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Re: Removing adhesives

Here are some of my notes from taking the "Tape and tape stain removal"
course at the Campbell Center.  Main point here is that with tape adhesive
the poultice includes solvent(s).  Remember that adequate ventilation (fume
hood) and protection (maybe respirator and gloves) are a factor.

Fuller's earth (diatomaceous earth) is a common poultice material.  There
are many colors of fullers earth, depending on the source of the
diatomaceous earth.  Want to get something of about 75 micron?

Remove carrier and mass of adhesive before use poultice for imbedded
adhesive and stain removal.  If the problem is a crusty adhesive, scrape off
whatever is possible--to reduce poulticing.

Weight the object to keep it from moving and to keep it flat in the area of
the poultice.  Also want contact with the polyester underneath, so
evaporation is to the top.

Poultice can be hard to control, and hard to assess how it will affect the
paper.  So test first with 1 cm patch (staying within the confines of the
tape stain)--put dry fullers earth on, tamp down with spatula, put one drop
of solvent in center, cover with polyester film, let it dry, brush off,
assess.  THEN make a test with a putty of the fullers earth and solvent.
Put a dry dam of fullers earth around the stained area then put the putty on
the stain (and make sure the dry dam is next to the putty).  Cover with
polyester till dry, etc..  Slowly increase the size of area being poulticed.

Usually put polyester under object being worked on, but occasionally work on
blotter.  Decide if want fast or slow evaporation--could leave to air dry,
or put polyester on, or even weight polyester lightly. (partly exposure time
variance and partly direction of evaporation?) (some samples we did took
overnight to dry, when polyester on top)

Can use a poultice "wetter" or "dryer."  Need to decide on amount of solvent
adding to the fullers earth.

Watch so that not over clean the paper while pulling out adhesive/stain.

If the paper has a very open surface, the fullers earth may not be removed
completely.  Not put fullers earth on colored paper (but solvents are a
problem on colored paper too).

If fullers earth stays on/in the paper, but need to use it, can use on verso
even if the tape stain is on the recto (and pull adhesive through the

If an object needs to stay face up (like a pastel) and the tape is on the
back, the poultice can be done underneath.

Cathy Atwood
Missouri State Archives

-----Original Message-----
From: jane brown [mailto:brownjm@MUSC.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2000 7:39 AM
Subject: Re: Removing adhesives

I didn't work on the tape stains I tried it on.
Perhaps there weren't greasy enough?

Jane Brown
Charleston, SC

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