Help - I'm drowning in tape!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by pwhatley, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I inherited some desks from another classroom and, YIKES! They are covered in tape that was allowed to bake on all summer! :eek: I've tried soaking it in alcohol, 409, and goof-off (at different times), and scraping it with a paint scraper, and pulling it with my (now nonexistant) fingernails. Anyone have any helpful ideas?????????????:help:
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    You might try heating it with a hair dryer or heat gun to loosen the adhesive. Using something oily, like WD-40, makes sense to get rid of the residue.
     
  5. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Leave it and the kids will pick it all off eventually? ;)
     
  6. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Goo gone has worked for me.
     
  7. alschoolteacher

    alschoolteacher Companion

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    Foaming Bubbles...it works miracles. Goo Gone also works and get a razor blade type paint scraper.
     
  8. ashley57

    ashley57 Comrade

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  9. janney

    janney Cohort

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    Get a glass scraper (razor blade) and spray the table with some type of cleaner (doesn't really matter as long as it is wet) and push the blade under the tape. As long as you keep the razor blade flat and at a slight angle you shouldn't scratch the desk.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Okay...basic Chemistry lesson...

    "Like dissolves Like". One of the mantras of Chemistry. Now, what does that mean? One of the ways we can classify substances is Polar vs. Non-polar. I could go into all the boring details about what makes something one over the other, but I'll spare you. What's important here, is that if we want to dissolve something, we need to use a solvent that's of the same "type".

    So, we want to get rid of an adhesive. Most adhesives are non-polar, and therefore require a non-polar solvent. So, what's what?

    Some common non-polar solvents are mineral spirits and paint thinner. Rubbing Alcohol, to an extent, could be considered non-polar, but because of the molecular structure, would be a weak solvent, since even though the "base" hydrocarbon is non-polar, it's so small, that the functional group that makes it an alcohol means the overall effect somewhat polar. In other words, we're looking for the strong, smelly, very flammable stuff we tend to want to avoid in enclosed spaces.

    Some products, such as goo gone, attempt to make use of some of these properties by creatively combining solvents with other materials to create something less offensive but will still do the job.

    The problem with products like that in this situation, is that the adhesive has had time to bake on. You're probably going to want to soak the tape residue for a little while. If it were me, I'd take some paper towels, soak them in mineral spirits, and then lay the paper towels over the areas I want to clean. I'd give it 20 minutes or so, then wipe it up. You should probably be able to get most of it up that way. Of course, you'll want to make sure you're doing this in a well ventilated area.

    Now, you never thought you'd use HS chemistry, did you :)
     
  11. peridotylayne

    peridotylayne Companion

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    :wow:
     
  12. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Keep talking... I could listen to you talk about chemistry all day.... :) :D
     
  13. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Are you making fun of me???? :eek:
     
  14. Mrs Ski

    Mrs Ski Companion

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    I loved the explanation.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    No, mm, I'm pretty sure she isn't: Peachy just took and passed a chunk of California's single subject science teachers' exam.
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    MM! I wouldn't make fun of you!!! OH my goodness no. As TG explained, I am indeed a science nerd. :D
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oh, good. I'm having a moment here. I didn't think you would, but you know, we all have those confidence killing days.
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Thank y'all soooo much for the very kind and informative suggestions, and especially for the chemistry lesson, mm! My DH (a geologist and environmental specialist) started talking about chemical "polarity" (is that a correct term?) yesterday, but that was never covered in my HS chem class a hundred years ago, so I didn't get it. You explained it in a way that I could understand! Paper towels I have, along with a fan and a door that opens to the outside world (instead of a hall), so I'm gonna pick up some mineral spirits tomorrow and try it out Monday after our PD!
     
  19. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Glad to have helped :). I've noticed a lot of the scientist types don't do a great job of explaining what seems to them to be a very simple concept (and it is, really, once you have a few basics down). I frequently find myself in a position to "translate" my scientist friends for my non-scientist friends. Just one more reason why they say "Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you can teach it".

