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Question DetailsAsked on 10/3/2015

how do remove old nonskid bathtub strips/décor.

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2 Answers


One sided razor blades to scrape & finger nail polish to remove the glue. As LCD says there are holders for the razor blades for sale at big box next to the blades. (big box=home depot, menards, etc). Take your time and do not gouge the porcelin finish. Keep the blade as horizontal as you can.

Answered 4 years ago by jccasper


Because razor blades can slide/gouge the finish, if you are not a sure hand with them you can try a plastic sharp-edge window ice scraper instead. Or for smaller tool, you can get disposable plastic pieces (about 4-5 inchjes square) designed for mixing body filler (get at auto parts stores) that have a fairly "sharp" bevelled edge.

Other ways that work sometimes, from mildest to strongest methods - and hence, also least likely to damage the tub/shower to most risky:

1) peel the non-slip decal off while heating with hair dryer - should NOT get so hot you cannot put your hand in the airflow for a second or three or you risk damaging the surface, then use your finger or an Art Gum (non-abrasive) artists/draftsman eraser to "erase" the gum off the shower by "rolling" the gum up. Do not heat for more than 5-10 seconds at a time any one place to avoid heat damage to the surface. The bonding agent is a contact cement so generally will not "peel" or "lift" up, but if rubbed horizontally (like rubbing a poen written ote off your hand) will commonly "roll" up, picking up more in a little thread or "worm" as it rolls over more of it. Do not scrub real hard with eraser because you can degloss the tub/shower.

2) rubbing alcohol dissolves a lot of glues and is pretty safe on almost all plastics and paints - but I am not guaranteeing anything with any of these chemicals, so do a small test spot where it will not show badly first.

3) liquid kitchen detergent or laundry soap, or oxidizing cleaner like some of the "green" cleaners, letting it sit for a couple of minutes then peel and rub off, works with some.

4) soak a few minutes in mineral oil (baby oil), rub the residue off with non-abrasive rag or mesh cleaner, clean oil of with soap and hot water

5) WD-40 or automotive brake cleaner, or cigarette lighter fluid (Ronsonol or Zippo or equal - which is napthalene) - OK for most hard-surface tubs but maybe not on plastics or fiberglass depending on composition. Do not let sit for extended period of time.

5) paint thinner dissolves many other glues - but do NOT use on a refinished tub. OK (but don't let sit for extended periods of time) on porcelain or enameled tubs. Generally OK on acrylic/fiberglass inserts for short exposure but no guarantees - some of the junk coming out of China these days is pretty poor plastic.

5) iffy, but you can try at your own risk - bumper sticker remover (comes in spray can) - safe on MOST paints, probably may dissolve gloss coating on some fiberglass or acrylic liners. Citrus oil based ones would be safest, petroleum distillate or ester based the least.

6) laquer thinner (the stinky type old-school nail polish remover) or acetone will definitely take it off, but a good chance it will at least degloss if not totally remove any "paint" or unfired enamel product.

7) GooGone Original (xylene and peetroleum distillates are active ingredient, contains a bit of citrus oil which will stain some paints) will remove darn near anything - but removes paint and plastics too so would have to be VERY short exposure time before wiping off with soap and water, perhaps in several passes. Same procedure for Laquer Thinner too.


Bear in mind - you may only have to remove the worst of it, if you can find new strips or decorative shapes that will cover the old glue areas and stick to the tub outside the remaining glue (so there is no gap around the edge).

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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