Zagg Full-Body Protection Left My iPod Coated With Perma-Goo

Sure, those clear adhesive protective covers for small gadgets are supposed to last for a long time, but what happens when the film starts to peel and your iPod has plenty of useful life left? Then you do what reader Rob did and peel it off, discovering an unmovable coating of perma-goo on the outside of the device. No solvent can remove it.

Thought you may like to take a look at what happens after Zagg invisible shield products are installed for a few years. I bought the full body protection film for my iPod classic about three years ago. It was peeling so I decided to replace it.

The photo shows the sticky residue left behind. They do advertise “no sticky film left behind after removal”. I’ve tried multiple solvents, orange based as Zagg suggested, alcohol, and Goo Gone Extreme, WD40, and even baby oil. My iPod is essentually ruined. I was an enthusiastic proponent of their products until this experience. As a result Ive removed the newly purchased screen protectors from my wifes and my iPhones. Just wanted to give a heads up to others using, or thinking of using this product.

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  1. Astranger says:

    Is the iPad actually ruined? Does it not work or is it just ugly now?

    • Booboobunnygirl says:

      I would assume having the back of your ipod having a “sticky residue” left over wouldn’t make it unusable but just really gross to have to touch and clean.

      • weezedog says:

        3M Adhesive Remover is the best stuff on the face of the planet for removing anything sticky. It is Citrus based, but it works better than Goo Gone or any of them, and has no petroleum products in it so doesn’t leave an oily residue.

  2. PercussionQueen7 says:

    The one solvent that I have found that will remove any and all adhesive I’ve thrown at it?

    Lighter fluid. The stuff in the yellow bottle. I learned this trick working at a high-end cookware store, and it’s what we used to take any and all price tags off hard surfaces. Never failed.

    Good luck.

    • grendyll says:

      This exactly. The chemical name for it is naphtha, and it can also be found at hardware stores. Either way, I’ve NEVER had anything that this couldn’t remove.

      • chefboyardee says:

        Thirded. Give it a try, OP. Also, sorry you have to deal with this.

        • cristiana says:

          I was going to say the same thing. I used to work in a record store, and we used lighter fluid to remove price tag residue from shrink wrapped CDs. It works really well, and did not even damage the fragile wrapping.

    • Press1forDialTone says:

      Hey youngster, the “stuff in the yellow bottle” is called Ronsonal
      because it was originally marketed as the lighter fluid for Ronson
      lighters which were very good lighters made for umpteen years.
      I don’t know if you can still get the lighters but any drug store
      has the “yellow (and blue)” bottle. You are right, lighter fluid
      is a great solvent as long as the item under the goo can stand
      a solvent like lighter fluid and be careful, it is extremely flammable.

  3. DuckNCover says:

    I’m curious as to what that stuff is made of. I’ve even successfully used Goo Gone to remove roofing tar (when my dad was reaching for the gasoline).

    • Emily says:

      I know. I’m surprised (and a bit let down) to find out that there’s something Goo Gone can’t do.

  4. Misha says:

    Sounds like you haven’t tried quite every solvent yet – try a product called Un-Du. If you’re in California the formulation is different to avoid violating VOC regulations, and the non-California version is much better. Use it in a ventilated area because fumes liek woah (when they say “volatile organic compounds”, they mean it). Alternately, try a product called bestine, which is essentially the same thing. It’s worth a shot anyway.

  5. Raziya says:

    Strange, I’ve used several of these for years on different products and never had any residue. Even off my old HTC Incredible, which is 2 1/2 years old and has a front and back ZAGG on it the entire time.

  6. RogerDucky says:

    Actually, Invisible shield’s product is actually helicopter leading edge (or racer’s) tape — which is usually removed by the military via Methyl Ethyl Keytone, or MEK for short. Try that — it should wipe right off.

    • dcarrington01 says:

      I am gonna call shennanigans on their claims that it is used on helicopter leading edges. As a helicopter mechanic for 15+ years, I have yet to see ANYTHING like it on the blades. Usually the leading edge has a titanium/nickle edge to prevent erosion. Also, if their vinyl ever started to peel off the edge of the rotor blade, it would be a dangerous thing (you’d be surprised what snicker’s wrapper stuck to the end of a rotating helicopter blade sounds like, is scary)

      • GitEmSteveDaveHatesChange says:

        Sounds are dangerous? IIRC, Mythbusters busted the whole postage stamp crashing a helicopter thing.

