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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Law

Sticky situations: the lowdown on adhesive removers

As we all know, wearing an insulin pump and a CGM means dealing with adhesives, and getting the sticky mess off can be tricky. If you're a regular reader you'll know that I'm using the Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM, which really goes to town on the tape. After my last post, I've been asked a few times what I use to get the sticky stuff off so here we go, all is revealed.

In this post, I'll go over how the Medtronic Guardian 4 transmitter should be cleaned according to the manual, compare it with my cleaning routine, and review the adhesive removers I've used over the years.

Guardian 4 Sensor covered in tape on my arm.
Guardian 4 CGM on my arm after 7 days

Cleaning the transmitter - what the manual says

First up, I thought it would be interesting to read the official instructions for cleaning the transmitter (page 24 and 32 of the Guardian 4 Transmitter Manual).

In short:

- attach the green tester to the transmitter to create a waterproof seal

- if there is adhesive residue, use cotton swabs and a medical adhesive remover (e.g. Detachol) to remove it

- rinse it for a minute

- soak it in soapy water for a minute

- rinse it off again

- dry it

- remove the green tester

What I do to clean the transmitter

I find that if I use an effective adhesive remover, I don't need to give the transmitter a bath every time I change the sensor. Here's today's transmitter cleaning session, filmed by my 10 year old 😊.

Link to instagram reel

Adhesive removers I've used

Over the years I've used 3 products in different formats - a spray, wipes and a solution:

1. Cooper Spray Anti-Adhésif Stérile

My first encounter with adhesive removers was with this spray, bought on a whim during a bulk purchase of French pharmacy goodies online. I had never used an adhesive remover before despite having been a pumper for 9 years so I didn't know what I was missing out on.


- small easy to use can

- cheap (about 5 Euros at the time)

- no unpleasant smell

- no greasy residue

- no skin irritation

- lasts a long time, a little goes a long way

- works well to loosen cannulas and CGM tape so it comes off painlessly


- hard to get hold of (currently out of stock where I bought it from)

- delivery charge expensive if you don't have other things to order

2. TacAway Adhesive Remover Wipes

I found out about these wipes thanks to another lovely PWD. I ordered them from Amazon and they arrived the next day.


- 50 wipes per box, individually wrapped

- one wipe goes a long way so the box lasts a long time

- works well on the skin and cleans the transmitter well

- no skin irritation

- slight chemical smell but not unpleasant

- no greasy residue

- works well to loosen cannulas and CGM tape so it comes off painlessly


- easy to get hold of (they are currently available on Amazon)

- quite expensive - about £22 for a box

- creates more waste than the spray

3. Gilbert Anti-Adhésif Solution

The third and my current go-to is another French pharmacy special. I've bought this a couple of times before while visiting different parts of France (Brittany and Bordeaux) - it seems like a pretty standard product to be stocked so definitely worth asking for some if you're visiting the country.


- the bottle lasts a long time

- works well on the skin and cleans the transmitter well

- no skin irritation

- cheap (about 6 Euros from the pharmacy in France)

- works well to loosen cannulas and CGM tape so it comes off painlessly


- hard get hold of unless you're in France!

- need to buy cotton pads to apply, so still creates some waste

- quite a strong chemical smell some people might not like

- leaves a slightly greasy residue

Have you used any of these? Any other good ones we should know about?

So there you have it - three products to help tackle the sticky situation that comes with wearing a CGM or a pump. Depending on where you live, some of these options might be more accessible than others and what works best for you will be down to your personal preference.

Have you tried any of these products? Or do you have another go-to adhesive remover that I should know about? Let me know in the comments!

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Thanks for reading 😊.

2 commentaires

02 juil. 2023

How to quickly dry the transmitter after cleaning? I use a hair dryer since I want it to quickly dry before charging. I wish there was a way to charge quickly without cleaning.

Michelle Law
Michelle Law
04 août 2023
En réponse à

I just wipe mine with anti-adhesive and a cotton pad to clean it so I don't have to wait for it to dry.

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