Guides and Tips

How to Remove Sticker Residue from a Surface: A Simple Guide

December 26, 2022
How to Remove Sticker Residue from a Surface A Simple Guide

Though only a minor thing, sticker residues can take some time and effort to remove completely from an object or surface.

And that’s why we listed cleaning items you can use to remove sticker residues in this simple guide. We will also teach you how to remove sticker residues from your clothing.

What should I do to get rid of sticker residue?

What should I do to get rid of sticker residue

To get rid of sticker residue, follow these steps:

  1. First, peel off the sticker or price tag from the product, fabric, or surface, making sure the sticker comes off in one piece or a few large pieces. Rub the sticker and sticker residue into balls and pluck out all the small pieces.
  1. After that, you’ll need to use a cleaning solution, like warm water and dish soap, and a tool, like a plastic scraper, in order to remove the sticky spot completely. 

But remember, you also have to be careful not to damage the object, fabric, or surface.

Also, it’s wise to first test out the cleaning solution in a discreet area of the object, fabric, or surface to ensure it doesn’t get discolored, stained, or damaged.

What household items remove sticker residue?

What household items remove sticker residue

These household and pantry items can remove sticker residue from a surface:

  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol or vodka
  • Peanut butter
  • Canola or olive oil

Warm water removes sticker residue

Warm water removes sticker residue

Warm water is readily available in any house or workplace and can remove all traces of sticky residue on an object.

This can also be mixed with a few drops of dish soap and applied to the sticker residue for an extra-clean result.

So, to clear sticker remains, apply warm water or a warm-water-and-dish-soap solution to the sticker residue, scrape it with your fingers or a scraper, and rinse the area.

However, be careful when using warm water, as your skin can get burned and some things or fabric can be damaged by it.

White vinegar breaks down sticker residue

White vinegar breaks down sticker residue

White vinegar is another reliable sticker residue cleaner. Its light acid content will break down and thoroughly remove the sticky remains of price tags, labels, or stickers.

To remove the sticker residue with white vinegar, soak a cloth or rag in it, and press it on the sticker residue for a few minutes.

Then, wipe or scrape the rest of the sticker particles, and rinse the area with water to get rid of the pungent smell.

And if there’s still some white vinegar left in the cloth, you can clean and disinfect grimy surfaces and floors with it too.

Does using white vinegar damage surfaces?

Being acidic, white vinegar can damage hardwood and stone floors like granite, marble, slate, and limestone. Using it often will eventually cause these surfaces to stain and corrode.

That said, vinegar will have a weaker acid content if it’s diluted with water. 

Thus, it is recommended to use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water to safely clean sticker residue from appliances and ceramic and glass surfaces.

Rubbing alcohol or vodka gets rid of tough stickers

Rubbing alcohol or vodka gets rid of tough stickers

Acting as a strong but safe solvent, rubbing alcohol or vodka is excellent at removing sticker leftovers on various surfaces like wood, glass, or plastic.

To remove sticker residues using rubbing alcohol or vodka, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol or vodka onto a cloth or paper towel, and wipe the sticker residue until it loosens.

For more stubborn sticker remains, use more alcohol or vodka, lay it on the sticky surface, wait for five to six minutes, and clean off the remaining sticker residue.

Peanut butter takes out sticker residue

Peanut butter takes out sticker residue

With its thick and oily consistency, peanut butter can completely get rid of the sticker residue on different surfaces.

To remove sticker residue using peanut butter, dip a knife into the spread, spread the butter on a clean cloth, and scrape the sticky remnants out with this cloth.

And then, clean up the sticker and peanut butter residue with a wet cloth. But if the object remains greasy, wipe it with a simple dish soap and warm water mixture.

Canola or olive oil eliminates sticker residue

Canola or olive oil eliminates sticker residue

You can use canola or olive oil to take out sticker residue. These oils should lift and clear light-to-heavy sticker remains from a surface.

