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Sticker Removal: Proper


(5/18/2020)

Our 2019 Alterra 450 4x4 project build is entering one of my favorite final stages, and that's the vinyl graphics. Since I'm prepping this for Blown Concepts, Ill give you some important graphic removal tips.

Scrolling various forums and social pages, Ive seen some pretty poor suggestions for sticker removal. Here's what I recommend if you don't want to damage your plastics.

These tips apply to pretty much any sticker removal for snowmobiles, PWC, boats, motorcycles and autos. 

Warning Stickers are thin and require a slight amount of heat to peel off. If you don't use heat, they chunk off like this when peeled.

Warning stickers are there for a reason and it's suggested you don't remove them. Our graphics will be covering this fender area, so they'll need to disappear.

Warning stickers are a thin material. If you try to remove them without heat, they will crack, and peel off in chunks. As evidenced in the above photo.

Always use a hair dryer to help warm up graphics that need to be peeled.

The best way to peel a warning label or other graphics is to use LIGHT heat from a blow dryer. It doesn't take much heat.

A Hair Dryer is your best friend when needing to warm a graphic. DON'T ever use a propane torch, and under most circumstance, a Heat gun can be overkill.

DON'T EVER USE something like a propane torch! And in most cases, a heat gun can be overkill. You can think about using them, but don't do it! High heat will weaken plastics, discolor and even melt.

Once your graphics are warmed and peeled, you may have a slight sticker residue left behind. Use a citrus sticker remover/cleaner like Goo Gone and a soft Terry Cloth rag.

When your graphics are warmed and peeled, you may have some sticker residue left behind and see the outline where the sticker used to be. (See above photo)

I highly suggest using a Citrus sticker remover like Goo Gone. Most times this can be found at a Home Depot, Menards or the like. Make sure to use a Terry Cloth to wipe clean. Never use paper towels as they'll leave scratches behind.

Never use brake or carb cleaners to remove graphics. Or other chemicals like diesel fuel, gas and paint thinner.

I cringe every time I see someone recommend using carb or brake cleaners to clean sticker residue. Same goes for using gasoline, paint thinners and the like. DONT DO IT! Ever. 

Three tools for sticker removal: 1.Hair Dryer 2. Goo Gone 3. Terry Cloth

To recap, these should be your three Go-To's for sticker removal: 

1. Hair Dryer

2. Goo Gone (Sticker Residue Remover)

3. Terry Cloth



Comments (11):

MudPro says:
5/18/2020 4:47:00 PM

It’s an ATV. The plastic is gonna get scratched. Who cares. Ride that thing.
Dulpher says:
5/18/2020 4:56:00 PM

Not gonna lie. I’ve used brake cleaner before. I was young and dumb. Never again.
Chad D says:
5/18/2020 6:02:00 PM

Personally I like keeping my toys lookin sharp. Interested to see what Robb at Blown Concepts comes up with. He’s stickered up my watercraft. Does nice work.
Can Dan says:
5/19/2020 12:51:00 AM

Now look what you have done...........Looks like anyone can ride NOW.
Brock says:
5/19/2020 6:49:00 AM

I spy with my lil eye some ROX footpegs. I have them on my Grizzly and they work awesome.
Ben says:
5/19/2020 6:57:00 AM

3M makes a general adhesive remover which works well, but depending on surface, it can work too well. Best to test on small area first. I’ve used it on my trailer along with one of their eraser wheels. The graphics were sun baked on. What a PIA.
Glad2BGone says:
5/19/2020 9:04:00 AM

I have found the 3M Adhesive Remover works even better that Goo-Gone, or De-Solv-It citrus products. Need lots, and lots of rags, or you are soon just smearing it around.
Yetii88 says:
5/19/2020 4:23:00 PM

My go to for residue removal is WD40 and then wipe that of with isopropyl alcohol...it also takes off oil, belt residue, and exhaust staining.
Lee says:
5/19/2020 8:04:00 PM

As an ex owner of a Detailing shop..
Stickers are a ***** ..no matter what you use
wade says:
5/20/2020 6:31:00 PM

I use WD40 it wont hurt plastic or clear coat to take stickers off after you heat them up. Of course you need to use something like alcohol to clean the WD 40 off because its oily. WD 40 is a water displacement formula #40 is what it was designed for. Stickers have water base glue.
I use a heat gun you have to use low heat. Never use Carb cleaner that will discolor plastic and turn it white. Some plastics it will melt it. Brake clean not so much. I wouldn't use it on plastic.
I use a heat gun also to take off fuel line and put it on. Yeah there is fuel but you don't need to heat it very much for it to be gooey enough to pop fuel line off and on. New fuel line just warm it a little pushes right on over the barb fitting then forms around the barb fitting once cooled. Again very little heat. Most of the stuff I put fuel line on. The gas is so old and varnished it wont burn. I drain the fuel first and blow it dry. You just have to be smart about it.
Bobby Flame says:
5/28/2020 7:03:00 AM

Me and my riding buddy got a wrap for my dads sled at a swap meet and when we tried to use a blow torch to get the stickers off it melted the plastic side panel.

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