Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How To Remove Sticker Goo!

Trying to get sticky stickers off of bottles and jars (and whatever else) is probably one of my TOP TEN pet peeves! Which is saying a LOT…because I have a LOT of pet peeves! (pumping gas, wearing a bra, carrying a purse….all come to mind! lol) But this is a SERIOUS one! I can’t tell you how much time and how many different methods, substances, etc. I have tried in my search for the holy grail of sticker goo removers.

Recently I came across this list on TipNut: 30 Helpful Items To Remove Sticky Adhesive Goo. As I perused the list…I counted at least 7 I had already tried…including…Vinegar, Rubbing Alcohol, Windex, Baking Soda & Water Paste, Vegetable Oil / Olive Oil, and Tea Tree Oil.

I was immediately taken with this list…and ready to try every single idea (that I hadn’t already tried) on it! But, as I usually do, I had to read all 239 comments before I proceeded.  I’ve always maintained the best advice/info can be found in the COMMENTS on a particular post subject…on ANY blog…including mine! :-)

Well, one comment led to another, to another and what I kept reading over and over and over was PEANUT BUTTER! Peanut butter????? How can THAT be right???

Well, I was willing to put it to the test after reading so many glowing endorsements!

I started out with this pickle jar I had recently run through the dishwasher, hoping to get the majority of the sticker off that way.

As you can see, there was still a good amount of “goo” left. So I slathered that baby up and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Sure enough, the “goo” came right off with the peanut butter with minimal effort!

Impressive! Very impressive!  BUT….I had a “REAL” test in mind. If the peanut butter could pass THIS TEST….it was going to be for now and forever my one and only goo remover!

When I make my homemade laundry detergent…I like to put it in these Minute Maid containers. It’s really the only reason I buy this expensive juice every once in awhile. :-)  But the STICKERS they put on those things are a NIGHTMARE to try and get off! Actually the label itself comes off fairly easily if  you peel slowly and carefully…but the GLUE underneath is tough stuff to get off!!!  I honestly didn’t think the peanut butter could cut it.

I was wrong. I did the same slathering technique and waited 10 to 15 minutes and started scraping at the peanut butter/goo mess with my fingernails.  First peek….looks very promising!

Kept going, using my fingernails (didn’t have to scrape very hard) and then when I had most of the peanut butter/goo mixture off…I used some dishwashing liquid and a scrubby sponge to get the rest off and cut through the oily stuff.

Mission accomplished!

Since it IS plastic…it’s not CRYSTAL clear like the glass pickle jar was…but any cloudiness that was left behind was etched onto the plastic…there wasn’t a speck of GOO left on it!  It was clean and smooth as could be!

Bottom Line: hands down, #1 choice for getting sticker goo off of just about anything….Peanut Butter.  The best part about using peanut butter as a goo remover?  You can lick your fingers as you’re working…..and you get to make sandwiches with the leftovers. :-)

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94 thoughts on “How To Remove Sticker Goo!

  1. Heather A

    hrmmm. wow, never heard of or tried this before! Cant wait to test it out on my old coffee cans in the morning!!!thank u for sharing! i love your site! its my go-to site for cleaning recipes!!!

  2. Sandy B

    Wonderful! (Now what do you use those expensive orange juice containers for?)

    PS – Could you find a way to get the labels off the wine bottles intact? I like to keep a journal of which wines I like, and as I’m a visual person, the labels work much better for me than the written name. And wine labels are stuck on there really really well and glued everywhere; they come off in pieces, if I’m lucky, or just shred, if I’m not. Thank you.

    1. Brenda

      My husband saves the labels from different craft beers he drinks. The best method I’ve seen him use is filling the empty bottle with hot water and letting it sit for a while. The heat from the water should help the glue break down making it easier to peel off the label.

  3. Kelsey

    Hmm, I’ve been looking for a solution to remove old stickers from wooden furniture. I don’t think peanut butter would work very well on wood, but if it would (hah) let me know!

  4. Anabell

    The reason behind this new-found Super Power must be the same reason why peanut butter is the Go To for getting gum out of hair.
    Incredibly useful tip! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Regina

    Spray ‘n Wash in the aerosol can will take goo off like magic. But it HAS to be Spray ‘n Wash in the aerosol can – the product in the pump bottle must be a different formula because it will not work at taking off goo. For years I always bought the aerosol can of Spray ‘n Wash to use on stains, just assuming that the unpleasant oder was something I had to live with. One day my daughter-in-law was at my house while I was doing laundry and told me her pump bottle of Spray ‘n Wash had a pleasant smell. Now I always purchase the pump bottle – maybe they don’t even make the aerosol can of it anymore. But I sure did miss having something to take off goo – until now. I will definitely be trying the peanut butter!

  6. Angel Bell

    Another “goo” remover that I love is WD40. That’s right. It removes the funk off of all my jars and it’s something that I always have around the house.

    1. JKPP

      Absolutely agree…I just recently discovered this too. I first try 91% alcohol and if that doesn’t work I go to the WD-40. I haven’t been able to figure out the difference in the plastics and which works for which type of plastic, but glass and WD-40 work good together. Then use some alcohol on a microfiber towel to remove the oilyness left behind from the WD-40.