To use cooking oil to clear sticker residue, pour a bit onto a dry cloth, and use the cloth to scrape or rub the sticker particles until all of them are removed.

After that, just wipe the area to remove the leftover oil. Or you can also use dish soap before rinsing it so the surface is totally free of oil. 

What tools remove sticker residue?

Use these tools to remove sticker residue:

  • Plastic scraper
  • Paint scraper
  • Razor scraper
  • Rubber eraser

Plastic scraper gets rid of sticker remains neatly

Plastic scraper gets rid of sticker remains neatly

Instead of using your fingernails or fingers to take out sticker residue, a plastic scraper can make the work easier.

A plastic scraper is light, small, and reusable, plus it keeps a person’s nails from hurting and becoming dirty. Its straight edge allows it to remove sticker residue neatly.

There are different sizes and colors of plastic scrapers on the market. But there’s no need to shell out money for the biggest one, as small or medium sizes will often work just fine.

Paint scrapers remove large sticker residue

Paint scrapers remove large sticker residue

Paint scrapers can be very useful for tearing up small or large stickers and their residues on different kinds of surfaces.

They are usually made of metal fashioned to resemble a spatula and knife at once and designed with various shaped edges for ease of use.

Razor scraper cuts through sticky residue

Razor scraper cuts through sticky residue

Razor scrapers are equipped with an ultra-fine and sharp blade that can slice out the most stubborn sticky residue.

What’s more, the blade of the razor scraper bends easily to remove sticker labels from flat and even curved surfaces, like cans, bottles, and jars.

Rubber eraser rubs away sticker residue

Rubber eraser rubs away sticker residue

One simple trick to easily make all sticker residue fade is to use a rubber eraser or magic eraser like one from Mr. Clean.

It just needs to be rubbed repeatedly on the sticker remains.

Take note, though, rubber erasers work mostly on plastic surfaces. It’s not advisable to use it on glass surfaces, as they may leave scratches and marks in their tracks.

Hairdryer weakens adhesive remains

Hairdryer weakens adhesive remains

The hairdryer is a powerful household tool that can remove all sorts of sticker residue. This device blows a rapid current of hot air onto the residue, which will weaken the adhesive from stickers.

The sticker removal process is also straightforward with it. The hairdryer simply needs to be turned on and pointed directly at the sticker residue. 

After that, clean up the remaining sticker particles with your fingers or a cloth.

What commercial items remove sticker residue?

These commercial items can be used to remove sticker residue from different clothing and surfaces:

  • Adhesive removers
  • WD-40 lubricant spray

Commercial Adhesive Cleaners 

Commercial Adhesive Cleaners

There are many specially formulated adhesive removers sold in hardware stores or online. 

These products are designed to quickly weaken and dissolve the sticker residue. It can be in liquid or wipe form.

A few examples of them are Elmer’s Sticky Out Adhesive Remover, Goo Gone Safe Adhesive Remover, and Uni Solve Adhesive Remover Wipes.

When using them, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions so that the fabric or surface won’t be damaged or discolored.

But most of them are very simple to use. If it’s in liquid form, you just need to apply a bit of the remover on the sticker residue, leave it for a few minutes, and rub or scrape the rest of the debris.

What’s the disadvantage of commercial adhesive cleaners?

Commercial adhesive cleaners may use harsh chemicals that can ruin a surface, object, or textile, especially if too much of them are used or if the supplier’s directions aren’t followed.

Given this, it’s still advisable to choose natural cleaners to remove sticker residue, such as dish soap and warm water or peanut butter.

WD-40 spray dissolves stubborn sticker residue

WD-40 spray dissolves stubborn sticker residue

WD-40 is a handy multipurpose spray that can lubricate bearings in machinery and cars, and prevent metal from corroding or rusting, among other things.

One of the things it can do is dissolve sticker residue. The surfaces it can be used on are plastic, metal, glass, and more.

