Stickers can be surprisingly difficult to remove, a lesson most of us have already learned the hard way! Certain types of stickers and labels appear to fuse with the surface of the objects they are stuck on, and it can be frustrating to try to remove these cumbersome stickers and the sticky residue they leave behind.
But on the bright side, stubbornness of sticker remnants are no match for my special show badge! 😉 So it should come as no surprise that I have tried dozens of different methods of removing stickers and stickers over the last many years in search of the most effective options.
As it turns out, there are several effective ways to get rid of adhesive residue, and I’ll share them with you in today’s post! I decided to include a few options because some methods work better on certain types of stickers (and because having multiple options makes it easier to use the supplies you already have available!)
So without further ado, here are 11 ways to remove stickers and stubborn leftovers from everything! 🙂
Related: This is the one cheap DIY you need in a sticky situation
How to remove adhesive residue: 11 effective methods
To remove stubborn sticker residue on glass or plastic objects, soak the glass or plastic in a solution of warm water and washing powder for 30 minutes. The sticker and sticky residue slip straight out.
Alternatively, covering the residue with a generous application of a fat like peanut butter or mayonnaise for an hour or so can allow you to wipe off the sticky residue right away.
For much more detail on how to remove adhesive label adhesive using items you already have on hand, read on!
1. Washing soda
You can use soda to remove labels from bottles as well as almost any type of sticker from an item that you can safely immerse in water. Fill your sink with warm water, add approx. 1/2 cup wash soda and stir, then soak the item in the warm soapy water for 30 minutes. The sticker or label must slide straight out!
Related: The easiest way to remove labels from jars
2. Peanut butter
The fat content of peanut butter is surprisingly effective for dissolving stickers. Just smear a thick layer of it on the sticker you want to remove and let it sit for an hour.
After waiting, be able to wipe off the adhesive residue lightly with a damp cloth.
Related: 23 unexpected things you can do with your hair dryer
3. Hair dryer
Heat from a hair dryer is one of the easiest and cleanest ways to remove stickers, and it is especially useful for removing old bumper stickers from cars. Turn on your hair dryer, hold it close to the sticker you want to remove, and hold it there for approx. 30 seconds.
The sticker should peel off easily, but if it still gives you trouble, an additional 30 seconds of heat should do so.
4. Pencil eraser
If you have removed the paper part of a sticker but can not get the adhesive residue off, take a pencil rubber! The rubber grips and pulls the adhesive away from the surface and allows you to more easily scrape it off.
You can use several different alcohol-based products to dissolve adhesive glue, such as rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover or even vodka. Soak a paper towel in your choice of alcohol-based product, then wrap the damp towel around the sticker you want to remove. Let it sit for 30 minutes or so, then wipe off the sticker and adhesive.
6. Baking powder and coconut oil
Using a combination of baking soda and coconut oil (or olive oil, vegetable oil, or any oil you happen to have available) can pack a powerful blow against stubborn stickers. Coconut oil saturates and loosens the paper and adhesive, while baking powder helps scrub the clutter away.
Mix enough coconut oil and baking powder to create a paste, then spread the pasta over the sticker. Let it sit for an hour, then scrub with a sponge or brush.
Fats and oils in mayo make it a surprisingly useful tool for removing stickers! Just spread a thick layer of mayo on the sticker, let it sit for half an hour or so, then wipe the sticker and adhesive off the surface.
Related: 17 Surprisingly clever uses for mayonnaise
8. Razor blade
You can remove stickers manually using one razor scraper or a X-ACTO knife. Start by holding the blade at an angle and gently push it under the edge of the label. Use the raised edge to peel the sticker away from the surface, work in sections if necessary, repeat until the entire sticker is gone.
This method may be particularly useful for removing stickers on glass, but it may not be the best choice for other surfaces (especially painted ones). Using a plastic razor blade instead of a metal can reduce the risk of scratching a surface.
The WD-40 has gotten me out of some sticky situations in my life, so it’s not a big surprise to me that it can also help remove stubborn stickers. Spray the lubricant on the sticker or price tag you want to remove, let it penetrate for a while and the sticker should come off.
Related: 12 ways that the WD-40 is the ultimate problem solver
10. White vinegar
Soak a washcloth in white vinegar, then wrap the cloth around the area where the sticker is. Let it soak for half an hour or so and the sticker dries easily.
Related: 50 great uses for vinegar you want to know
11. Lemon essential oil
The degreasing properties of citrus oils are really useful for tackling sticky residues. Apply a drop or two essential lemon oil directly to the area, let it sit for approx. 10 minutes, then wipe off the sticker and adhesive. (Just avoid using lemon oil on plastic as it can damage the surface.)
Related: 20 of the best things you can do with essential lemon oil
Bonus options: Store-bought Gunk Removers
- In some rare cases, such as if a sticker is very old or has been exposed to the sun, you may need something a little more powerful to remove any residue.
- Here are some purchased products that I have found useful, and these may be just the things you need to tackle the extra hard stickers:
- Goo away original liquid – Perfect for tackling almost any type of sticky, waxy or greasy root, and it is safe to use on most surfaces.
- Goo Gone Automotive – Perfect for removing stubborn bumper stickers, wood sap, bug splatters and other clutter.
Do you have a go-to method or product that you use to get rid of stickers or adhesive?