    Now, if you want a more detailed explanation of all the hows and whys, I'd be glad to oblige (and probably, also, all the science teachers here), but I figured that might be too much to start :D.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    There are times when I ADORE this community, and this is one of them.
     
  21. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I bow to your greatness, mmswm! Please remember, though, that I am in (teach) first grade! LOL
     
  22. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    :spitwater: :rofl: :toofunny:

    Great, I am not. World's biggest supernerd? Yeah, that probably works.....

    If you can understand how magnets work, you can understand chemical polarity (and yes, that is a word).

    Here's the short (kinda) simple version (peachy, are you listening?):

    Just like magnets, some molecules have "poles", or positive and negative ends. The same forces that make magnets work, cause these polar molecules to behave in certain ways. Think about sticking a magnet in the air right above a bowl of iron shavings. What's going to happen? The magnet is going to pull the iron shavings towards itself "pulling apart" the bowl of iron shavings.

    Now, imagine that the bowl of iron shavings is really some salt and the magnet is really a glass of water. Water is polar. Table salt is polar. On a molecular level, the negative ends of the water molecule are going to want to "pull" the positive ends of the salt towards themselves (and the same in the opposite direction). Since the water is a strong enough "magnet", it will literally pull the salt molecule apart, dissolving it.

    Of course, some things are harder to break apart than others. Whether or not one substance will dissolve another depends entirely on the balance of electromagnetic forces. The substance doing the dissolving has to be strong enough to break apart whatever it's supposed to be dissolving. Lets go back to the magnets. Ever notice that some magnets are stronger than others? Even household magnets come in different "strengths". The cute little superhero magnets that I use to put up my kids artwork are just fine for that job, but in no way would be okay in the junkyard, where those magnets are used to pick up and move cars. Just like magnets, different molecules have different levels of polarity, which will determine just how strong of a solvent it is.

    So, what happens if you stick something that isn't polar into that glass of water...say, some olive oil? The oil just floats on the top, staying nice and whole. The oil is non-polar. That means the molecules don't have positive and negative "ends". There's nothing for the water to attract, and therefore pull apart, or dissolve. So what do you do to get rid of it?

    Well, there's a whole different set of intra- and intermolecular forces (intra- being just within that one molecule and inter- being between different molecules of the same or different substances), that I'm quite certain you don't want to know about. Lets just say that those forces come into play when you use a non-polar solvent to dissolve another non-polar substance. These are very weak electromagnetic forces (sometimes called Van der Waal forces), that act on non-polar molecules. These are the forces, though very weak, that allow non-polar molecules to dissolve each other. Just like with polar molecules, some substances are stronger solvents than others.

    There's wayyyyyyyy more to it than that, but something tells me that the non-science geeks among us have spinning heads right about now, so I'll stop. I swear. Sorry, I love this stuff. :wub:
     
  23. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Track down your custodian ... they are miracle workers in our school.
     
  24. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I have a feeling that we should perhaps start a chemistry thread where you lecture us each week. :D
     
  25. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    This is nothing even close to as good an explanation as mmswm made (would it be ok if I steal your explanation about the magnets and use it with my 3rd graders when we cover magnets?) but I had some desks with sticky packing tape on them from name tags and I used a magic eraser and some elbow grease, about 4 or 5 swipes across it and the desks were slick as glass.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I sincerely hope that the inventor of the Mr Clean Magic Eraser has made a million dollars!!! That thing is incredible!!!
     
  27. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I don't know that if stealing if I willingly share my ideas :).

    Oh, and peachy...are you sure you want to open that can of worms?
     
  28. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    YES! It could be called, From the Mind of MM. :D
     
  29. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Brava, MMSWM! Incredibly understandable (and not patronizing) explanation! I'm a "word and people" person - looking for the gray areas, so the nonnegotiable ways of math & some science I generally leave to my hubby!!
     
  30. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Melissa - great idea - I use them everywhere else (including the classroom, so I dunno why I didn't think of it!
     

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