Removing Duck Tape off of lighting cables

ademhayyu1

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Mar 4, 2018
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Seattle, WA
Evening everyone,

While I was looking for lighting extension cables today, I found some cables that had a ridiculously, massive, and completely unnecessary amount of duct tape on them. I cannot express how wild that cable was. Fortunately, I found some clean cables I used instead. If there's anything I've learned in theater in the past year, it's that duct tape does not belong anywhere on stage (sorry but this isn't The Red Green Show)

I plan on figuring out how to remove the duck tape off of that cable since we're gonna need it sooner or later. But I don't really know where to start, and I'm worried I might cut into the cable. My second idea was to just toss that thing to the trash.

Any ideas before I resort to using the garbage can?
 

derekleffew

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Use a sharp blade and work slowly and carefully. As to the residue left behind...
I thought we had a thread specifically devoted to removing adhesive residue from cable, but I can't find it.:(

One wants to use the gentlest, least-toxic substance that will do the job. This could range from olive oil, vegetable oil, peanut butter, to rubbing alcohol, citrus-based cleaners, WD-40, Armor All, to petroleum jelly, mineral spirits, acetone (fingernail polish remover), to naphtha (lighter fluid, Goo-Gone), toluene (actually any of the -enes, including kerosene and gasoline).

Be sure that whatever solvent you choose won't damage the cable, and use all appropriate PPE. Always work in a well-ventilated area!
I think I meant naval jelly rather than petroleum jelly; I always confuse the two (in writing, not in actual use).
 
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Ben Stiegler

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None of the methods like this one sound like they would be cost effective if many feet of cable are affected.

https://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-remove-excess-duct-tape-sticky-residue

You might be better off salvaging the connectors and using fresh new SJ or similar cable.

Also ... gaff tape good, duct tape baaaaad! Keep lighting gaff tape supply separate from whatever the scene shop crew uses to patch their canoe, sucking chest wounds, etc.

Let us know what you try and what works for you!
 
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Les

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I have used Simple Green with some success. Goo Gone also works; but is not to be confused with the more caustic product called Goof-Off (which is great for other projects but is by no means delicate). WD-40 is also effective on most surfaces, but I have not tested it on an SO cable.
 

JJBerman

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Middleton, Wisconsin
I have had luck with rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer for other sticky residue. I have not tested it on SO cable.
When cleaning sound lav/headset cable I usually use goo gone/mineral spirits to wipe away the sticky then wipe it again with rubbing alcohol to remove the residue left with goo gone/mineral spirits.
 

Van

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I frown on WD-40 as it's petroleum based and can degrade the cable over time.
The best I have found is an Orange-Oil based cleaner like Zep Citrus oil cleaner or Noble Chemical 'Orange Peel'. Wear gloves, use a rag, rub the cable, kill the duct-taping offender.
 

What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
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None of the methods like this one sound like they would be cost effective if many feet of cable are affected.

https://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-remove-excess-duct-tape-sticky-residue

You might be better off salvaging the connectors and using fresh new SJ or similar cable.

Also ... gaff tape good, duct tape baaaaad! Keep lighting gaff tape supply separate from whatever the scene shop crew uses to patch their canoe, sucking chest wounds, etc.

Let us know what you try and what works for you!
Bonus points for illustrating tape use as a result of a sucking chest wound.
 

What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
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Location
PPT.
I frown on WD-40 as it's petroleum based and can degrade the cable over time.
The best I have found is an Orange-Oil based cleaner like Zep Citrus oil cleaner or Noble Chemical 'Orange Peel'. Wear gloves, use a rag, rub the cable, kill the duct-taping offender.
This is the thing: find the offender if possible and make them do the work. Surf wax remover works for me, especially the organic orange scented stuff from Mr. Zog’s.
 
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Van

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This is the thing: find the offender if possible and make them do the work. Surf wax remover works for me, especially the organic orange scented stuff from Mr. Zog’s.
Ok, make them do the work THEN kill them.
 

RonHebbard

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Waterdown, ON, CA
I frown on WD-40 as it's petroleum based and can degrade the cable over time.
The best I have found is an Orange-Oil based cleaner like Zep Citrus oil cleaner or Noble Chemical 'Orange Peel'. Wear gloves, use a rag, rub the cable, kill the duct-taping offender.
@Van May I suggest something extremely painful prior to a long, slow, tortuous death?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 
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seanandkate

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Don't forget to factor in what your time is worth. If the cables are covered in the stuff, I might seriously consider what Ben said:

You might be better off salvaging the connectors and using fresh new SJ or similar cable.
You could then spend all the time saved in exacting your revenge on the perpetrators as suggested above (with a nod to the long tortuous death part. It's the only way some people learn).
 
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pbansen

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Reno, Nevada
Bonus points for illustrating tape use as a result of a sucking chest wound.
Duct tape not recommended for sucking chest wounds - it seals the wound too effectively (seriously).
I was an Firefighter/EMT for 26 years...

Gaff tape - although much better for short-term use than duct tape - will also leave a gooey residue if left on for too long, leading (eventually) to similar woes.
 

hemismith

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Utah
Goof Off is made specifically for this, but it petroleum based. Goo Gone is also made specifically for this and is citrus based and works pretty well too.
 

What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
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What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Location
PPT.
Does it come with avocado and sprouts? Perhaps kale and gluten-free keenwah?
Smells like oranges, and comes labeled as "Mr. Zogs Sex Wax Remover".
 
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