How to Clean Adhesive Putty

Adhesive putty is a safer alternative as far as your walls are concerned, but can still be tricky to clean. You don’t want walls pitted with drawing pin holes, so you tell your kids to use adhesive putty, such as Blue Tack, to attach their posters and paintings. But you still get a mess when they move everything around.

What’s gone wrong? Most likely, you have one of two problems: The poster was yanked off the wall or the wall surface isn’t totally smooth or is semi-porous. Wallpaper, fresh paint, and textured paint are poor surfaces for using adhesive putty.

Lifting off the putty can also lift off a top layer of your wall covering. Gloss paint, metal, wood, and plastic are generally fine. Use a light-coloured adhesive on light-coloured walls as a darker putty may stain the paint.

To avoid marks when you’re taking down a poster, use your fingernail to get right under the putty and ease it out and away from the wall, so that it comes away still attached to the poster. To get off any small pieces still on the wall, rub a fresh piece of putty over the stragglers in a gentle, circular motion.

The same rubbing approach works for getting off old tack stuck onto the back of posters. However, if it has been there a considerable while and grown hard, you’re best off leaving it where it is or you risk tearing the paper.

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