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The Best Ways To Remove Sticky Residue From Every Surface

Use a razor blade to remove a window sticker; Use essential oil to remove price stickers from ceramic dishes; Use a hair dryer to remove a label from the back of a picture frame.

How To Remove Stickers With Common Household Items

The question of how to remove stickers is a common one, because certain adhesives and labels can really put up a fight! Luckily, the only thing more stubborn than sticky residue is yours truly, and I’ve tested dozens of different theories on how to remove sticky labels from various surfaces over the years. 

As it turns out, there are several effective ways to get rid of sticker residue, and I’ll be sharing 11 of them with you in this post! (Why so many? First, because some methods work better on certain types of surfaces, and second, because the more options you have, the more likely it is that you won’t have to go out and buy something you don’t already have on hand.)

Related: This Is The One Cheap DIY You Need In A Sticky Situation

To remove sticky labels from glass, plastic, or metal, soak the item in a sink full of warm water and 1/2 cup of washing soda for 30 minutes — the label and sticky residue will slide right off!

To remove sticker residue, tape residue, and other types of adhesive, spread a generous amount of oil, peanut butter, or mayonnaise on the residue and leave it for one hour, after which the residue will wipe off easily.

For more options and further detail on how to remove sticky labels, read on!

How To Remove Sticker Residue And Sticky Labels: 12 Easy Methods

Remove labels easily by putting bottles into a sink full of water and washing soda and let them soak.
The first time I tried this I was amazed at how the sticker just floated away!

1. Remove Stickers And Labels With Washing Soda

Not only can you use washing soda to remove sticky labels from glass bottles, but it’s also a handy way to remove sticky residue from just about anything you can submerge in water. Fill your sink with warm water, add around 1/2 cup of washing soda and stir, then soak the item for 30 minutes. The sticker or label should slide right off!

Related: The Easiest Way To Remove Labels From Jars

Peel the label off a glass jar, leaving white paper and glue behind, then smear peanut butter on the paper and glue on the jar and let it penetrate, then wipe it away.
Tasty and effective way to remove even the most stubborn stickers.

2. Remove Sticker Residue With Peanut Butter

The oil content in peanut butter makes it surprisingly effective at dissolving adhesives. Just smear a thick layer of peanut butter across the sticker you want to remove, then let it sit for an hour or so. After that, you should be able to remove sticker residue easily with a damp cloth.

Related: These Easy Peanut Butter Bars Are Good For The Soul

Use a blow dryer to remove a sticker from the back of a picture frame.
Sometimes adding a little heat is all it takes to remove adhesive.

3. Remove Stickers With A Hair Dryer

Wondering how to get sticky residue off plastic? Heat from a hair dryer will usually make short work of it, and it can also prove useful for removing old bumper stickers from cars. Turn your hair dryer on, hold it close to the sticker you want to remove, and hold it there for about 30 seconds.

The sticker should peel away easily, but if it’s still giving you trouble, another 30 seconds of heat should do it.

Related: 23 Unexpected Things You Can Do With Your Hair Dryer

Use an eraser to get sticker residue off a glass jar.
The sticker residue under the label hardly stands a chance against a rubber eraser!

4. Remove Sticky Residue With A Pencil Eraser

If you’ve removed the paper part of a sticker but are struggling with the remaining sticky residue, grab a pencil eraser! The rubber will grip and drag the adhesive away from the surface so you can scrape it off more easily.

Related: 9 Unexpected Problems You Can Solve With A Pencil Eraser

Use alcohol to get a sticker off the bottom of a ceramic dish
Allow time to do the work for you by soaking the sticker with alcohol before wiping off.

5. Get Rid Of Price Tags With Rubbing Alcohol

You can use several different alcohol-based products to remove sticker adhesive, like rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, or even vodka. Soak a paper towel in your alcohol-based product of choice, then wrap the damp towel around the sticker you want to remove. Let it sit for 30 minutes or so, then wipe the sticker and adhesive away.

Related: 9 More Of The Most Useful Things You Can Do With Rubbing Alcohol

Use a baking soda and coconut oil paste to get even stubborn stickers off.
A powerful combo against stubborn sticker residue! I have removed many old stickers from my kids’ bedroom doors with this!

6. Use Baking Soda And Coconut Oil For Stubborn Sticker Removal

Baking soda and coconut oil (or olive oil, vegetable oil, or any oil you happen to have on hand) can pack a powerful punch against stubborn stickers. Oil saturates and loosens the paper and adhesive, while the baking soda helps scrub the mess away.

