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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just reading up on what to use with wet application for vinyl decals, and I'm seeing "soapy water" a lot. I'd like to find something simple yet effective, something my eBay buyers can mix at home instead of having to go out and buy like Rapid Tac. So soapy water really does work?

Dry application always makes me nervous, and I panic when I think that my online customer is going to have to do this on their own. I've seen someone use soapy water, with a large sign that I made for him. He use to apply window tint on cars and swore by soapy water, didn't think it would do the trick, but it did. Still up after 5 years.

I realize the transfer tape needs to be taken into consideration as well, if I suggest soapy water, I'll just ask them to leave it on for a bit, until it's had a chance to dry.

So, safe to suggest a soapy water mixture?

Thanks.
 

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Yes it is safe, but it is even safer to suggest water only. That's how I do all my wet applications. I can do better with straight water than I can with soapy water. BTW, your customers would need a very very very very small amount of dishwashing liquid for their application.
 

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if you suggest soapy water to them.. make sure they only put like a 2 to 4 drops in a whole squirt bottle full of water.. also have them add a couple cap fulls of rubbing alcahol to the mix.. .
 

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Soapy water works for sure, but again only a drop or two of soap. I've heard of others using windex, though I haven't tried that one myself. Make sure your cust's give the decal a little time set before pulling off the transfer tape after using the soapy water solution though, otherwise the decal is just going to pull up with it.
 

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We tell our customers to never use windex.. altho i know some people use it.. The problem come in with the additives in windex or window cleaner.. some of them have thing added and they can cause the adhesive in vinyl to break down.. and the vinyl will peal up with time..
 

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I get the 70% alcohol wipes from Wal-Mart for cleaning. As far as App. fluid, I dont use it I can advoid it. But when the need arises, I make mine. Fill my 32oz sprayer to near top with water, add 3 to 4 drops of cheapo liquid soap (less in the ingredients the better) and a half a cap of MEK. MEK isnt available in a lot of areas so you can leave that out. I use it to make the adhesive tack better. So far in 5 years no curling, shirking or fading due to its use. But good vinyl is the key there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great, thanks. I'll experiment a little today. I bought a little application tape from a local sign shop, the kind that looks a little like masking tape (not clear), and I noticed it was really loving the sweat from my hand, which seems good for wet application. However I prefer to work with clear stuff & was thinking about ordering AT-60.

Is wet application also possible with AT-60? I'm thinking it is possible, but may not be as easy as the other stuff, and AT-60 would take a little longer to dry. Or maybe I'm just way off!

Most of the decals I make are small and can usually be successfully applied with the dry method, but I have new medium ones were wet would help. Clear just looks nicer =] . I've been using low tack clear shelf liner! Want to be more professional.
 

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Great, thanks. I'll experiment a little today. I bought a little application tape from a local sign shop, the kind that looks a little like masking tape (not clear), and I noticed it was really loving the sweat from my hand, which seems good for wet application. However I prefer to work with clear stuff & was thinking about ordering AT-60.

Is wet application also possible with AT-60? I'm thinking it is possible, but may not be as easy as the other stuff, and AT-60 would take a little longer to dry. Or maybe I'm just way off!

Most of the decals I make are small and can usually be successfully applied with the dry method, but I have new medium ones were wet would help. Clear just looks nicer =] . I've been using low tack clear shelf liner! Want to be more professional.
My understanding is that the clear ap tape is for dry aplication only.. ..
 

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Your sign supplier should offer a applicator fluid for doing wet applications. I'm usually comfortable doing a dry-ap but if the sticker is large or if I'm applying it outside where it may be windy I use the fluid. The stuff I use is called Rapid Tac. I hope this helps. The reason I prefer a dry application when I can is with a clean surface you get a stronger bond immediately.
 

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i think it just comes with practice lol when i first started everything i did, i used app fluid on.:eek: now, i apply everything dry. seems i have more bubbles when applying wet than dry. Patience is the key, that and learning to apply the vinyl correctly.;) I have since discovered that plain ole water work fine for most applications if you must have a fluid, especially if you're selling RTA's. Just tell your customers to spray a light mist of water. No need to douse it. Oh yeah, don't use wet app method for clear app tape.
 

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i think it just comes with practice lol when i first started everything i did, i used app fluid on.:eek: now, i apply everything dry. seems i have more bubbles when applying wet than dry. Patience is the key, that and learning to apply the vinyl correctly.;) I have since discovered that plain ole water work fine for most applications if you must have a fluid, especially if you're selling RTA's. Just tell your customers to spray a light mist of water. No need to douse it. Oh yeah, don't use wet app method for clear app tape.
More bubbles with wet then dry? You're the only person I have ever heard that from. It's always the opposite.

Your sign supplier should offer a applicator fluid for doing wet applications. I'm usually comfortable doing a dry-ap but if the sticker is large or if I'm applying it outside where it may be windy I use the fluid. The stuff I use is called Rapid Tac. I hope this helps. The reason I prefer a dry application when I can is with a clean surface you get a stronger bond immediately.
Soapy water is the same thing, but I prefer using straight water.
 
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