Three Ways to Remove Permanent Adhesive Graphics

The recipient of a masters degree in public health from the University of Michigan, Alicia Procello Maddox spent over a decade in the health and wellness sector before working as a senior program and corporate responsibility manager with Nike. Alicia Procello Maddox presently serves as president of the Avery Dennison Foundation, where she executes global grant-making strategies for the packaging and graphics sheeting enterprise.

Avery Dennison produces a variety of high-quality cast, reflective, and polyester films with permanent adhesive, but there are multiple ways to remove the decals if necessary. Below are three strategies suggested by the company.

1. Chemical solution — Citistrip Gel is a powerful industrial-strength product that is effective in removing graphics when the proper steps are followed. Begin by using a foam roller to brush the gel over the graphic you intend to remove. Then cover with plastic wrap or polyester liner and let the gel set for 30 minutes. Last, remove the wrap or liner and slowly work the vinyl loose with a plastic scraper.

2. Hand tool — Using a product like the MBX Vinyl Zapper can be quicker than using a chemical solution, but can also damage the paint or surface on which the graphic is applied if not done carefully. The electric version of the tool works by grabbing the edge of the vinyl and peeling it, as well as any adhesive residue, from the surface.

3. Steam removal — Image One Impact’s new POD2.0 Steamer is an innovative non-chemical vinyl removal tool that allows for safe vinyl removal through on-demand steam pressure at a lower temperature. While it is a more expensive method than the other products mentioned, it has the benefit of being environmentally friendly: for instance, it only uses one liter of distilled water in removing vinyl from an average-sized vehicle.

Alicia Procello Maddox

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Graduating in 1996, Ms. Procello Maddox moved back to California to serve as a program officer and then program director at The California Wellness Foundation.

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