Mix enough coconut oil and baking soda to create a paste, then smear the paste across the sticker. Let it sit for an hour, then scrub with a sponge or brush.

YouTube video
You can use mayonnaise to get a label off a plastic jar.
Another pantry staple for easily removing stickers!

7. Use Mayonnaise To Remove Stickers And Adhesive

Mayo is yet another oily substance that’s surprisingly useful for removing stickers! Just spread a thick layer of mayo onto a sticker, let it sit for half an hour or so, then wipe the sticker and adhesive away from the surface.

Related: 17 Surprisingly Clever Uses For Mayonnaise

Use a razor blade to remove a sticker from a car window.
Razor blades are a great tool for removing window stickers.

8. Use A Razor Blade To Remove Stickers From Glass

You can remove stickers from glass manually with the help of a razor scraper or an X-ACTO knife. Start by holding the blade at an angle and gently pushing it under the edge of the sticker. Use the lifted edge to peel the sticker away from the surface, working in sections if necessary, repeating until the whole sticker is gone.

This method is 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 one can cut down on the risk of scratching up a surface.

Spray WD40 on label residue and let it sit, then wipe it off.
What CAN’T this amazing stuff do?!

9. Use WD-40 For Sticker Removal

WD-40 has gotten me out of plenty of sticky situations, literally and figuratively, so it’s not a surprise to me that it can also remove stubborn stickers. Spray the lubricant onto the sticker, price tag, or sticky label you want to remove, then let it soak in for a while to get sticky residue off.

Related: 12 Ways That WD-40 Is The Ultimate Problem Solver

To remove a label from a bottle, wrap a cloth soaked in vinegar around the bottle and let it sit.

10. Use A White Vinegar Soak To Remove Labels

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 should wipe off easily. White vinegar also works well to remove sticker residue from clothing and fabrics.

Related: 50 Amazing Uses For Vinegar You’ll Want To Know

Shaking a few drops of essential oil on a price sticker will help you get the sticker off. Just give it time to work.
Remove stubborn stickers, freshen your home, and boost your mood all at the same time!

11. Use Lemon Essential Oil To Remove Adhesive And Tape Residue

The grease-cutting abilities of citrus oils are really handy for tackling sticky residue. Apply a drop or two of lemon essential oil directly to the area, let it sit for 10 minutes or so, then wipe the sticker and adhesive away. (Just avoid using lemon oil on plastic, as it can cause damage to the surface.)

Related: 20 Of The Best Things You Can Do With Lemon Essential Oil

12. Use Your Freezer To Remove Stickers From Clothes And Fabric

To remove stickers from clothing and fabrics, put the item in the freezer for a couple of hours, then take it out and immediately pick off as much of the hardened bits of sticker as you can. Moisten the spot with water, add a drop or so of mild dish soap, and rub off the rest of the sticker residue with a microfiber cloth. Then launder as usual.

What About Store-Bought Gunk Removers?

  • In certain rare cases, like if a sticker is very old or has been exposed to the sun, you may need something a bit more powerful to remove all the residue.
  • Here are some store-bought products I’ve found useful, and that may be just the thing to handle those extra tough stickers:
  • Goo Gone Original Liquid – Great for tackling almost any type of sticky, waxy, or oily mess, and safe to use on most surfaces.
  • Goo Gone Automotive – Great for removing stubborn bumper stickers, tree sap, bug splatters, and other messes without damaging your car’s paint job.

Do you have a preferred method for getting rid of stickers or adhesive?

How To Remove Stickers From Everything

How To Remove Stickers And Sticky Residue From Anything

Jill Nystul
Even the most stubborn labels, stickers, and adhesive residue are no match for these 12 sticker removal tips!
5 from 5 votes
Total Time 20 minutes

Equipment

  • Sink
  • Hair Dryer
  • Pencil eraser
  • Razor blade
  • Clean cloths
  • Freezer

Ingredients
  

  • Washing soda
  • Peanut butter
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Coconut oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • WD-40
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon essential oil
  • Dish soap

