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Any Advice For Removing Old Label Adhesive From A WWII Leatherette Medal Box Lid?

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Has anyone had any success in removing old residual adhesive from the lid of a WWII leatherette medal box? The box is an early war wooden leatherette box that once had a paper label stuck to the lid. If possible, I would like to remove the residual adhesive that is left, but I am afraid that using certain solvents or cleaning methods may cause more damage. Does anyone know of any tricks or mild solvents that may remove this adhesive? Thanks



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I've sprayed WD40 on a rag and wiped it off quickly - the finish was OK



"The Americans on this Island are not ordinary troops, but Marines, a special force recruited from jails and insane asylums for blood lust." -Japanese Newspaper found during the Battle of Guadalcanal - "They Got That Right!!" Chesty Puller




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I have success with "Goo Gone". It is made to remove adhesive. Probably will work on leathrettee. I had magic marker writing on a medals case, which is vinyl cover, and it took the marks right off without staining. I have purchase at Walmart, and have found it at Dollar Tree. Light coating on the gum, let it sit for a few seconds, and wipe off with paper towel.

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"Goo Gone" can work well if it is able to penetrate the dried adhesive, however it does leave an oily film. My preferred solvent for removing old adhesive is Ronsonol lighter fluid (the label on the bottle used to recommend it as a label remover, but that has been removed likely due to liability issues). Obviously, you'd want to use Ronsonol with caution and away from any source of ignition, but it quickly and effectively removes gummy/dried adhesive without harming the substrate, and leaving the surface residue-free. Light fluid is primarily naptha, which dries without oily films. In my experience it doesn't harm plastics (including vinyl), but it's always important to test any solvent in small quantities before going all-out with the cleaning.



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  • 3 years later...

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