  7. Mary

    I wonder if it is something about the peanuts or if it is nut butter in general. I’m allergic to peanuts, so I can’t use peanut butter, but I wonder how well soynut butter works. Has anyone tried that?

    1. Alison C

      I was wondering the same thing. My oldest son and I are both allergic so it isn’t allowed in the house. We use soy butter instead so I wonder. I guess I’ll have to try it and see!

  8. Yvonne

    I keep the Pam spray or any type oil such as cooking oil, baby oil etc. handy and it does wonders for removing sticky labels. Oops, a multi-purpose remover, a water based formula is excellent for label removal. Be sure to test before using on certain plastics.

  9. Dimple

    Interesting. I always use something oily (have you tried cheap hand lotion?) to remove sticky goo, but have never tried PNB. Maybe next time!
    On a side note, I have heard of dishwashers becoming fouled with the paper and glue from labels, so I advise caution with that technique.

  10. Stephanie

    Mary you should try vegetable oil or olive oil. Any oil works, but these aren’t toxic and I always have them around. I think probably the reason peanut butter works so well is because of the oil in it. The oil gets underneath the sticky glue and doesn’t let it adhere to the surface and longer. I’ve also used this for sap and tar on my car. Works great and doesn’t damage the surface.

  11. Debbie

    Years ago I was babysitting a girl with really long hair – a boy put gum in her hair (about ear level). I had heard about peanut butter getting gum out of hair, so I tried it and it worked! It took a long time, because I was dealing with long hair, but I got all the gum out and left her to wash the oil out. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Jenny

    I can’t tell you how happy I was to find this! I made a pepper jelly that I’d been dying to post to my blog, but I didn’t have any jars without labels on them and was dreading peeling the labels off my existing ones. I tried your tip and it worked like a charm! Thanks a bunch.

  13. Jason

    I have also used lighter fluid. It works great if you soak the sticker in it and wait 1-2 min. then wipe off, you may have to squirt a little more on it as you wipe. It works the easiest for me if I plan on doing these steps twice like you did w/ the PB. 1st time to get the paper off, 2nd to get the glue off but I wouldn’t put it on my sandwich.

  14. Magpie

    And you still want to eat peanut butter? Aren’t you at least a bit concerned that you eat something that removes glue?? What could that possibly do to your body?

    1. jrachelle

      Oh so agree with Magpie. No doubt that the PB works but when you offered up the suggestion to eat the PB I cringed. Please tell your readers not to eat the stuff!

  15. Laura

    ^^^ I would rather be delighted that something that removes glue and is made from healthy fats could go into my body and remove some of the junk put there. Just used it on my wooden desk for some of those foam stickers that my 3 year old decided to decorate with. Unfortunately, it did not work. On to something else!!

  16. Sheila

    And this is why mom’s for decades have used peanut butter to remove gum from little children’s hair. LOL! Personally, I like to use my peanut butter for food. So my go-to gum/adhesive remover is Avon Skin-So-Soft oil. Yep. Worked for a church whose tape ministry leader used Skin-So-Soft to remove the old labels and recycle the tapes. Also, Skin-So-Soft is a great stand-by for mosquito deterrent. :-) Probably not the best for you because it’s mainly chemicals. But it works. For both. More options! :-)

  17. Megan Kline

    I have found that a shot of WD-40 works wonders on sticky things. I just used it on a bookcase that my son had covered in pokemon stickers 4 years ago. I sprayed the stickers with WD-40 and left it for 30 minutes. I came back with a razor blade and they came off like butter. You could also use a putty knife or even rub them off with a paper towel. Happy Cleaning!

  18. lizlacy

    Okay, so I was an unbeliever. I thought for sure it wasn’t true, I tried it just now and whalah. It worked I now have a jar that has no sticky stuff on it and I am going to fix it up to use to put a gift in. Thanks.

  19. rere

    just happened upon your blog jillee and am enjoying it very much. i use to get so impatient and frustrated removing the labels from glass jars too. i saw the tip you have here with the peanut butter and i did use it a few times. but i found something that is absoutely THE BEST. it is a product called Goo Remover. it has a citrus scent and it removes the glue from the jar SO QUICKLY. i use alot of jars and all different sizes for the pickles i make. when the jar is empty i put it (label and all) in the dishwasher, and when the load is finished, most of the label is off. the remaining paper and glue are so easily removed by putting alittle of this product on a paper towel and rubbing it off. i LOVE it! the company that makes it is The Valspar Corporation, located in Wheeling, Illinois. hope this helps someone!

