Goof Off The Ultimate Remover

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Goof Off - Too Toxic for Me

Apr 28, 2007 (Updated May 2, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Removes everything


The Bottom Line: Although Goof Off may be good for removing some difficult marks or spots, I feel it's dangers outweigh it's benefits.

Goof Off is a liquid product that comes in a small 4.5 ounce tin can, and dubbs itself as The Ultimate Remover. I was introduced to it a couple of years ago when my husband and I were in charge of our teen Church Camp. We were cleaning the facilities at the end of the week, and some kids had left gum in the carpet. It would not come out with the cleaners they gave us to use, so someone asked me to make a run to the store to buy Goof Off. This product claims to remove:

Dried Latex Paint
Sticker Residue
Candle Wax
Ink Pen
Scuff Marks
Printers Ink
White Correction Fluid

It can be used on most carpets, fully cured varnished and oil-based painted surfaces, laminated counter tops, metal, glass, brick, wood, concrete, grout, and most fabrics.

The can has a small flip top pour spout that allows a small amount of Goof Off to be used at a time. That's good, because you don't need much of this stuff.

Goof Off Warnings

This product is TOXIC. According to the Material Data Safety Sheet, this contains Xylene, Methanol, and
Ethanol 2 (2-Methoxyethoxy); (Diethylene glycol monomethyl ether.) The can lists Xylene, Methyl Carbitol, and Surfactant.

While OSHA does not list is as a carcinogen, I still believe this is a very dangerous product.

The warnings on the can are printed in bold red lettering:


The Material Safety Data Sheet on Goof Off spells out the warnings of this product! "Special Hazard Precautions: Extremely flammable.

EYES: Can cause irritation, redness, tearing, blurred vision.

SKIN: Prolonged or repeated contact can cause irritation, defatting, dermatitis.

INHALATION: Excessive inhalation of vapors can cause respiratory irritation, dizziness, headache, nausea and asphyxiation.

INGESTION: Swallowing can cause gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

CHRONIC: Aspiration of material into lungs can cause chemical pneumonitis which can be fatal. Reports have associated repeated and prolonged overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage.


Caution. Always pretest on inconspicuous area first. May damage plastics, vinyl, fiberglass and oxidized metals.
Eye protection recommended. People with sensitive skin should use solvent resistant gloves.


Even when I did use this on a window, it left a terrible stick and I still had to go back and wash the window to remove any residue from Goof Off.

WHY would I want this product in my home? It smells terrible, and should not even be used inside, as there is not proper ventilation. And what exactly are "Solvent resistant gloves"? I don't know, and I highly doubt if I have any. Cloth gloves would be of no use because it would still get to my skin, and skin is a route of entry to my body, our skin is our bodies largest organ!

In my ignorance I tried using it on a couple of different plastic items, and they were totally ruined! I make Christmas ornaments, and some have plastic covers on them. I tried to remove the price tag that was smack dab in the middle of the cover and Goof Off actually dissolved the plastic!!

It claims it can be used on most carpets, but yet warns that applying it directly to carpeting can damage the latex backing. It needs to be applied to a rag first and wiped across the carpeting.

The can states that for surfaces that are incompatible with Goof Off, you can instead use Low Odor Goof Off2 or Goof Off Citrus Goo Remover. These seem like much better choices if you have to use a strong solvent.

I have found simple solutions for most of the things Goof Off claims to work on. Glue, adhesive, sticker residue, and tar are easily removed using simple vegetable oil on a cotton ball. Even those orange cleaners and Tea Tree oil remove stickers. Ink comes off with nail polish remover or hairspray. Scuff marks can be removed with a pencil eraser or Mr. Clean Dry Eraser. Candle wax can be removed from a carpet by holding a piece of brown paper bag between the carpet and a hot iron. Remove that new window sticker with a razor blade.

There are just too many warnings on this product to justify having it in my household. If you have young children in your home, I wouldn't even think of having this lethal stuff around.

Older kids in the home would also be a concern of mine. Did you know that more than one thousand children die each year from the dangerous habit of getting high by inhaling the fumes of common household products? And even more children are left with serious problems like brain damage and respiratory problems - sometimes this happens with first time users!

Sure, we all think not my kids, but is it worth the risk? Just to be able to remove a spot quickly?

And then there is the hazard of flammability! You can't throw a rag in your garbage with Goof Off on it, the smell will permeate your house.

When I saw all the warnings on my can of Goof Off, I promptly threw it in my dumpster. That probably wasn't the best way to dispose of it, but I didn't know what else to do with it!

I just don't think this stuff belongs in my home. For me personally, the risks are way too great.

Recommend this product? No

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