How to Save Time Removing Adhesive

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.

Here's a production trick I learned that turned a tough day into a much better day. I had a large order for plaques that have custom-sized plates that included a backing plate. I had a black-and-gold cut plate with a bronze-colored cut back plate. I began to remove the clear cover sheet from each of the backing plates — they were not only difficult to remove, they came off in pieces and left behind adhesive. The first plate took me 10 minutes to remove the cover sheet and clean off all the adhesive. That process would take hours for the number of plates I had to work with. These are the steps I took:

  1. I placed all the plates in my work sink and covered them with hot water. 
  2. I then began removing the cover sheet by starting a corner and placing the plate back in the sink. I did this with a whole batch of plates. 
  3. As the water cools, it gets more difficult to continue to remove the plastic. After they were all started, I replaced the water again with hot water. 
  4. I then removed all the plastic covering sheets quickly without having to remove adhesive and chance scratching them. 

I saved hours of time on what would have been a bad day.

Side note: the best plastic cleaner I have found that also removes most adhesive is Weld-On 57. It's worth the price and if you use it in a spray bottle and buy it by the gallon, it will last for years. Be careful around painted plastic as it may remove certain paints.

—Bob Hagel, Eagle’s Mark