  20. Sheree

    I made your amazing No-Grate Laundry Detergent and used the very same OJ bottle you have pictured. I had them in the recycling pile, and pulled them out to try your recipe. They had sit a lil longer than I’d like, so I put hot tap water in each of the three bottles and a tsp baking soda, put the cap on a shook. I let them sit in the sink while I got all my ingredients together to make the detergent. Then I lifted the edge of the label with my finder nail or the tip of a butter knife will do. It was easy to pull all the way off in one steady pull (because the hot water loosened the glue) I was left with a bit of a sticky residue. finished removing labels from both sides of each of the three bottles and then took a piece of a paper towel and put a dollop (technical term!) of coconut oil on and rubbed in a circular motion. The warm bottle melted the oil removing the residue faster. While the bottles , still full and in the sink, I took my dish sponge and drop of soap and wiped each bottle to remove the oil and rinsed… Voila~I poured the hot baking soda water down each of the drains but could have also used for other purposes before making my detergent.
    I made my first bottles of your No-grate detergent on Mother’s Day with my two teen daughters. At first they thought I was being weird, but after washing with it and realizing the cost difference they both said “YOU”RE SO SMART”

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  22. Kristina

    Peanut butter is also the absolute best thing for getting gum out of hair! You just work it into the gum really well then comb the gum and peanut butter out with a fine toothed comb. You will need to shampoo a couple times but it is far better than an unexpected haircut.

  23. Becka

    Hey Jillee, I have to say you have saved my life! Ok, maybe not my life, but definitely my dryer! You might be curious about how you, and this trick could save my dryer, but let me explain…. my fiance accidentally washed and dried a pack of gum. Went find through the washer, but stuck allllll over my dryer! I was absolutely lost… I didn’t know what to do…. then I remembered this post, and (saving it for sticker goo) I brought it out… and covered my dryer with peanut butter. I wiped it all out… used lots of paper towel… and easily scraped every bit of gum out of my dryer. I never would have been able to clean it out with out this trick. Thank you so much!

  24. Sarah @ Nature's Nurture

    I can’t believe this actually worked! I saw this when you originally posted it and filed it in the back of my mind for future reference. Well, today I made almond butter and stored it in a glass jar, but because I was taking pictures of it for my blog, I desperately needed to remove that stubborn sticker goo. After trying a couple of things, I quickly remembered this post and tried it out. I tested a small area first so that I wouldn’t waste a whole bunch of peanut butter, and you’re right, you can just scrape it right off! So amazing, thanks for sharing this awesome find!

    1. Jillee Post author

      I was the same way the first time I used it Sarah! I couldn’t believe it. As a matter of fact, sometimes I STILL think…this isn’t going to work on THIS sticker…and it DOES! lol. Funny.
      You are very welcome! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  25. F L OKelley

    I have been using peanut butter for years to remove adhesive stickers. Other oil-based products work (Goo gone, WD-40, etc), but the peanut butter stays in the same place where you put it without it running all over the place. I usually let sit for 1/2 to overnight depending on the urgency to remove adhesive. I can literally use a paper towel to wipe off peanut butter AND adhesive all at once.

    That said, I have a list of items to purchase so that I can make my own cleaning and laundry supplies. Thanks for all the handy tips and “recipes.”

  26. Danielle

    What about getting sticker goo off of clothes? Would peanut butter work for that too? My daughter was so sad to see that one of her favorite shirts got washed with the sticker still on.

    1. Cristine

      I was wondering the same thing! I don’t think I want to put peanut butter on my son’s shirt, worried about ending up with an oil stain (easy enough to get out with Dawn).. but still…


  28. Mya

    Tried this yesterday on a jar with the sticky, sticker residue. I slathered with PB and let it sit for almost an hour. The sticky goo still remains. :(


    Don’t waste your peanut butter, use WD40. After getting the most of the label off I hold over sink spray on rub in with my hand if still some goo spay again, after it’s dissolves and goo is gone put straight dish liquid on rub with hand and add water wash and should come out great. the main ing in WD40 is fish oil won’t hurt anything.

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  31. alison

    sweet orange essential oil works great.. it is the main ingredient in the orange cleaners for that reason!
    a small bottle is pretty inexpensive and it only takes a few drops!

  32. Samantha

    I was just in my kitchen staring a yogurt jar that sticker has been plaguing me for weeks. I just didn’t have the time or energy to scrape it off so I was just waiting for it to come off while washing. I pulled it out of the rack today and it was sticky and unpleasant to hold. Then I suddenly thought of your post! I ran to my computer and looked it up. 10 mins later I have a clean jar and a tasty smoothie in it! (most blender blade bottoms fit on the top of mason jars so you can make your smoothie in the jar, take off the blade and go! no extra cleaning!) Thank you for this!

  33. Pingback: My Top Ten Repurposed Household Containers | One Good Thing by Jillee

  34. theresa

    darn & irony! i’ve been using (successfully) my precious eucalyptus oil to get label glue off jars… including jars of peanut butter! duh. :-O

    any home remedies for jillee blog addiction?

  35. brandi

    I had some super sticky black electrical tape that was smeared and I could not get it off! I was about to go get some goo gone as I lost my bottle. Then I found this post and wow it was like magic!! Thank tyouthank you!!

  36. Marti

    I have used peanut butter for years as a “goo” remover. The goo was actually bubble gum in my daughters very long, very thick hair. Just rub a little bit of peanut butter into the gum/hair and instantly the gum starts to seperate from the hair strands. Just shampoo as normal to get oily residue out of the hair. Amazing stuff!


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