awards, recognition, and signage products to organizations for more then a decade in the Southern California wine country.

The adhesive tapes awards retailers use on plaques and trophy plates is aggressive and can be left behind, making it difficult to remove in the case that the plate must be removed. On plaques, removing an adhered plate likely removes the plaque covering material along with it. On marble, metal, and many plastics such as trophy bases, removing a plate may leave behind much if not all of the adhesive. How do you remove the adhesive?

My favorite adhesive remover is De-Solv-it. It's environmentally friendly as it is 100 percent organic (it’s made from orange oil) and biodegradable. There are two versions I use: the regular home variety and the Contractors' Solvent variety. Both work well, and I have not found much difference for use in my shop. (Image 1)

You don't need a lot at once, just a thin layer of liquid to cover the adhesive. Let it sit for at least a few minutes and if it is thick, give it more than 10 minutes. I use a piece of sheet acrylic to scrape it off. If you can bevel the acrylic like a scarper, it works great. (Image 2) 

For removing adhesive with sponge tape on it (like name badge magnets), I put a squirt or two in a cup mixed with some water and let it sit overnight. It typically penetrates the spongy material as well as the adhesive and can be scraped off easily. (Image 3)

De-Solv-it can also be used to clean rulers, lasered acrylic gunk from metal parts, ink, and a whole host of other sticky things. Need to remove the De-Solv-it oil? A little 70- to 95-percent alcohol does the trick. 

—Bob Hagel, Eagle’s Mark