Goof Off vs 3M Adhesive Remover vs Brake Cleaner for removing sticky stuff

Discussion in 'Car Detailing Product Discussion' started by bal, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. bal

    bal New Member

    I had a bunch of adhesive residue from wheel weights on every wheel of my 2002 Porsche 911. Why do I care? Well some of them were really long strips and close enough to the face of the wheel to be clearly visible when the wheels are mounted on the car. No matter how much wheel cleaner I used, these areas would just not get clean. I read on the Internet (so it must be true) that brake cleaner works for removing this stuff. I had some Goof Off Pro Strength and also obtained some 3M Adhesive Remover (the one that has Auto Advanced on the can). I used some plastic razor blades as scrapers.

    The contenders:

    The wheel:

    Initially, I only had the brake cleaner and Goof Off available. Later, I went out and bought the 3M. My method was to apply the chemicals to each patch of adhesive and let it soak for 5 minutes. This turned out to have basically no effect whatsoever (below):

    I then reapplied the chemicals to each patch and immediately started to scrape with the plastic razor. I found that the patch treated with the Goof Off was easier to remove. To be fair, the brake cleaner did OK but the Goof Off did a much better job when the adhesive patch appeared to have been removed but there was still tackiness on the wheel surface.

    I then tried the 3M and compared it with the Goof Off. It seemed to be a little more effective overall, but you can achieve good results with both. Later, I found that the 3M is great at removing tar and pretty much anything else on the wheels that wheel cleaner doesn't remove.

    Here's the finished wheel:

    The 3M product seems to be about twice the price as the Goof Off.

    I took a look at the MSDS sheets for both Goof Off Pro Strength and 3M Adhesive Remover. They primarily contain acetone, xylene and ethylbenzene. Goof Off also has methanol, whereas 3M has solvent naphtha. Seems like 3M might have a higher concentration of some of these. Goo Gone, a similar product to Goof Off (and which I mistakenly referred to in the video below), is mostly petroleum distillates (MSDS).

    You can watch this clip from my longer "really thorough wheel cleaning" video that shows the whole process.
  2. belair

    belair Birth of a Detailer

    Glad you got the mess off. I've relied on Goo Gone and Goof Off which is more powerful than the 'Gone' product. The price of 3M and the effectiveness of the other two has stopped me from buying it.
  3. Anthony Orosco

    Anthony Orosco New Member

    Usually the active ingredient in these adhesive removers is "Xylene". So just go to Home Depot and buy a gallon of Xylene. Works great.

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