Don’t Know How To Remove Sticker Residue? Check Our Guide!

You might be an expert in cleaning! From your TV screen, your leather sofa and your carpet to all your stainless steel appliances! And then you have to face… stickers! Stickers are popular among children, and they frequently appear on your windows, walls, furniture, clothing, and other unexpected locations. Some adults enjoy stickers too, and you may come to regret sticking one on a closet door some time down the road as you may end up with some stubborn residues.

A little girls plays with stickers

So, is it possible to get rid of sticker residues? You’ll be pleased to learn that in most cases, the answer to this is yes. Well, since it’s possible to remove super glue from skin or clothes, stickers should be a piece of cake, right? Follow our guide below as we show you how to swiftly and effectively remove these residues. Check our DIY tips to eliminate every single area of stickiness, and you will never know they were there in the first place!

What you need to know

Taking proper steps guarantees that the whole process is completed correctly – the first time.

Before applying any of the tools we are about to enlist below, try to get as much of the glue residue off with your fingertips as possible, whether it’s on wood, plastic, glass, rubber, or other materials.

Simply use your fingertips to roll the sticky adhesive into balls and pick them off. If you’re removing masking tape residue from clothing, don’t wash or dry it until it’s no longer sticky. If the stain has been dried, it will be more difficult to remove.

The best methods to remove sticker residue

Methods are usually classified into one of three categories: mechanical, chemical, or thermal.

1. Mechanical

The mechanical method of sticker removal is the most straightforward: simply scrape the sticker off using a scraper. If the sticker is on a soft or easily scratched object, such as a book cover or wooden picture frame, this is obviously not a good solution. Scraping, on the other hand, is highly effective on tougher surfaces like glass or metal.
Here are three scrapers to get you started:

  1. Plastic: It is inexpensive and won’t scratch or harm the surface you’re scraping. It can be used to clean up many kinds of surfaces and even your pans.
  2. Paint: it’s ideal for removing stickers and sticky residue from broad areas because of its hard blade.
  3. Razor: they have razor-sharp, ultra-thin blades that can quickly cut through or under even the most resistant adhesive. Furthermore, the interchangeable razor blades are flexible, making them ideal for removing residue or sticky labels from glass jars and bottles with curved surfaces.

2. Chemicals

Many stickers and adhesives can be dissolved in an oily liquid such as vegetable oil, olive oil, or peanut butter. Simply slather the sticker in oil and then wipe it off with a towel soaked in oil.
Place the oily rag on the sticker and wait an hour or so before gently wiping the adhesive residue away. WD-40, or rubbing alcohol can also be used to soften sticky situations. Use the same oil-soaking process as before, but only wait around 10 minutes before attempting to remove the sticker.

3. Thermal

Labels adhered to glass containers, such as plates, cups, and wine bottles, typically have a surprisingly strong adhesive that’s tough to scrape off, but hot air can lessen its grip. Place the empty bottle in the oven at low heat for around 30 minutes if you’re trying to remove and save a wine label, for example.
The label can then be peeled away. Handle hot glass with caution because it is more prone to shattering. You might also try pouring boiling water into the empty bottle and waiting for the adhesive to melt.

How to remove sticker residue from metal

Metal is more susceptible to dirt and residue accumulation than other materials. As such, adhesives can be one of the most difficult things to remove because scraping can harm the metal surface.

Water-based detergents do not function well with most adhesives since they are oil-soluble rather than water-soluble. You can remove the sticker using cooking oil and wipe and polish the surface with vinegar.

A hand removes sticker from metal

1. Rub oil on the sticker

Soak a delicate cloth in olive or baby oil (some essential oils might also work) for a few minutes. You only want the material to be moist enough to allow for proper distribution of oil, not completely saturated. A cloth or a paper towel can be used. If you’re using a paper towel, flip it over a few times to ensure adequate absorbency.
Allow the oil to sit on the sticker after dabbing or spraying it. Make sure the sticker is completely covered. It’s crucial for the oil to seep in around the borders of the sticker, where the adhesive is strongest. Allow a few minutes for the oil to soak into the sticker. Wipe the glue from the surface with a damp cloth. The sticker and its adhesive will be removed by pouring oil. You should be able to rub the sticker away at this point.

2. Use coconut oil and heat

If you’re removing a sticker from an appliance, hold it over the flame and point the sticker at it. Heat the sticker for around 30 seconds with the flame, making sure it is uniformly heated.
The tough glue should have dissolved and burned after passing the flame over the sticker. You should be able to easily pull the sticker off with your fingertips at this point. Coconut oil can be used to remove the residue. You only need a few drops of coconut oil, which you may apply with your finger to the residue. The sticker gunge can then be wiped away using a paper towel or a soft cloth.

3. Remove the sticker with alcohol

Dab rubbing alcohol on a towel and place it over the sticker. The isopropyl alcohol should start dissolving the adhesive as it passes from the towel to the sticker.
Then, slowly scrub the sticker using something with a thin edge like a credit card or simply your fingers. Most of the adhesive should have dissolved after allowing the alcohol to work. The majority of the sticker should peel away.

