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Use of Acetone on Gelcoat - I'm confused
|Author||Topic: Use of Acetone on Gelcoat - I'm confused|
posted 04-09-2009 10:24 AM ET (US)
I've seen many times where folks recommend using acetone to remove glue from old letters and decals, remove stains, etc.
I've also seen folks say to never use acetone on gelcoat.
BW's statement found here: www.bostonwhalerownersclub.com/content/view/113/113/ is to never use Acetone.
As always, any help is greatly appreciated.
posted 04-09-2009 10:38 AM ET (US)
There are much milder solvents that will remove the glue residue that decals leave behind just fine, so you don't need to use it for that purpose. There are cases where you need a solvent like acetone, in restoration work on older hulls. I have never had any problems from using it carefully. My hunch is that BW is taking about new boats, as it will dull the surface of shiny gelcoat, but the gloss can be brought back. So I would go ahead and use it where a milder solvent won't work, and not worry about it.
posted 04-09-2009 10:40 AM ET (US)
Yes, you can use it to clean but do not let it puddle up any place as it will soften up the glass.
posted 04-09-2009 10:52 AM ET (US)
I have found WD-40 excellent for removing old decal and sticker residue. It may take a few seconds to soak to start to work, but it won't stain or cause any problems.
I have used acetone quite a bit to clean gel coat however and never had a problem.
|Tom W Clark||
posted 04-09-2009 11:06 AM ET (US)
I have used acetone extensively as a cleaner/degreaser on each of the ten Whaler hulls I have owned over the course of the last thirty years. All of these hulls were manufactured between 1970 and 1988.
The acetone has done no damage whatsoever. It has not affected the shine of the gel coat in the least bit.
I do not know how acetone will work on Whalers manufactured more recently; I have not tried it.
posted 04-09-2009 11:54 AM ET (US)
I like Tom have had the same experiences with Acetone as well as Lacquer thinner. Nothing brings an old rub rail back to life like a ggod wipe down with either of these solvents. Also, wet a rag with acetone and clean your cushions. Test it first in a small unnoticeable corner to make sure it works and does not effect the vinyl in any way. While every vinyl is different I have never had a problem and have brought 20 year cushion back to like new condition.
posted 04-09-2009 02:52 PM ET (US)
Acetone is acetone - and epoxy/polyester resin is epoxy/polyester resin. That is, I serously doubt that the formulations of these materials have changed - and therefore, I would not expect any difference in the applications over the last 50 years or so.
As some have also mentioned, I have used acetone to clean fiberglas/gelcoat surfaces - and have not noticed any detrimental effects. Wipe it on, clean and wipe dry.
|L H G||
posted 04-09-2009 03:35 PM ET (US)
There are so many other products that clean better than acetone without risk of damaging the surface. Makes no sense to me to ignore the recomendations of the gelcoat manufacturers and boat companies. They MUST know something you don't.
Jeff, you can clean Whaler Tan Pleat cushions with Starbrite's Non-skid deck cleaner, or the Castrol Degreaser (in the purple bottle) or similar cleaners.
posted 04-10-2009 10:35 AM ET (US)
[Recommended against use of Acetone.]
posted 04-10-2009 11:37 AM ET (US)
I don't find acetone particularly harsh, especially since it is the main ingredient in nail polish remover. My wife's fingers have not fallen off in the 30 years she has been using nail polish remover, and are actually quite attractive. On my can of acetone it states "Acetone in an effective clean-up solvent after the completion of a fiberglass project, for removal of excess resin or foreign material... It also says not to use on plastics or synthetics and in a well ventilated area. If you are sensitive to chemicals, use latex gloves and a mask; rubber gloves will not hold up. I often don't bother to use either and have only had 1 finger tip fall off at the first digit.
posted 04-10-2009 12:25 PM ET (US)
FWIW- I had to remove the reg numbers and sticker from my 2006 JetSki last Sunday. The previous owner used the full block style numbers where each character is simply printed in black on a full 2" x 3" rectangular white bumper sticker type vinyl backing. It was was easy enough to peel the actual plastic off the hull with a heat gun, but it left a real mess behind with old adhesive. I tried removing the old adhesive with alcohol first, but it had very little effect on the old adhesive- even with hard rubbing. So, I then applied a small amount of acetone on a rag- and it removed the old glue quickly and efficiently. It did absolutely no damage to the Jetski's hull.
I think the key is- use a small amount of acetone, don't rub too hard, and don't let it sit/pool anywhere on the fiberglass. Oh yeah- turn the cloth frequently to avoid reapplying the old adhesive to the hull again.
posted 04-11-2009 11:55 PM ET (US)
I've learned not to let HW store acetone get on my skin much.
It really dries things out. I think nail polish remover has
some other stuff in it (water? lanolin?).
When I use acetone for clean up, I fold up a piece of paper
posted 04-12-2009 07:49 AM ET (US)
Product called "Goo Gone" works great and is easy on the finish.
posted 04-12-2009 08:44 AM ET (US)
The widely used lubricant or solvent or cleaner WD-40 removes old adhesives from decals or appliques.
posted 04-12-2009 09:50 AM ET (US)
I use acetone on a daily basis in my profession which is prosthetics. I fabricate limbs using carboacrylic resins over fiberglass and carbon cloth. The acetone cleans non-cured resins very quickly but does not effect hardened and cured resins. It is an effective cleaner, however it does not clean all glue residues some types of adhesives just thin out and smear or don't budge. The product we use in a 3M citrus based cleaner in an aerosol not the squirt bottle...
there are many places to get this and it works very well
posted 04-15-2009 10:53 AM ET (US)
When I had my Montauk I stuck plastic cup holders by the rear quarter "seats" and when I sold the boat I had to remove them. I had used really agressive velco and it left alot of glue residue.
Someone told me to use gasoline (nothing else was working). I rubbed gasoline on the glue residue and it came off very easily.
Not sure if it hurts the gelcoat but it sure didn't hurt mine. Can't imagine that it would since gasoline spilles on gelcoat all the time when you gas up.
Just my humble 2 cents.
posted 04-16-2009 04:39 PM ET (US)
Goo-Gone works pretty well, also..
posted 04-22-2009 08:43 AM ET (US)
Naptha (as found in Ronsonol and other zippo-type cigarette lighter fluid) works a charm on removing adhesive, costs a fraction of goo-gone, evaporates fully with no residue unlike WD-40, and doesn't harm gelcoat like acetone can.
|Tom W Clark||
posted 04-22-2009 09:57 AM ET (US)
Acetone doesn't harm gelcoat and costs less than Naptha.
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