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Cleaning adhesive off backs of stones


First time poster here, thanks to all you fine jewelry artists out there who help me every day!
I have a question and I’m sure people have answers. How can I safely remove adhesive from the back off stones? I bought a couple pairs of stones that were held together on pieces of very sticky tape and I’m not sure what is the best way to clean them without damaging them. They’re beautiful orange and gray Eclipse Jasper and I’m wondering if I can use something liked goo gone or if that might discolor the stone (I know the top is polished and likely safe but I am concerned more about the backs). While I’m on the subject of cleaning stones does anyone have any recommendations for removing sharpie ink from them backs too? I purchased a few stones years ago and the price is written on the back in permanent ink.


Most sticky tape can be removed with a product like Goo-Gone or Un-Du. Sharpie ink is alcohol soluble.

Alcohol for sharpie, a sharp knife for the adhesive if a solvent by itself won’t work…Rob

I don’t like to mess with solvents very much. And I don’t work with many stones either but I have found that Nail Polish Remover, typically acetone, which is a very strong solvent in my mind will remove most glues. So will WD-40. I don’t know how or if different solvents react with different stones. As a side note I have removed dried road tar from a sweater with mayonnaise, Hellman’s I think. I have never tried it with glue.

Don Meixner

It’s the oil in mayonnaise that removes adhesive, but oil might not be any more stone friendly than goo gone, and oil might require more time to remove the adhesive than using a specialty cleaner. Whatever you use, you want to minimize the amount of time it sits on the stone.

I would try to protect the sides and top of the stone to prevent top damage while working on the bottom because you don’t want to damage the polish …maybe wrap it with painter’s tape.

If there is any paper on the adhesive, scrape it off first. If it’s difficult, try to soften and saturate it with water, then scrape it off. I usually scrape with my fingernails, but if it is the back of a stone that will not be seen, then I might use a knife, carefully.

I would try to rub the adhesive off or at least try to push it into a wad that might be easier to pick off. Sometimes this will be all you need to do.

But if it does not work, then I would try something such as goo gone or oil.

If you do use any type of oil product, here Is my preferred approach for removing the oil. First, immerse the stone in clean, traditional kitty litter for 24 hours (don’t rub the stone around in there). Put a healthy dose of Dawn in some water - you want it really sudsy. When you remove the stone from the kitty litter place it into the water/Dawn mix and let sit for a few hours (I usually let it sit overnight). Take the stone out of the Dawn solution, rinse thoroughly with water, dry it, and all traces of oil should be gone.

I have had the best luck with WD-40. It’ll removed the adhesive quickly, then go to the sink and wash with Dawn or another dish washing soap, which will remove the oil. Never had a problem with the WD-40 staining the stones I have used it on, but it sure doesn’t stay on there but for 30 seconds or so.