        • dcarrington01 says:

          There is a bit of a difference between the size of a postage stamp and a candy bar wrapper. The wrapper didn’t cause the helicopter to crash, as it was already on the ground, but did make a crazy amount of noise and the aircrew said they could tell that the blades were out of balance

    • Press1forDialTone says:

      Ketone not Keytgon

      Love, Mom

  7. StitchTheEarth says:

    The Zagg kiosk in our local mall ruined my iPhone by messing up and re-applying three ZaggShields. All the water they used ruined the screen. Corporate didn’t care and didn’t help. I’ll never buy a Zagg product again, and I recommend that no one else does, either.

    • Portlandia says:

      Why would you not take them to small claims court? A few dollars in filing fees and you could have sued for the replacement/repair value of the phone.

    • Press1forDialTone says:

      You let someone in a kiosk in a mall put some gunk on your multi-hundred
      dollar phone. Sorry, no sympathy here.

  8. gwynnebaer says:

    Have you reached out to Zagg? Seems to me that they would have an answer to why their product leaves a film after all?

    Seems like they even recommend a product on their web site: http://www.zagg.com/support/faq.php#3_21

    Quoting:
    “Does removing the invisibleSHIELD leave sticky residue?
    Removing your invisibleSHIELD normally will not leave any sticky residue on your device. If you do notice any sticky residue, we recommend removing it with a citrus based adhesive remover, such as Max Professional All purpose Ink Remover. You can also remove most residue by just rubbing it into a ball and off the edge of your device.”

    • Misha says:

      From the OP: “I’ve tried multiple solvents, orange based as Zagg suggested, alcohol, and Goo Gone Extreme, WD40, and even baby oil.”

      • GitEmSteveDaveHatesChange says:

        Did they reach out, or just read Zaggs page, which could be what is meant when they said “suggested”.

    • Rob says:

      Yes I’ve reached out to Zagg.. Multiple times. Evidently according to their customer service I used the “wrong angle to remove it”. That is laughable because I had to use pliers to remove it piece by piece. They assume no liability. I haven’t taken the time to try MEK or any other more harsh solvent other than what I originally posted. I need to backup some data on there in case some gets inside and bricks my perfectly good (up until now) iPod. Just thought everyone might be interested in this possibility and Zaggs response. I actually hadn’t a chance to check back and see if this actually had been posted. I will be sending a link to this page to Zagg…. Rob

  9. shinseiromeo says:

    I’ve used zagg products for years. I’m assuming the OP left this somewhere hot at least once and the shield melted. Perhaps it was left in a car?

    • 180CS says:

      Strange. I routinely leave my phone with its cheap 20 cent screen protector from china in my car, where the sun beats down on the screen. Sometimes, it’s painful to touch when I get back. I can still replace these screen protectors every 6 months without a problem.

      Maybe Zaggs 10-20 dollar screen protectors just aren’t as good as the 10-20 cent variety?

      • pdj79 says:

        The 10-20 cent variety will stop an occasional nick with the car keys, but I guarantee it won’t stop a partially-open box cutter rubbing against it. Don’t ask…not one of my finer moments!

      • Destron says:

        The 20 cent variety are an entirely different kind of plastic than Zagg. If those where to melt they would most like just curl up away from the device. Just tried the freebie that came with a phone and that was the effect it had. Zagg is a much softer more pliable plastic that would probably mold to the device if melted, and thus would re-harden causing a gooey mess like pictured above.

  10. phobos512 says:

    That’s very odd…I’ve used Zagg (I don’t anymore as I grew tired of the way it felt while swiping) and I never had an issue removing it. There’s not any adhesive so how can there be residue? The spray is just soapy water, and there’s nothing on the actual film. Did you install this stuff yourself or at a retail location?

    • Rob says:

      There is adhesive. And yes I installed it myself. You are correct about the soapy water. That method is also used for installing decals onto painted surfaces such as a vehicle. I’m very familiar with the process. I’m an ASE master auto mechanic so I’m actually pretty able at doing most things myself. But obviously not removing a piece of plastic film :)

  11. Lyn Torden says:

    I know a chemical so powerful it WILL dissolve the glue no matter what. But I won’t name it because it is very likely to dissolve half the iPod as well.

  12. T-Bone says:

    I never understood the point of protectors like these. They get worn down and look ugly. “Look, the screen won’t get scratched!” If the screen is made out of glass it probably won’t get scratched on its own anyways. Do you see peope putting protectors on the car’s windshield and other windows? I could sort of understand if you are going to sell the device when you’re done with it but most devices won’t get you much even if they still look new. What’s the point?

    • anime_runs_my_life says:

      Actually, if it weren’t for the invisishield on my husband’s iPod Touch, the screen would have been damaged long ago. I just did a warranty return on his screen because his keys dug into the invisishield and tore it. No scratches on the screen. It looked just as new as the day he bought it.

