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Goof Off Takes Stuff Off, Makes You Goofy

Reviewing: Goof Off 4.5 Oz Can  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Renovating Expertise:
Image for Goof Off- Takes Stuff Off, Makes You Goofy

Goof Off removes a number of really tough sticky problems; it’s a very strong chemical. Use only in good ventilation, and short-term.

The people I’ve been painting for bought a can of Goof Off, so I gave it a try. It really works great, but ventilation is a real issue. This stuff has even been linked to brain and nervous system damage! But that’s for people exposed over extended time in occupational settings. Nevertheless, it’s really strong. The smell is strong hydrocarbon- like benzine (It’s xylene and methol carbitol... think jet fuel).

So... DO NOT use in an enclosed space, or around open flames, cigarettes, etc. Highly toxic.

Now for what it does... I have now used it to remove dried latex paint from brass, cheap brass-look drawer handles, plastic face plates, and electric switches, and metal with a baked enamel finish. Wow... it works great!

On the brass- I soaked the screw heads for just a couple of minutes and the old paint slid right off.

The drawer handles had thick old paint, and I had to soak them longer, but then it wiped off pretty well. Just a little more work with sandpaper made those look pretty good.

The hard plastic electrical switches and face plates cleaned up really well. I put the Goof Off on a paper towel and wiped the plastic. The old paint came off very easily.

On a metal heater vent cover with a white baked enamel finish the paint came off, and the enamel surface was not damaged. There was also permanent marker coloring all over the surface. I thought this might not be able to be removed, and I’d have to paint the whole vent. But the Goof Off took all the marker off, even purple.

One other caution... the can says that you should test the product first on some area that won’t show if you try it on a new surface. I found out that this is real. I wanted to clean a smoke detector cover. The Goof Off dissolved that plastic and make it gummy and soft! Glad I tried it on the inside surface first! It hardened back up in a few minutes. I guess if you wanted to take a model car and make it look like it had been in a wreck, this stuff would allow you to do wonderful deformations!

It is supposed to also work on things like chewing gum, crayon, glue, adhesive from stickers, etc. I have no doubt that it does all these things, given its chemistry, but be certain to test the surfaces!

It comes in a 4.5 ounce can and retails for about $8. I think this is quite pricey, but it does work!

The can has a flip-up squirt spout. It’s hard to open by accident. It’s even hard to open on purpose. This is probably good because I don’t think you’d want to spill this stuff just anywhere. The spout makes it difficult to aim a small amount where you want it. I found it worked better to squirt some on a folded paper towel and then rub it on the surface. For soaking, I put some in the bottom of an old tuna fish can.

Not sure about the old latex paint, but kerosene or gasoline will work for many of these sticky items, and is a lot cheaper.