And to use WD-40 on the adhesive, spray the lubricant onto the residue, leave it for a few minutes, and wipe down the particles with a rag or cloth.

Does WD-40 corrode the surface or fabric?

Luckily, WD-40 multipurpose spray will not damage the surface it is used on. However, it can cause stains on clothing because one of its chief ingredients is petroleum oil.

How do I remove sticker residue from clothing?

How do I remove sticker residue from clothing

Follow these steps to safely remove sticker residue from your clothing:

How to Remove Sticker Residue from Natural Fiber Clothes

  1. Take out the sticker.
  2. Scrape the sticker remains with your fingers.
  3. Apply acetone or a nail polish remover on the mark.
  4. Wash and dry the clothing.

How to Remove Sticker Residue from Synthetic Clothes

  1. Take out the sticker.
  2. Scrape the sticker remains with your fingers.
  3. Place the cloth in the freezer for about an hour.
  4. Remove all the adhesive bits.
  5. Apply a dish soap solution on the sticker residue.
  6. Wash and dry the clothing.

How to Remove Sticker Residue from Natural Fiber Clothes

Follow these steps to remove sticker residue from clothes made of natural fiber like cotton, wool, and silk.

1) Take out the sticker

Take out the sticker

The sooner you’re able to remove the sticker from the clothing, the better. 

If you have been at a special event and worn the sticker all day, remove it as soon as the event is done. This should make clearing the cloth of sticker residue much easier.

2) Scrape the sticker remains with your fingers

Scrape the sticker remains with your fingers

Follow it up by finger-scraping the sticker remains on the cloth.

Using a plastic scraper or the edge of a hard material like an ID to swipe the adhesive will unlikely work since fabrics are soft. 

Also, if these items are used on leather or other delicate fabrics, the fabric can be scuffed or damaged.

3) Apply acetone or a nail polish remover on the mark

Apply acetone or a nail polish remover on the mark

Next, rub a cloth with acetone or a nail polish remover on the sticker mark. The residue should become light and loose.

And then, wipe all of the remaining adhesive off your clothing with the aforementioned wet cloth.

4) Wash and dry the clothing

Wash and dry the clothing

Wash and dry your cloth like usual.

How to Remove Sticker Residue from Clothes Made of Synthetic Fiber

Follow these steps to remove sticker residue from clothes made of natural fiber like nylon, polyester, and rayon.

1) Take out the sticker

Take out the sticker

Take off the sticker on your clothes as soon as you can. This should make ridding all sticker residue later on effortless.

2) Scrape the sticker remains with your fingers

Scrape the sticker remains with your fingers

There may be sticker bits, marks, or fuzz that remain. If so, rub or scrape them with your fingers.

We don’t recommend using a plastic scraper or other hard items since you might accidentally damage or cut a hole through the fabric with it.

3) Place the cloth in the freezer for about an hour

Place the cloth in the freezer for about an hour

Unlike adhesive on natural fibers, sticker residue on synthetic clothes can’t easily be removed, especially if they are glued on tightly.

That’s why synthetic fabrics must be treated in a different way.  They must be placed inside a freezer for 45 to 90 minutes so that the sticker residue will have a weaker hold on the fabric. 

4) Remove all the adhesive bits

Remove all the adhesive bits

The small sticky leftovers should be frozen by then in the freezer. So just work to remove them all or as much as you can from your clothing with your hand.

5) Apply a dish soap solution on the sticker residue

Apply a dish soap solution on the sticker residue

Dampen the sticky area with water and apply a few drops of dish soap before rubbing it with a clean microfiber cloth.

6) Wash and dry the clothing

Wash and dry the clothing

And then, throw the synthetic clothing in the washer and run it on a normal rinse cycle. Remember to follow the care label behind the clothing so it doesn’t get damaged.

Finally, move the newly rinsed clothing to the dryer, set it to a temperature under 150℉ for safe and gentle drying, and press on. 

Alternatively, you can just hang the cloth on a clothesline to dry in the sun.

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