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Old 06-13-2011, 07:23 PM   #1
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Will 3M adhesive remover really work to remove decals?

We're in the process of removing some cracked and peeling external decals on our travel trailer. The decals are coming off easily with a heat gun and a plastic putty knife.

However, the glue residue that is left behind is proving to be quite difficult. We tried WD-40 and Goo Gone, but both are taking a TON of elbow grease and time to actually work.

I've read a few posts suggesting using "3M Decal Remover", but when I did some Google searching, several different varieties keep coming up that all look very similar. I'm not sure which one is really best. Also, will it really take off the glue residue any faster than the Goo Gone? (Geez I hope so!)

Thanks for any help on this!
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:09 AM   #2
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I'm not sure what is in Goo Gone, but I have been using 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner (#08984) for years, and it works great. It's made for precisely what you're trying to do. Although it says "contains" xylene, I suspect it is nothing more than relabeled xylene with a higher price tag. It makes quick work of adhesive gum. These days I find it much less expensive to go to Lowe's or Home Depot and buy a can of xylene(sometimes labeled xylol). You have to be careful about using it on certain plastics, but it's been safe on all of the painted surfaces I've used it on.

Most of the things I see on the market these days claim to be "green" or "environmentally safe," and don't work worth squat.

I haven't heard of "3M Decal Remover" and I have no clue what might be in it. It may or may not work better than Goo Gone. But xylene is old school and works great.

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Old 06-14-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Even removed, the decals will still leave a "shadow" where they were.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:22 AM   #4
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Thanks - I'll definitely search that specific 3M remover now - much appreciated!

We have identical replacement decals, so hopefully that will take care of any ghosting as well!

What a royal pain to have to do all this, though! (And more incentive for me to get that Class A. Well, not really, but I'm still pushing for that long-term anyway, LOL!!)
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:45 AM   #5
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wd40 is also a good adhesive remover
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:10 AM   #6
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Get the "A". It's a smile generator. Don't wax the new decals. I used 303 Protectant on the ones on my truck and they peeled.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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In the body shop we have a eraser wheel that we remove decals with. Can get them at most auto stores and imagine you could put it in a drill. Removes teh decal without damaging paint even removes all the adhesive. Good luck
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:09 PM   #8
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Yeah, but does it leave shadows/ghosts or is it for just R/R?
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:39 PM   #9
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10-4 on the 3M adhesive remover. It even says it will remove silicone, which is required if you desire to use any other sealant/caulk on the same area.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:58 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the comments and suggestions!

The job is finally done and it was a royal pain, LOL!!! But, now that's it's done, it looks great (we replaced with identical factory stickers). If we were going to keep this trailer long-term, I would seriously look into paint instead!

Now, on to the important stuff like getting out there and finally spending some camping time in it!
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