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DYMO labels [safe removal] ... what method ?

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Michael Gilligan19/06/2020 14:28:11
18325 forum posts
872 photos

I have a ten-drawer filing cabinet, which the previous owner labelled with DYMO tape.

Simply peeling the tape would risk lifting the paint, I fear.

Can anyone suggest a safe solvent, please ?

Obviously, I could experiment ... but if the answer is already known, it would be appreciated.


RichardN19/06/2020 14:32:34
123 forum posts
11 photos

Not a solvent, but I had the same issue with some Bisley drawers. Hair drier made the (very old) Dymo labels slowly ooze themselves off, then IPA to remove the gunk. (The glue nearly entirely came off with the labels, just left a rectangle where gunk had built up over the years around the edge.)

HTH- Richard

Edited By RichardN on 19/06/2020 14:39:59

magpie19/06/2020 14:44:28
477 forum posts
92 photos

Soak in WD40, the use an old credit card to scrape them off.


old mart19/06/2020 14:53:03
3185 forum posts
201 photos

Check the paint on the back of the cabinet first, before using any solvents. Brake cleaner spray might be ok .

Spurry19/06/2020 16:39:49
208 forum posts
71 photos

If the safety of the undersurface is paramount, I've always used Sticky Stuff Remover by De-Solv-it.


BC Prof19/06/2020 16:44:25
155 forum posts

I have used label remover spray from CPC but as Old Mart says check on somewhere that does not show first.

Michael Gilligan19/06/2020 18:40:35
18325 forum posts
872 photos

Thanks for the ideas, folks yes

I will try Richard’s suggestion first, as I have a nice little hot air gun.


Martin Connelly19/06/2020 18:46:24
1789 forum posts
190 photos

Try cooking oil. Less aggressive than mineral oil but still softens old adhesive.

Martin C

Trevor Drabble19/06/2020 20:50:04
244 forum posts
5 photos


I can supply you with a small bottle of Axminster Tools , Goo Gone , part number 477112 . If of interest , please PM me your details .


Norfolk Boy19/06/2020 20:59:42
57 forum posts
19 photos

I second the WD40 for removing stubborn adhesive. It completely dissolved some old masking tape stuck on anodised aluminium. Surprised me.


Enough!20/06/2020 01:10:29
1719 forum posts
1 photos

Some varieties of jelly-type hand cleaner ... Swarfega etc .... are useful in removing adhesive without affecting paint. Just goop it on and leave it for a while.

Hopper20/06/2020 04:15:43
5505 forum posts
137 photos

You could try the method we use to remove glued-on badges from motorcycle petrol tanks. Take a two-foot length of (unwaxed) dental floss and use it to "saw" the item off . Place floss at the edge of the gap between label and cabinet and saw it back and forth while pulling it in the direction you wish to cut. Then use the solvent of your choice to remove the residual glue.WD40 often works well, as does purpose designed decal remover fluid.

pgk pgk20/06/2020 05:20:47
2187 forum posts
290 photos

It's reasonable to assume paint on a filing cabinet will be nail-varnish remover proof (subject to a test to confirm).

Heat softens many glues but generally lower levels of warmth require time - if it'll fit in the airing cupboard overnight...?


Anthony Knights20/06/2020 10:22:28
532 forum posts
230 photos

I have found that brake and clutch cleaning fluid shifts almost any sticky stuff I have come across. As above, check on non visible area of paint first.

Michael Gilligan20/06/2020 12:10:41
18325 forum posts
872 photos

With thanks to Richard ... The hot-air treatment works nicely

Tape and adhesive both soften enough to make DYMO tape an ‘easy peeler’




Removing the residue is a trivial matter once the plastic tape is out of the way.


Neil Wyatt20/06/2020 12:11:12
18668 forum posts
727 photos
79 articles

I've found that one of meths or white spirit will remove most sticky residues, but you can't predict which.

Howard Lewis20/06/2020 14:42:16
5036 forum posts
13 photos

White spirit will soften a lot of the goos used to stick price labels onto things, followed by some polishing with elbow grease.


Martin Connelly20/06/2020 14:47:26
1789 forum posts
190 photos

I hope you are not going to follow Richard's idea of using India Pale Ale (IPA) to remove the residue crying 2 (I know it's the other alcohol he means really).

Martin C

Clive Hartland20/06/2020 15:44:26
2688 forum posts
40 photos

Ambersil label remover works well, gets sticky unfranked stamps off letters

Tim Stevens20/06/2020 18:28:16
1430 forum posts

There is another trick - just say very clearly as near to the labels as you can 'Im ever so glad those labels are well stuck. Surely they will stay there for ever'

Within a week they will start to peel.

Cheers, Tim

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