How to remove sticker residue from glass

Stickers on glass, such as price tags, can be difficult to remove, leaving ugly stubborn residue behind, especially if they are intended to be left there indefinitely.

A woman removes a sticker from a jar

Here is how to go about it the right way:

1. Use soap and hot water

Soak the glass object and the sticker in hot soapy water for a few minutes. The water and soap assist disrupt the glue’s link with the glass by dissolving it. A 10 to 30-minute soak should weaken the sticker’s paper or vinyl, making it easier to remove. Now, use your fingers to gently take the sticker off, or scrape the sticker off with a dull knife from your knife set.

2. Use washing soda

Combine hot water and washing soda in a bucket or sink. Depending on how much water you’re using, half a cup to a cup of washing soda should be enough. The mixture will melt the sticker’s glue and allow it to peel away from the glass. Soak the glass for about 30 minutes or even longer for more stubborn stickers. Remove it from the water and now the sticker should easily peel away from the glass surface.

3. Use WD-40

WD-40 is a strong dissolvent that breaks down adhesives. Spray WD-40 all over the sticker. You may spray it on a clean cloth and wipe it on the sticker to avoid getting any spray on the glass. Then, remove the sticker with a clean cloth.

4. Use heat

Heat up the surface of the glass by using a hairdryer on its highest setting and drying the sticker for 2 minutes or so. Alternatively, you can leave the object in the sun for a few hours. The heat should cause the adhesive to dissolve. To remove the sticker, carefully take it off with your fingertips. Be extra cautious since the surface will be quite hot.

5. Use rubbing alcohol

This procedure is especially useful if you don’t have access to a bucket of water to soak the glass object in. Dab some of the alcohol on a cloth or kitchen paper. Rub the sticker with it, after which it should easily come off. 

How to remove sticker residue from plastic

For a moment, it appears removing stickers from plastic is a piece of cake. One would think you just remove the sticker off with your fingers and that is that.

A baby boy plays with stickers

However, it may remain partially intact or leave a residue. Below are various options, ranging from peanut butter to isopropyl alcohol, that would remove the residue: 

1. Use oils to remove the sticker residue

Submerge the plastic for 12 to 24 hours in a bottle of cooking oil. Oils such as canola and vegetable oils will soak into the sticker and weaken the adhesive.
Spread peanut butter on the residue. Many adhesives will be broken down by the oils in the butter. Apply a thin layer of it on the sticker. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before removing it.
Alternatively, apply some mayonnaise to the leftover residue. Allow 15 minutes for it to sit. After that, wipe it clean with a dry cloth.

2. Remove the sticker with chemical solutions

Apply lacquer thinner on the sticker. Because this is a stronger solution, only soak the sticker for 5 to 10 minutes. Scrape up the sticker using a broad, flat item once it has soaked.

3. Use baking soda or table salt

Mix baking soda with warm water or oil. Make a paste using 3 tbsp of baking soda and a small amount of water or oil (about 2 tbsp). Scrub the glue away with the paste and a towel. If it still won’t come off, apply the paste to the glue and wait a few minutes for it to dry.
Additionally, you can use wet cloth and table salt. To solidify the adhesive, sprinkle a small amount of table salt on the sticker. Then, wipe the residue off with the wet cloth until it starts to pull away.

How to remove sticker residue from wood

Wood requires considerably greater caution since, unlike the materials mentioned above, certain products can soak in and dampen the wood. As a result, we will show you the following solvents which should serve as better alternatives.

A woman cleaning a table

  • White vinegar can be used to remove stickers. Soak it in kitchen paper or a cotton ball. Allow 5 minutes for it to dry and then place it over the sticker. Use your fingernail to gently wipe away the sticker.
  • For product labels, use a wet cloth. The majority of product labels on furniture and toys can be removed with a wet cloth.
  • Alternatively, use petroleum jelly or a vaporising rub. It can take up to eight hours for these to penetrate and soften the adhesive.

How to remove sticker residue from clothing

You may believe that the only thing you can do with a shirt or other piece of clothing that has sticker residue on it is to throw it away or use it as a cleaning rag. Luckily, you don’t have to because the residue can easily be removed.

a pile of clothes on white background

Here are some ideas to get you started. Always bear in mind the type of fabric you’re dealing with, be it synthetic or natural fibre:

1. Synthetic fibres

Put synthetics in the freezer for an hour to 90 minutes, then remove as much of the solidified residue as possible. Microfibre cloth with a drop of dish soap and water rubbed on the remaining residue will typically get the job done. Then, do the laundry as usual.

2. Natural fibres

Natural fibres respond well to acetone or nail polish remover. Rub the leftover residue on the article of clothing with a clean towel soaked in nail polish remover. Then, wash and dry as normal.

With these simple DIY sticker removers, you can see that the issue is not hopeless now that you know how to do it with full confidence. Just follow this guide and you’ll get rid of it like an expert. No need for worries and no need to throw out your items anymore!

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