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I trod in some Blu-tack. It is now stuck into the tread and to the rubber sole of a very expensive pair of shoes. Using the shoes with the Blu-tack still adhered to the sole is not really an option; tiny bits get stuck to the flooring tiles and to the carpet.

I have tried:

  1. scraping the Blu-tack of the shoe with a knife
  2. digging the Blue-tack out of the tread with a knife, a wooden pick, and a metal pick
  3. lightly sandpapering the Blu-tack
  4. cooling the shoes (initially in a refrigerator and then in a -18 C freezer) in the hope of hardening the Blu-tack before trying each of steps 1-3 again

I have succeeded in removing very small amounts of the stuff, but large amounts are still stuck to, and into, the rubber. Is there any reliable method for removing the Blu-tack and leaving the shoes in reasonable condition?

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It seems from your description that your flooring is doing a reasonable job of removing the blu-tack so it must be possible to remove :)

I would mechanically scrape as much as I could using a knife, cocktail stick/kebab skewer, screwdriver or similar and then for the final remaining bits I would repeatedly and firmly dab them with a lump of blu tack (possibly the stuff you've already removed if you don't have any other available) - you're aiming to get the blu tack to stick to itself in increasing amounts by repeated dabbing removing more and more tack from the shoe (rotate the tack around in your hand so a different part is used each dab). You're not aiming to repeat the exercise that caused the initial problem, ie don't plaster the tack on the shoe and leave it to improve its adhesion

Most sticky things in this life respond well to being removed by repeated dabbing with another piece of themselves

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  • As I wrote my question I was aware of the irony of having my flooring doing the very job that I would prefer to be done some other way! But thank you. I shall try the repeated dabbing approach. – user02814 Apr 5 at 7:12
  • An hour of repeated dabbing produced an effect that was, strictly speaking, "noticeable" ... but life is short. – user02814 Apr 6 at 11:32
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My experience is that BluTac seems to get softer and happier to stick to more BluTac if mechanically worked and warmed up.

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Do you have access to an engine-powered pressure washer? Put on your goggles, affix the shoe to a strong post and blast the Blu-tack out of the cracks and crevices with the fan-shaped high pressure stream. I've done this on automotive floor mats to remove tar and chewing gum with no damage.

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