Chemically Assisted Vinyl Film Removal

There are three tools that help sign makers remove vinyl graphics from a sign face: heat, abrasive wheels and chemicals. Chemicals used in the early days of vinyl signage (solvents like Naptha and Toluene) are being replaced by combinations of these petrochemical type solvents as well as the introduction of citron based systems.

The below table lists removal systems on the market were tested and found useful for removing several grades of Arlon Cut Graphic branded vinyl film.

Orange Peel Gap Sun Valley, CA
Q&E Remover Autotech Grants Pass, OR
Rapid Remover Rapid Tac Merlin, OR
Sprayway No. 894 Sprayway, Inc. Addison, IL
Orange Gel Degreaser ZEP Atlanta, GA
Adhesive and Mastic Remover Vindotco Largo, FL
XR-1000 Mod Industries Rolling Meadows, IL

Special Notes:

    • For best effect cover removal area with plastic sheeting and seal lower edge after applying fluid to slow down evaporation of the solvents and reduce the amount of applications needed to achieve easy removal.


    • For faster penetration, especially on reflective film or film which has been in service for several years abrade the surface with rubber wheel vinyl eraser to expose the adhesive.


    • None of these solvents affected the paint, banner or acrylic surfaces used during qualifying tests – before trying any removers test on a small area to be sure there is no affect on gloss or texture of substrate.


  • If removing a screen printed graphic be aware that these solvents also remove ink and can cause a mess if one allows the solvent to cascade down the graphic and onto the sign face. Again, covering the affected area with plastic contains the mess and allows for less evaporation.