Sunday, February 2, 2014

PSA: Crate Digging Tip #24 - Safely Removing Stickers From Record Covers and Record Labels with Goo Gone

A Crate Digger's Staple Cleaning Tool, Goo Gone

Related to Elements: Crate Digging, DJ, Graffiti

The following is a UNPAID endorsement of a great product, Goo Gone, that does exactly what it promises and it works perfectly on even old priceless records as well...  Scrutinizers feel free to click on any pics to zoom in.

We've seen them thousands of times on records and record covers, those pesky price tags, those DJ marking stickers on the label or on the run out groove, those "Hello, My Name is" BPM indicators, the file labels on the cover, or in the worst case, old masking tape with song info blasphemously written on them by the previous owner of your precious records.  They have become the eye sores we've learned to live with that have devalued the records for sellers and collectors alike.  As a collector, when we see them stuck on we know we better get a discount.  Consequently online sellers know if they sell a record without pointing them out, they may come back, returned by a pissed off buyer who wanted the "perfect" cover.

Truth is, we don't need to live with those stickers any longer.  The fix has been "out there" for a long time, but apparently, it is not a well known fix.  Often when people ask how to remove these things I mention it and get a strange look or a "You'll ruin the cover!" response.  "You'll make the ink run! Are you crazy!?"  or even "Don't tell people that!  You'll make the record label peel off, ya jerk!"  It's time to put that naysayer nonsense to rest with a little show and tell session.  Bottom line is, if you have a lot of records, sooner or later, you'll need this stuff to get rid of the stickers that are, for better or for worse, a very real part of collecting vinyl.

For this demonstration I chose 3 different types of very common sticker problems commonly plaguing record collectors.   The old stuck-on price tag, the file label, and the dreaded old masking tape stuck to the cover.

The Price Tag:

The steps for each sticker removal technique, regardless of the problem are always the same.  

The 4 Steps for Removing Stickers from Records: 


1. Squirt Goo Gone on the sticker and let it pool on the surface and nearby surrounding area.  (Careful it comes out pretty fast!)  Don't be afraid if it goes all over, you can wipe up the excess easily and it does no harm.

2. Let the Goo Gone pool sit on the label for 30-90 seconds.  It takes a few moments to soak into the sticker while you wait.  Don't worry, everything will be just fine as it sits there.

Scratchin'!  What is it?!

3. Lightly scratch with your fingernail the sticker and you'll notice the edge of the sticker starts to come up easier with each scratch.  Eventually you'll be able to grab the sticker and slowly peel it off easily.  If there is any residual sticky stuff from the sticker scratch it off easily.  If the residual sticky stuff is pesky add another squirt and it'll come right off as well.

4. Wipe away any remaining Goo Gone liquid with a towel to shine the record and enjoy the pleasant orange smell.

VoilĂ !  There is no evidence that this even had a price tag! 


The Record Cover Sticker:

For 23 years (guessing) this sticker has covered this spot.

 Repeat the same 4 steps above for record cover stickers.  

Ya know the rules!  It's not ever coming off. Wrong, it's coming right off!

Huge improvement.

The Dreaded Old Masking Tape:

Let Me Show You...

24 years gone in 30 seconds.

The tape was there, now it never was.  If I was a seller, I could raise my asking price

As a bonus, after wiping it down with a towel it revives the shine of the gloss

I have successfully removed all types of stickers from even no-gloss card-stock covers, even recycled cardboard covers show no sign of the tag or Goo Gone residual markings.  It evaporates quite quickly so even if a wet spot briefly appears on a glossless cover, give it a minute and it'll be gone along with the goo.

BTW, It also seems to work well on kid records crayon marks, some non permanent ink, and other sticky imperfections.  But I would not try this on hand painted covers, that may result in damage to the paint.  I only have one hand painted cover so it's not as if this is a major concern worth mentioning, but I should anyway just in case others have hand painted covers to be wary.  Also, It will remove a record company's factory placed stickers just as easily so be extra careful around factory stickered sleeves.  

So if you are a buyer, keep in mind, if the seller discounted a record because of a sticker on the cover, regardless of how anal you are, you can buy it at the reduced price and easily remove the sticker with a $5 bottle of plain old Goo Gone.  One bottle will do hundreds of records.  If you are a seller, you might be selling it for more after you apply this technique to your pre-sales tactics.  Some covers are hard to find in good condition and this will be safe on even the rarest of records.  Remove the sticker, raise your cover condition, and consequently raise your profits.

This stuff works, I use it myself all the time, and I recommend it to anyone irked by stickers on records.

1 comment:

  1. Tried this on a Johnny Cash Christmas Classic cover that is white. It ended up staining it lightly in those spots.