    • erinpac says:

      You don’t carry your car windshield around in a pocket or possibly drop it, and it still sometimes gets damaged.

      With a protector, you can replace the protector cheaply and easily. Some even come in multi-packs expecting you to do so. It’s better to wear down a protector, let it become ugly, and then swap it out, than to have your phone all scratched up a few weeks into its useful life and have to squint at a cloudy screen for 2 years until you can get a new one.

      • T-Bone says:

        I’ve had iPhones since they came out and never gotten more than a single tiny scratch on the glass and I keep my phone for 2 years.

    • Costner says:

      It is sort of how certain people put plastic on their sofa cushions. I have a co-worker that puts down scrap carpets to cover every inch of the carpeting in his car – he won’t even use the factory floor mats. Then he covers the back seats with sheets and towels so his kids don’t stain them or wear them down. A few years later when he sells the car he pulls out the carpet and towels and the factory carpet and seats looks perfect.

      I don’t see the point. Why protect something for a future owner’s benefit? Plus, having a layer of protection on top of the car or phone or couch always looks worse than the surface you are protecting – so you have an ugly screen protector that makes the screen look blurry and dim just to prevent some scratches?

      I don’t get it – I think these screen protectors are nothing but a money grab by the companies that make them. I have had the same smartphone for 2.5 years – it goes in my pockets, it gets dropped, it gets tossed around, and the screen still looks perfect. Gorilla glass is a wonderful thing, and it stands up to much more than people give it credit for.

      • CalicoGal says:

        WRT the car, the point isn’t to keep it protected for a future owner, but to keep the value of your trade-in for *yourself.*
        The nicer your car is, the more $$ you’ll get for it at trade-in or sale.

        I kept my iPhone in flawless condition by using screen and case protectors, and I kept the box and all the literature, to include the apple stickers.
        When I sold it back to Amazon, I got their “like-new’ value, which was more than I paid for it initially.

        It pays to keep your stuff nice!

    • Destron says:

      Android devices and iPhones hold pretty good value. I just sold my 2 year old Galaxy S Vibrant for $250 which paid for my $199 upgrade to a Galxay S3.

  13. anime_runs_my_life says:

    Ruined you say? As in it will never play again? Or ruined as in, it just looks like it’s been abused. I guess your definition of ruined is different than mine. I had an invisishield on my 2nd Gen iPod for about 3 years, no problems. Had an invisishield on my LG Rumor Touch for 2 years, no problems.

    • Rob says:

      Ruined as in using it as a portable music player. I wouldn’t care to carry this sticky blob anywhere : ) Glad you had good luck removing your Zagg product. I didn’t

  14. Tothwolf says:

    Alcohol often won’t actually dissolve these kinds of adhesives, but can loosen them enough where you can separate them from a surface. Since alcohol isn’t cutting it in this case, the next thing to try would probably be naptha as others have suggested above.

    Other solvents that might work are mineral spirits (paint thinner), methyl ethyl ketone (suggested above), methylene chloride (dichloromethane), xylene, and acetone. A word of caution regarding all of these solvents (including naptha), and with the exception of mineral spirits, they can and will dissolve plastics, including coatings on LCD screens. They are all also potentially harmful and highly flammable, and must be used with care. These solvents really shouldn’t harm an anodized aluminum finish, but like anything else, always test a small spot before trying a larger area.

    Failing that, there is always eBay

  15. Press1forDialTone says:

    I suggest you immerse the techno-gadget in a container of gasoline
    large enough to reach to the top of the item. Then toss in a big lighted
    kitchen match.

  16. videoman says:

    Personally, I would try a tiny amount of acetone on one corner as a test. If it removes the residue then check to see if the acetone had any adverse effects on the iPod. If this doesn’t work, I would try a type of mineral spirits like naptha. Remember to wear gloves that are chemical resistant.

  17. hexx says:

    The Zagg Invisible Shield screen protectors are absolute crap. I’ve wasted my money on them more than once. Stores like Best Buy love to push the Zagg screen protector, probably because of a kickback, but they are consistently rated 2 out 5 on shopping sites.

  18. Actionable Mango says:

    I bet a torch would remove the sticky residue.

  19. jbeam says:

    Zagg shields are a joke, they get dirtier faster and scratch easier than most of the items you put the screen on. Yeah I know its cheaper to replace a shield than a glass screen due to scratches…

    We has a couple of white iPod touches come in (when I worked for Geek Squad, I have since escaped from there) and the shield will actually stain the white plastic a brownish color… I hate zagg shields and never recommended them to anyone.

  20. missy070203 says:

    dampen a paper towel with vodka and try that…. works for me