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My tutorial: Applying/removing offical TLG stickers


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#1 Darth Legolas

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 05:26 PM

Okay, I don't know if I'm supposed to post unapproved tutorials, but here's a few techniques to making the official TLG stickers come on perfectly, and of with no residue!

To apply any TLG sticker, before you peel it off from the sheet, first make your proper measurements. If you're really clumsy, then use a pencil with an extremely good eraser, and make a dot on the center of the piece where you will apply the sticker. And then, line it up, and you instantly have a perfect application. If it's one of those crappy partially see-through stickers, in which when you look closely it seems a little ugly, you can always push down on it until it's vacuumed against the piece.

Now, whenever you remove a sticker, you'd probably get this dark gray, ugly, dirt like glue residue. There is a simple way to get that off, and have your piece look like new. The first thing, right off the bat, is to not rub it with your thumb. It will just build up on the ends and make the piece sticky. First, use just a bit of scotch tape, and punch down and pull up over the junk. It won't remove it, but it will loosen it. Then, use rubbing alcohol and swab it all over the stuff. Now you rub with your thumb. After that, put the piece under running water. All dry? Okay, now here comes the most amazing part. Use regular white glue, I prefer Elmers, and spread it over the residue. When you rub, the white glue, which is stronger than the extremely weakened residue will pull it all up and get rid of it. White glue doesn't usually leave a trace that it was there, so it will just disappear. Finally, run it under water again, and then dry. Easy as that.
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#2 green dewback

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 07:29 PM

:thumbup: Great info there.
Will try your method in removing those nasty sticker residue next time I find them, almost all my lego are currently sticker-free.

Previously I used this
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#3 Darth Legolas

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 07:33 PM

View Postgreen dewback, on Apr 19 2009, 03:29 PM, said:

:thumbup: Great info there.
Will try your method in removing those nasty sticker residue next time I find them, almost all my lego are currently sticker-free.

Previously I used this
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Ooh, never seen this before. I wonder which method is better... I find mine pretty easy, and I only use stickers if I really have to. If take the Indy Jones Duck Boat, for example. I only put on the CCCP stickers, because I thought they were cool, and the windshield sticker, because it was useful.

Maybe I'll try your way too!  :tongue:
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#4 green dewback

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 07:40 PM

I don't have alcohol so If I just use tape + glue stick would it work ?

For my method I just use my thumb to rub it till the stubborn residue is left and spray a little of that on, leave it couple minutes and repeat once more before washing it under the tap.

For small rubber wheels  that degraded and have a sticky oily substance on the outer surface, I put them into a plastic bag of slightly diluted dishwashing liquid and wd40 spray for a few hours, repeat 1-2 more times with new plastic bag & dishwashing liquid without wd40 and rinse with water. The sticky oil is gone but theres is a weird smell.
Anybody else had a problem with this too ?

Edited by green dewback, 19 April 2009 - 08:03 PM.


#5 Darth Legolas

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 07:57 PM

View Postgreen dewback, on Apr 19 2009, 03:40 PM, said:

I don't have alcohol so If I just use tape + glue stick would it work ?

For my method I just use my thumb to rub it till the stubborn residue is left and spray a little of that on, leave it couple minutes and repeat once more before washing it under the tap.

For small rubber wheels from that degraded and have a sticky oily substance on the outer surface, I put them into a plastic bag of slightly diluted dishwashing liquid and wd40 spray for a few hours, repeat 1-2 more times with new plastic bag & dishwashing liquid without wd40 and rinse with water. The sticky oil is gone but theres is a weird smell.
Anybody else had a problem with this too ?

To tell you the truth, I'm not sure what a gluestick would do. I guess it could work, but I usually use straight, pasty liquid glue. And as long as you still use the water at the end, then it should work fine.
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#6 benbever

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:34 PM

I use sticker remover, which is an oily substance that removes sticker residue.
Peel off sticker, remove glue residue with sticker remover and a cotton swab/wooden toothpick, wash the brick(s) with water and soap.

Cleaning bricks with alcohol works too, but alcohol isn't a glue solvent, so it doesn't work to well on glue residue.
Another way is to simply use an eraser to rub off the glue residue (the hard type of eraser.)

#7 jonwil

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 06:41 PM

Whats the best way to remove the sticky stuff left when you remove stickers (official TLG or 3rd party) from parts without damaging the parts?

#8 Saint

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 06:59 PM

Good old Dutch "calvé pindakaas " or peanut butter .. apply to residue , then let it do it's work for half an hour, remove and voilà ! If necessary do that again .


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#9 davee123

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:10 PM

Oddly enough, one technique that sometimes works is to re-apply and re-remove repeatedly, very quickly, maybe 10-30 times in rapid succession. Basically, the glue that's on the sticker tends to stick to the glue that's left on the brick moreso than the glue that's on the sticker RE-sticking to the brick. It can take 30 second to 2 minutes or so, but I've had good luck with it. At first it may not appear to be doing anything, but after a few dozen sticks-and-re-sticks, you can probably tell whether it's starting to work or not.

