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  • Writer's pictureCharna Kinneberg

The Post It Note Saga

My company has been using Super Sticky Post It notes for years to label cabinets. We started this practice in response to getting countless phone calls from clients trying to locate things after their move. We unpacked the day of the move. They were unable to locate things. Easy solution - label the cabinets. It worked like a charm.

Then came the day we labeled a fairly large kitchen with bright pink Super Sticky notes. The brighter the better - that is until the client took them down and discovered her new custom cabinets had a bright pink stripe everywhere there had been a sticky.

I mentally put together a list of what possibly could have caused the issue. This included faulty prep or materials to finish the cabinets, some weird cleaner used on the cabinets, something unknown. I met with the contractor and cabinet maker. They assured me the cabinets were finished with the property cabinet paint - who knew! Cabinets have their own special paint! The cabinet maker suggested trying rubbing alcohol to see if that would remove the offending pink.

Next I went to 3 M. They make Post Its - they would know. It turns out moisture will cause the dye in the notes to bleed. They are not supposed to be used as coasters. I assured them, there was no moisture in the vicinity and it was the glue strip that caused the issue. Regardless, they gave me 4 remedies:

Make a paste of cream of tartar with vinegar. Put it on and then wipe it off.

Use 90% rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth. Wipe it on - it make take several applications.

Make a soapy solution of Dawn dish washing detergent and water. Clean with that.

Use a dilute solution of Simple Green cleaner - spray and wipe off.

Since the cabinet maker suggested the alcohol, I went with that first. It worked! It was not as expected. The color seemed to just disappear as the alcohol was applied with a clean paper towel. It never did transfer to the paper towel but after repeated applications, the color was gone.

A final note from 3M - UV light from the outside will fade the color after awhile. Since her kitchen gets very little direct light, I did not count on that happening.

I have not been able to solve the mystery as to why this happened to begin with. Perhaps it was a humid day. I don't know. I am very happy I did not have to pay for the cabinets to be refinished. I am also delighted the internet exists so I could find a very inexpensive method of resolving the issue.

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