How To Remove Sticker Residue From Almost Anything

How to remove sticker residue

How To Remove Sticker Residue.


We print many stickers and adhesive labels, so we get asked this a lot by our customers. We have found a few ways to tackle those obstinate tiny globules of sticker residue that can get left behind.

The first thing to try is scraping off as much residue as you can with your fingernails or a pliable soft-edged implement like a credit card but if that doesn’t work you might want to try something else.

Natural Methods of Removing Sticky Residue

Masking tape, duct tape or Sellotape can lift the residue in a similar manner to waxing your legs but is remarkably less painful. The sticky layer sticks to the left-over sticky bits and can lift them clean away. This also happens to be the best tip ever for lily pollen which is well known to stain anything it touches; reach for the Sellotape before rubbing at it and you may get away with no stain at all.

If that doesn’t work, you can grab a rubber from your pencil case and erase it like the spelling mistake you made when you were seven in your best handwriting book. This may leave rubber markings so only do this on a surface which you can wash clean afterwards.
Pop your item in the freezer, as long as it can cope with temperatures below zero. This works well with clothing as the residue freezes and can be peeled off fairly easily. We wouldn’t recommend this for delicate objects that may crack in the cold.

If you’d like to try something chemical-free you can open the peanut butter – yes, we said peanut butter. It’s full of natural oils and can help take the remainder of the sticky stuff right off. Using the same line of thought, you could use any type of cooking oil or baby oil, but you won’t need very much. Do be mindful that oil can stain so don’t use this method on any product that could absorb and retain a stain. WD40 is another popular lubricant that is well-known for facing-off against stickers and their pesky glue.

You could try vinegar and warm water soaked up into kitchen roll. Leave this on the residue for a while, pop the kettle on, have a cuppa and come back to wipe it away.

Certain adhesive glues can be tackled using a hairdryer. A gentle warm setting heats and loosens the glue and it glides off.

Chemical Methods for Tackling Sticker Residue

Fill up the sink with some warm soapy water simply using washing up liquid and leave the item to soak for a while and wash it up with a cloth-like doing the dishes. Alternatively, if you can’t submerge the item (walls don’t readily fit into a sink) take a cloth soaked in the soapy water and gently yet firmly rub at the residue to loosen it. A non-scratch scourer might be helpful for this if the item is made of something solid such as glass, wood, or plastic.

Rubbing alcohol or booze from the drinks cabinet or acetone such as nail polish remover are other, harsher alternatives if the sticker residue is particularly stubborn. If you opt for these, soak a napkin or paper towel in them and wrap it around the offending sticker. Please be very careful and be sure to keep your space well ventilated so you don’t inadvertently breathe in any excess fumes. It’s well worth noting that these options can cause staining, damage or discolouration so be really picky about what you’re using them on.

If I remove sticker residue will I leave a stain?

It is possible so, try the more natural ways first and do a test patch if trying the harsher, chemical alternatives.

What’s the best cloth to use for clearing residual sticky stuff?

We like a microfibre cloth or a gentle non-scratch scourer because the last thing we want to do is create a permanent stain or damage to the item we’re cleaning. Window cleaner and a microfibre cloth for mirrored surfaces work a treat.

But I have sticker residue on my clothes, how am I supposed to get that off?

Our best suggestion is the freezer as above to trusty detergent, after all, it’s made to clean clothes gently without causing damage.

Prevention is better than cure so we would recommend buying removable labels so you don’t have to worry about cleaning methods for stubborn stickiness.

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