You've been told more than one time that paint thinner is
acceptable, WD40 is acceptable, Lighter Fluid is acceptable,
gasoline is acceptable. None of these will hurt, melt, mar,
stain, or otherwise harm your plastic case on your computer. Goo
Gon is readily available at any grocery store. What do you want
from the group, you've turned down every logical suggestion you've
I guess you could try cooking oil. Avoid nail polish remover.
Keep the whole world singing . . .
Incorrect use of the term troll.
And you never mentioned what type of plastic you have.
"Decorative" is not a type of plastic.
A lot of solvents won't destroy plastic. Nylon is another matter.
Acetone, toluene, laquer thinner will tend to melt most plastics, but
you will get your label off and the residue from the glue - you might
temporarily soften the plastic while doing it, and alter it's finish
Of those 3, acetone is least likely to harm the plastic in question.
You might also try nitromethane. You can find it at hobby stores - it's
the fuel used for model airplanes.
Nitromethane will soften and remove dry superglue (cyanoacrylate) by the
way - way better than acetone (or nail polish) will.
You might also try MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) but again, keep the
exposure time to the plastic to a minimum.
those solvents can also cause cracking or "crazing".
risky because of the fumes. it might also be absorbed by the skin,and give
MEK is nasty on plastics.Risky.
you could also try vegetable oil,WD-40,isopropyl alcohol.
Goo-Gone is an orange/citrus oil based product.
BTW,I use charcoal lighter fluid for bug and tar removal on my car.
I think it's basically kerosene,or similar to it,but I haven't verified
BINGO! The others *might* work on some plastics but on others they can
dissolve the plastic or cause it to haze over. Why don't you simply
check with someone who might know, like Rubbermaid. Reading their
website a couple of years ago and they put out an FAQ on removing
labels from their products (and by implication their competitors).
Cooking oil (vegetable, olive, etc) is by far the safest and will
eventually work on every adhesive likely to be used to attach labels.
Most vehicles these days have a list of chemicals that can be used on
which parts of the car but unfortunately it's usually in the workshop
manual and is intended for the body repair section of the dealer. Mine
runs a couple of pages and contains such gems as "alcohol should not
be used on the bumper bar covers except when completely dried off in a
If he's going out to the store for anything anyway, why not just buy
the Goo-Gone or Goof-off in the first place?
It won't damage even Styrene plastic, which gasoline, acetone, and
laquer thinners will disolve quite quickly.
Paint thinner won't harm most plastics, they even sell it in plastic
containers! Gasoline? Maybe on some plastics but not most. I've used
lighter fluid to clean greasy buildup on "plexiglass" or something
similar. No harm.
Test in an inconspicuous area if possible.
If the plastic in question is a bucket, bottle, etc., try filling it with very
hot water. That may soften the adhesive enough to allow you to peel the label
off. Otherwise, careful and gentle heating with a heat gun or hair dryer may
do the trick.
Soaking in a solution of washing soda in hot water (about 1 cup per gallon)
Or you could try solvents: mineral spirits or naphtha won't harm most
Try WD-40, as Jamesgangnc suggested, or another oily substance, like
mineral spirits. Waterless hand cleaner (Goop, Go-Jo) or lanolin
should also do the trick. And then there's brake fluid, which can
even dissolve paint off styrofoam without harming the styrofoam.
Most plastic cases are made of styrene, ABS, PVC, acrylic, or
polycarbonate and are easily dissolved by acetone, lacquer thinner,
some enamel thinners (that evaporate quickly and make your skin cold
upon contact), carburetor/throttle body cleaner, and PB Blaster.
These chemicals are so harmful to those plastics that they're often
used for gluing them together.
Some plastics are really good at resisting most solvents:
polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, MDPE, used for translucent and opaque
bottles), polypropylene (PP, used for Tupperware, plastic storage
boxes), nylon (opaque), acetal (lots of plumbing parts), and PET
(clear soda bottles)
Here are some databases for chemical compatibility of many materials.
Unfortunately only a few plastics are included:
It is up to 95% Hydrotreated light petroleum distillate (This is a
mixture of C10-C14 naphthenes, iso- and n-paraffins. Neither the
concentration of aromatics nor of hexane is greater than 0.1 % by
,up to 10% TriPropylene Glycol Methyl Ether, and up to 10% Citrus
Deodorized Kero, as well as many solvents such as stoddard solvent,
fall into the hydrotreated light distilate category
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