Daily Wire Tip: Removing Sticky Tape from Cabochons

By on May 24, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip


Hi Dale, I don’t know how to get rid of this paper stuck on the back of my druzy that I bought. I don’t want my customers to see something like that on my work, so what do I use to get rid of this paper?

-Judy in Danielsville, Georgia


Hi Judy, in order to ship our druzy cabochons with the least amount of damage, the manufacturer carefully adheres each cab to poster board with double backed tape. Yes, it sticks really well! As such, there is a bit of residue left when the cab is removed from the poster board to be photographed and then bagged for inventory in our warehouse.

There are several products that will remove this adhesive. Personally, I use Goo-Gone. I simply hold my cabochon over the sink, spread a bit of the product over the mess, and wait a moment or two. Then I run warm water over the cab and rub it slightly with my finger. Usually this takes care of the issue. If the residue is a bit older and more stubborn, I repeat the process using denatured alcohol. Some of our Faculty members have success using pure acetone or another product called Un-Du.

I would like to point out that using any of the products I have mentioned in this post are safe on any of the dyed druzy cabochons sold by Wire-Sculpture. I have personally experimented with all of the adhesive removers I listed, and I also know the druzy manufacturer personally! He has kindly explained the difference between the dye process used by his company and that used by his competitors. His process causes a chemical change, which is permanent. If you are not sure of using a chemical on anything that has been irradiated or vapor-coated, please try a small amount on an inconspicuous area first!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    May 25, 2011 at 6:47 am

    WD-40 works wonders, and does not take out any color at all. I use this product all the time. It is safe.
    Just spray it on, rub off the stickiness, and rinse.

  2. avatar


    May 25, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I also use a hand-cleaner goo to clean off the adhesive left on beads and cabochons. The two products that I’ve used successfully are Permatex Hand Cleaner and HandLan (?spelling). Both have worked successfully on dyed “Fire Agate” and onyx. As Dale points out always try a small area (or dud bead) before applying to the whole bead/cab.

    Also, I’m avoid using the oily hand-cleaners with very soft, porous natural stones and pearls. I worry that the oils will penetrate and ruin these.

  3. avatar


    May 25, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Hi there!!

    If you have tape/price tag stickers, etc stuck on something I also find that turning on a hair dryer (on warm, not cool) and peeling slowly the tape/price tag comes off without leaving residue. It only takes a few seconds and there is no chemical use involved at all!!

  4. avatar


    May 25, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I’ve glad the issue of sticking paper was addressed. I’ve had similar problems with my large jasper cabs. Problem Solved! Thanks for asking, Judy.

  5. avatar


    May 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Like Debi, I use WD-40. It will remove the sticky residue of labels, glue, and tape off pretty much anything and everything. Actually, it does a lot of stuff besides lubricate things. If you go to their website, they have a list of something like 200 other uses for it. Who knew? Apparently, it’s pretty much just fish oil and as such is nontoxic and safe.

  6. avatar

    Pat Whitlow

    May 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Just a note on the lighter side. The world would be at a loss if not for WD-40 and Duct Tape. I don’t know how we could survive…..

  7. avatar


    May 26, 2011 at 7:44 am

    baby oil works great and smells good too.

  8. avatar

    elaine bryce

    May 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    After trying several glue removers on the back of my beautiful new druzy, I finally tried Goo Gone and had great results.

  9. avatar


    May 30, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Dear me. I have never gotten exercised over sticky tape, BUT… WD-40 is NOT just fish oil, and to think so is plain unsafe! It is over 50% petroleum distillates (mineral spirit, and another petroleum distillate is gasoline), and this is stated clearly on their web site at http://wd40.com/about-us/myths-legends-fun-facts/

    It is not recommended for arthritis either; prolonged exposure to skin will result in the same ailments that prolonged exposure to gasoline will cause. These “myths” are clearly stated and debunked on their web site.

    BTW, I have used straight mineral spirit to remove sticker goo, and it works quite nicely.

    • avatar


      May 31, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks so much for the clarification of WD-40 Alex. Nice to hear from you!

  10. avatar


    May 29, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Crazily, I use peanut butter on all sticky items to be removed. Yes, peanut butter. The oils in there make short work of the tacky residue and you are using an organic method to remove the tape/sticker. Sounds crazy, I know… but it works!

    • avatar


      May 30, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      I know that Peanut butter sounds strange to use, but it work great! I also use my Melaleuca Product, which are all natural. I use my tub & Tile cleaner to get the tape off and also brightens up my copper products and makes them look like new

  11. avatar


    May 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Baby oil rubbed on a left overnight will remove the glue from just about anything without harming it. Then just wash with a bit of dawn and rinse.

  12. avatar

    Mary Phillips

    May 30, 2012 at 4:10 am

    I also prefer all natural so I use a product available in the cleaning section of Home Depot “Pure Citrus Orange” which is a deodorizing spray. It’s the orange oil that takes even stubborn price tag goo off.

  13. avatar


    June 18, 2013 at 6:21 am

    For years all I’ve ever used to get gunk off anything is Skin so Soft, by Avon. Just a few drops, wait a minute, and peel, or scrape. It’s never let me down, and smells wonderful.

  14. avatar


    June 18, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Forgot to mention, I’ve been using the same bottle for years. It lasts a very long time, and I use it a lot.

  15. avatar

    Renee Hebert

    December 29, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Any organic oil is the method I use but was wondering if it will damage my mother of pearl cabs. Any help? Thanks Renee

  16. avatar

    Michele Marushik

    January 13, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    This may take a little longer but it works great to remove gooey glue from stickers. I take a piece of clear tape and press it and pull it off on the sticky stuff and it seems to pull the sticky mess off. just do it a few times and you will see that pressing the tape and pulling it off eventually gets it all off.

  17. avatar


    June 23, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Be careful and check your stone first for potential chemical reaction. I ruined a gorgeous azurite/malachite that was promised to someone by getting vinegar on it. I use vinegar for cleaning to avoid chemicals but got lazy and forgot it is an acid and can cause unpleasant reactions. The copper in the malachite made it go black and I could not grind it down to the original colour. Even sunlight can change the colour of stones, such as azurite will change from blue to green (malachite) if left in the sun. It is all one big learning curve.