How do I safely remove old Scotch™ tape from old postcards?
Q. Dear Donia,
I read the Dear Donia post about removing old tape from delicate paper, and was wondering if it's worth attempting to remove the same type of tape from old Irish art postcards made by ACME? Thanks, Mary
A. Dear Mary,
Worth is a tricky subject to address so I will tackle this question from the viewpoint of the materials.
It is hard to compare the postcards to the newsprint from the previous Dear Donia post without know their age. Postcards in general were considered ephemeral and were not made with the highest quality paper. You can generalize that those postcards pre-1940 will have deteriorated to the point that the paper fibers will be getting shorter and be more difficult to remove tape from. In your case, you would also need to concern yourself with the printing process. Not all postcards were printed the same and the quality will vary.
Another consideration is the state of the tape. Removal of tape depends quite a bit on the level of deterioration of the tape. Does the tape still look clear and new or has it started to yellow, or worst of all, has the tape made the paper beneath it go translucent?
With so many considerations, it is best to leave the tape removal to the experts. Please don't use the over-the-counter products like Goof-off or Goo-gone as the chemicals in these products are harmful for the paper and for you.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact Dear Donia again!