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Old 29th Jan 2006, 16:20   #1 (permalink)
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Removing blue tack stains

Ok, I cannt think of any other forum that this might belong in, so here goes anyway.

Does anybody have any idea how to remove the stains left by Blue Tack on a painted wall?

My daughter, yes I love her but..., has covered the walls of her bedroom with posters and we are in rented accomodation. We move out in 2 months and the tenancy agreement says 'no blue tack', so I want to try to get the walls clean.

Any help much appreciated.
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Old 29th Jan 2006, 16:29   #2 (permalink)
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Nail varnish remover dabbed on the said mess with a cotton bud might work. Be careful though that it doesn't strip the paint as well!

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Old 29th Jan 2006, 20:31   #3 (permalink)
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Try some brake cleaner, same warning as above.

The stain will be grease from fingers when the blu-tac was worked before sticking it up. If you wash your hands before putting it up, it's less likely to happen.

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Old 29th Jan 2006, 22:10   #4 (permalink)

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Lighter fluid removes it. Especially if you light it.

Seriously, though, don't light it.
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Old 30th Jan 2006, 14:55   #5 (permalink)

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Sugar soap is the best thing to remove bluetack.
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Old 30th Jan 2006, 15:14   #6 (permalink)
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I'll second Mike4 (although lighter-fuel will work it stands a risk of dissolving the surface).
Another (less aggressive) option is FRESH white bread 'middle' rolled into a 'putty' and then used as an eraser (you could use it as a rubber, but I wouldn't guarantee it ). 'Dough' erasers are recommended for cleaning wallpaper. You could also use a soft pencil eraser (the sort that draughtsmen use). NOT a hard red or green 'ink' eraser!

I'm assuming that the marks are on conventional wallpaper (not silk or other exotic covering). If it's a painted wall, (EDIT I see it IS a painted wall end of Edit) then sugar soap (or even a weak solution of washing-up liquid 'painted' on using a soft paintbrush (but be ready to wipe away any runs). A soft nail-brush dipped in dilute washing-up-liquid would also work.
One problem with 'blue-tak' is that when dried and hardened it can strip-off the surface-layer of wallpaper, leaving white blotches. There's only one solution there - new wallpaper.

Try an inconspicuous area before you ruin your decor even further!

PS Blue-tak can be rejuvenated by mixing it in a ball with a little neat washing-up liquid 'injected', then running the slimey mess under a cold tap (this removes the dirt). Afterwards 'roll it out' (like pastry) using a rolling-pin or smooth cylinder until it reaches the required sheet thickness, then pack in grease-proof or waxed paper (like the original stuff comes in). It can be re-used year after year (we use it to hold up the Christmas Cards on glass and gloss-painted surfaces). You can repeat the 'cleansing' process several times, provided you rinse in-between to remove the dirt and sludge.
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Old 30th Jan 2006, 20:13   #7 (permalink)
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Here's an idea before you start using any toxic chemicals, or even sugar soap.
Try using blue tak to remove blue tak. It might just roll off the wallpaper easier if there's a larger amount of the stuff.
Worth a go?
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Old 10th Feb 2006, 22:29   #8 (permalink)
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Sugar Soap is a slightly caustic, slightly abrasive 'soap powder' which, when mixed with water makes a solution which is used to clean-down walls to remove grease before painting. Available from DIY stores, wallpaper stores and good hardware shops. Proceed with caution, as it will remove loose or poorly-attached paint (usually with a good scrub). Read the instructions (!) and try a hidden or unobtrusive area first, as it might leave 'bleached' patches (having removed all the dirt and grease).
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Old 10th Feb 2006, 23:13   #9 (permalink)
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Thank guys

As the originator of the request can I just say thanks for the responses. I have as yet not had a try, there are still a few weeks left to the lease, but will remember your suggestions.

Scottie Dog
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Old 11th Feb 2006, 08:25   #10 (permalink)

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If all else fails, I suggest the subtle approach from the opposite face of the wall using a sledge hammer.

Seriously, how long have you been in the property? If it's a good length of time and it's the sort of property likely to attract the longer term tennant, there's every chance that the landlord will decorate the entire place before it's re-let anyway. So a few superficial stains on the walls aren't going to make any difference. That is, if it's a direct agreement with the landlord and you have a good relationship with them. Talk to them.

If it's not a direct arrangement, but through an agency, I really wouldn't waste to much of your time. The agencies, or more accurately their inventory agents, will pick the place to pieces so fully in an attempt to hold on to most of your deposit that those few marks probably won't make much, if any difference to how much (read: how little) is returned.

Sharks the lot of them. I once had a 6 month battle with an agency who were trying to keep all of my deposit for 'damages' which were quite clearly fair (and very light for the period I'd been there) wear and tear... all this in spite of the fact that the property was in better general overall repair, as I'd sorted out niggly little things as I went along, and cleaner than when I moved in. I got every penny back from the eventually.

Good luck.
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