Author Topic: [Retro games] Specific questions about removing adhesive from shrink wrap.  (Read 1233 times)

Hello everyone!

I obtained this fairly sturdy (cardboard) game box set circa 1994. The box itself is in pristine condition - no damage whatsoever - and is still in its original (fully intact) factory shrink wrap. That said...there's a snag: the presence of some minor adhesive residue on the front, on the wrap itself. I would like to remove it, but I want to be sure my chosen method doesn't end up backfiring in some way. My adhesive remover of choice is Goo Gone. I plan to use a cotton swab with a minute amount of the liquid soaked on one end and gently move the soaked head on the adhesive in a circular pattern until it is solidly broken up. Finally, I will dampen a tissue in water and slowly wipe up the softened residue-Goo Gone mixture.

Questions are as follows:

1. Should I be concerned that this citrus-infused solvent is going to corrode/erode the shrink wrap?

2. Will the shrink wrap be stained?


3. Will the scent of the adhesive remover be permanent or should it completely dissipate if all bits are properly wiped up?

I am happy to hear suggestions of alternative chemicals/solvents that won't eat at or stain the shrink wrap. Optimal methods of going about this task are also welcome.

Re: [Retro games] Specific questions about removing adhesive from shrink wrap.
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 09:45:05 am »
Unfortunately, it is impossible to be 100% sure if anything is completely safe. It's not just the shrink wrap, it's the age too- certain chemicals react with air/sunlight, so your shrink wrap will have unique properties even other old wrap is not guaranteed to have.

Your greatest weapon is going to be: PAITENCE. You're not going to be able to get a good scrub of anything, so all your options will take a lot of time. This is not a 10 minute project. This may be a multi-day project. Don't rush.

I've used lemon furniture polish as an adhesive remover for years, so that's a secondary option for you if you become concerned the goo gone will be too harsh (but I doubt it, so don't worry on it too much.) If you do decide to try it, spray a good pile of foam on a rag (you need the foaming kind), then use a paintbrush to apply over your adhesive. Let it set a minute, then do the thing with the qtip.

I'd skip the wet tissue, personally- if the adhesive retains (or regains) any tackiness, you run the risk of getting tissue bits stuck to your game. Get a soft microfiber cloth (mine are from the dollar store & the bargain section in front of Target, they're cheap enough) & gently wipe away the residue. You should have enough residual moisture from the cleaner to help the cloth absorb the gunk. If not, have a second microfiber cloth you can get damp so you don't leave tissue bits behind. If you do have the furniture polish, you can use it instead of water to dampen the cloth.


Re: [Retro games] Specific questions about removing adhesive from shrink wrap.
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2020, 10:16:13 am »
With Goo Gone, remember that it works over time. You don't have to put the product onto the thing you want to remove. Sometimes I will put it on the cleaning towel and then put that onto the part to clean and just leave it there. Or you can put some on the cloth and them wipe it onto the cleaning area so that it is thin, but making sure to only put it on the part you want to remove. I may let it sit for up to 5 minutes to see if that has softened it up enough.

You can also try using packing tape to remove it. Often I find 180 degree removal of tape or stickers works the best, but it depends on how solid the material is that you are trying to remove.

When I do cleaning of anything like this, or label removal, I use three paper towels. One that has the Goo Gone on it, one that has glass class cleaner on it and one without anything. This is because the goo gone can leave an oily residue after use, the glass cleaner helps to bond to that and the dry towel to remove it all. And by glass cleaner, I don't mean Windex or the automotive stuff that has alchohol in it. Currently I have a can of Boardwalk Glass Cleaner BWK 341A which has text "For institutional and industrial use" to give an idea of the type I'm refering to.


Re: [Retro games] Specific questions about removing adhesive from shrink wrap.
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2020, 11:49:56 am »
I keep hearing that Bestine is a better alternative to Goo Gone though I've yet to find any at a store.


Re: [Retro games] Specific questions about removing adhesive from shrink wrap.
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2020, 12:31:03 pm »
I've never noticed the citrus scent lasting beyond maybe a day after using it. Hard to say if the liquid could somehow find it's way through the wrap and onto the box. I mostly use that stuff on plastic game cases, and I always remove the artwork first because typically it finds it's way around the surface I'm trying to clean. It's a very thin and runny liquid, for sure.


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Re: [Retro games] Specific questions about removing adhesive from shrink wrap.
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2020, 09:04:16 pm »
To remove sticker residue from shrinkwrap, use mineral spirits painter thinner found in any hardware store. To remove a paper sticker, use a dampened with water paper towel and gently rub off paper until sticker residue appears and then use the mineral spirits. Be careful that there are no holes in the wrapped area that you’re working on. I’ve used this technique literally a thousand times with great success. Sometimes you’ll find residue that is alcohol based. In that case use 90% denatured alcohol.


Re: [Retro games] Specific questions about removing adhesive from shrink wrap.
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2020, 06:56:12 am »
While a ton of people want pristine boxes etc or seals withouth any price materials or sticker residue.

Leaving such things on make these things more easy to tell that is was an authentic factory seal

So removing a price sticker or sticker residue on old factory sealed stuff game it's not the best action imo. Since it will look more like a reseal in the end.

Unless your going to grade it removing a price tag or some sticker residue from the seal it's not the best idea imo. especially with all those reseals going around in wich residue or old price tags are key in people immidately knowing that the seal is legit.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 06:59:01 am by sworddude »
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