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#10 cimddwc

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:35 PM

A glass cleaner/window cleaner usually works quite well for many stickers on glass or plastic, as far as I can tell – just spray it on, let it soak a bit, and wipe/rub everything off.

#11 Legocrazy81

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 10:52 PM

View Postcimddwc, on 01 June 2011 - 08:35 PM, said:

A glass cleaner/window cleaner usually works quite well for many stickers on glass or plastic, as far as I can tell – just spray it on, let it soak a bit, and wipe/rub everything off.

That's what I do. It does take a little elbow grease, may not work as quick as some other solvents, but it won't hurt the bricks.
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#12 LEGO Guy Bri

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:48 AM

I've used WD-40 on residue. It doesn't harm plastic thought I would wash the bricks in soap and water. Another use for WD-40 is for wheel axels. It gets rid of squeaks and friction :classic:
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#13 Jargo

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 03:32 AM

Alcohol works brilliantly. I use a little squirt of aftershave. Try it.

#14 dr_spock

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 05:41 PM

I used tape head cleaner.  Worked on other things like sticker residue on laptops, price stickers, etc.

#15 Big Cam

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 05:48 PM

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#16 SlyOwl

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 01:09 PM

Nail varnish remover on a bit of cotton wool is excellent.
But be warned, it will destroy the plastic and/or printing if you leave it on too long! Printing doesn't normally come off, but I accidentally took off a 1990s minifig torso print in just one wipe whilst removing goo left by a custom sticker :sadnew:

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#17 lightningtiger

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 01:16 PM

Ah, but 'Sly Owl' you should use non-acetone based nail polish remover then ! :grin:
I too use a citrus based spray/cleaner to remove residue, then buff with toothpaste. :blush:
Keep on cleaning those bricks ! :grin:

#18 Morbus Iff

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 05:29 PM

View Postjonwil, on 01 June 2011 - 06:41 PM, said:

Whats the best way to remove the sticky stuff left when you remove stickers (official TLG or 3rd party) from parts without damaging the parts?

I've tried peanut butter, but found it to be a little too oily for my tastes (and the thought of mixing food and LEGO bricks is ew). I've been a huge fan of the "re-apply and re-remove re-repeatedly" approach for years - that's always the first weapon in my stable. After that, I tend to do something that has worked for me on book stickers: Vaseline and a desk lamp. Stick some Vaseline on the goo, then stick it under a desk lamp for 10 minutes or so to heat it up. After that, just wipe it off.

#19 brick-a-block

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:09 AM

View PostMorbus Iff, on 06 June 2011 - 05:29 PM, said:

I've tried peanut butter, but found it to be a little too oily for my tastes (and the thought of mixing food and LEGO bricks is ew). I've been a huge fan of the "re-apply and re-remove re-repeatedly" approach for years - that's always the first weapon in my stable. After that, I tend to do something that has worked for me on book stickers: Vaseline and a desk lamp. Stick some Vaseline on the goo, then stick it under a desk lamp for 10 minutes or so to heat it up. After that, just wipe it off.


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#20 Superkalle

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:34 AM

White gasoline (chemically clean gasoline). Sold in small bottles, for example at chemists.
Used to disolve adhesives etc.

Does not affect plastic, does not leave greasy residue. Cheap.

Used it for years without problems.
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#21 TanTile

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 09:02 AM

i use Isocol to remove Sticker residue, i find it very effective and doesn't harm the plastic at all an its in chemists here in OZ

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#22 Piranha

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 09:32 AM

water and elbow grease :classic:

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#23 David Thomsen

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:01 AM

View Postdavee123, on 01 June 2011 - 08:10 PM, said:

Oddly enough, one technique that sometimes works is to re-apply and re-remove repeatedly, very quickly, maybe 10-30 times in rapid succession.
That's the technique I use at work to remove stickers from DVDs. I don't really like chemicals because the cases usually end up being slimy and/or smelly.

It doesn't have to be the same sticker, you can also use any kind sticky tape which is sometimes better.
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#24 Diggydoes

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:51 PM

hi there i have a (rare) trans clear canopy from the ucs x-wing, well when i bought it it had all the stickers applied, unfortunately the side sticker where half off, so i´ve decided to remove them (it just looked silly). the top sticker is still applied. well since the stickers were there for a long time they´ve left a lot of glue on the canopy that i would like to remove. since this is a pretty rare (expensive) party i wanna clean it as smooth as possible without spoiling the remaining top-sticker, any suggestions?

#25 Modulex Guy

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 04:51 PM

I would just try and soak it off with warm water to soften the glue up, let it soak in warm water and rub it off with your finger or towel.
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