The Best Way to Clean the Masking Residue off the finished engraving on the wood

I am new to this so still learning . I need to know the best way to get the masking sticky residue off of the wood after engraving. I cleaned it all up with some warm soapy water, rinsed, dried, but there is still alot of residue. I tried alcohol, but it seems like that is taking the black from the engraving off as well and making it look really dull. Also can something be re engraved over the image that is already on the wood ??

Welcome to the forum @hmerino76. You will find much useful information here like, how to remove masking from various surfaces. Some of the things forgers have found that work for them are Gorilla Tape, apply on top of masking, push down smoothly and pull to remove tape and masking. Others prefer a plastic scraper while others like to use soapy water when removing masking from acrylic. Try searching the forum for “removing masking after engrave” and you will find lots of suggestions. Hope you will share what you create with your :glowforge:here.

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I have the masking off , but there is still residue left behind that I feel if I keep scrubbing it will remove all the black engraving because now the wood is looking really dull .

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Much of the black is surface charcoal that will likely come off easily. If you paint the engraved surface before removing the masking you can make the burned area more solidly black.

In other circumstances I cut the piece out and remove the masking before engraving (especially if it is almost all engraving). You have to secure the material very well and not move the design to be sure it will engrave in the same place.

Regular retail hand sanitizer is designed to be kind to hands, so it is usually kind to materials as well. If left in an enclosed place the sanitizer will dissolve all adhesives so even complicated weeding will just float off. Wood might take a few days to dry, but it will not damage acrylic, though it will dissolve MDF glue back to termite dust.


I’m curious what you’re using as masking. Masking tape - the tan stuff that comes on a stardard role, has WAY more adhesive than you need for something like this. Paper masking which comes on large 6"-12" rolls is pressure activated and except in rare circumstances, leaves no residue.

If you’re engraving a large area, create a scoreline around the outside of it - run the score, remove the masking from just there, and then run the engrave. FAR easier than pulling it off after.

If scrubbing is needed I’m gonna echo the recomendation for hand cleaner. The high alcohol content means the wood warps far less - just do a final rinse after everything else is off.