Instructions
 

  • If you can submerge the article in water, use a sink with warm water and 1/2 cup of washing soda. Soak for 30 minutes and the label or sticker should slide off.
  • Remove label residue by smearing peanut butter on it. Let sit for an hour and wipe off with a damp cloth.
  • Use a hair dryer to get sticky residue and labels off plastic and glass, car bumpers, etc. Just hold the heat on it for about 30 seconds and try peeling it off. It may need additional heating time.
  • Get sticky residue from a partially removed sticker off with a pencil eraser.
  • Use rubbing alcohol to remove the sticker residue from ceramic dishes and mugs.
  • Make a paste with baking soda and coconut oil and smear it on the sticker. Let sit for an hour then rub with a sponge or brush.
    YouTube video
  • A thick layer of mayonnaise left on a sticker for an hour or so will let you wipe the sticker away.
  • Use a razor blade at an angle to remove a sticker from glass. Work slowly and peel as you go.
  • Spray WD-40 on a sticker, let it soak for a while, then wipe it away.
  • To remove labels from bottles, soak a cloth in white vinegar and wrap the wet cloth around the bottle. After half an hour or so the label should come off easily.
  • For those annoying price sticker residues, use a couple of drops of lemon essential oil. Let it sit for ten minutes or so and wipe it away. (Lemon oil can damage the surface of plastic, so use this on glass or ceramics)
  • Your freezer can help remove stickers from fabric and clothing. Freeze for a couple of hours, pick off as much as possible, then rub off the rest with a microfiber cloth moistened with water and a drop or two of dish soap. Launder as directed.

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

MORE IDEAS FROM

Bright Ideas

  • I’ve used hand sanitizer to remove the sticker residue. I actually discovered that when I was working in retail. Little kids or my goofball teenage co-workers would put the stickers on the bagging area when it was slow. It helps to loosen the stickers they are easier to remove.

  • My husband used packing tape to keep the drawers of a wooden chest from coming out while moving.
    I’ve tried Goo Gone and oil, but it still won’t come off.
    Anyone have any ideas on what will work without ruining the finish?

  • This was so timely — would you believe I just took a sticker off a soap bottle this morning, leaving residue, and then your email arrived? Now I will have fun deciding which method to try. I think I might go with coconut oil and baking soda.

    On a somewhat related matter, I recently pulled up a bathroom rug and (very embarrassingly) there is glue residue on the flooring. Not so much sticky, more like cement. Anyone have thoughts on that? I think there is a product I can get at home improvement store, but wondered about suggestions. (Sorry to change the topic but it is kind of on topic, no?

  • I love all the ways to remove the labels thank you for sharing. Now my question is please tell me some of the ways to use these bottles after you soak the labels off.

    • Use for leftovers instead of plastic. Food stays fresher, jars take up less room, you can see what’s in the jar better than plastic, cheaper (free!) than buying plastic, freeze stuff in jars easily, safely. Example, you can store a dozen eggs (cracked) in a jar, cut lemons, nuts in jars. They stay fresh much longer and can also freeze them of even a longer time.

  • Please be advised that Goo Gone and Goof Off removers definitely are not interchangeable.Goo Gone is orange oil based and can be used on pretty much any surface, while Goof Off is petroleum based and absolutely will destroy the finish of anything other than glass or metal.

  • I usually use the peanut butter method when I can’t get a label off by soaking. But did you know you can also use HAND SANITIZER on most paper labels. It’s a great way to use it up if you have any that’s expired(as far as the sanitizer effectiveness) and it works great. I just squirt some on and let it sit and the label comes right off.

  • Orange oil, like lemon oil, works well too. It’s good at getting off the adhesive residue that sometimes remains after removing a label or sticker. Also, if you have some patience, plain old water works well removing some labels, especially paper based labels like on wine bottles. Submerge the container to cover the label or at least make sure the label area is in contact with the water and let it sit overnight. Some labels often just fall off in one piece.

  • I tried the peanut butter method to remove the sticky residue on a plastic container I wanted to recycle.

    Once the original wrap around sticker was removed, there was the sticky residuE over the surface. Peanut buttered the entire container and left overnight. Everything came off easily the next morning!

    Thank you!

  • My favorite solution to the sticker-removal dilemma is to use lighter fluid! I have several bottles of it around the house; one in the kitchen, one in the laundry room, and one in my craft room. Squirt on the fluid, wait about a minute and the sticker should lift right off. Once in a while, a particularly difficult sticker will need to be soaked for longer and may necessitate being enclosed in a plastic bag for a while to make sure to marinate the sticker while not allowing the fluid to evaporate.

  • These are good ideas.
    I have been using equal amounts of baking soda and evoo for years and it works great.
    Will give the hairdryer a chance. Also, like the WD40 idea.

  • I spray baby oil on my front car bumper to remove the bugs. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then use a green scotch scrubbie to clean those pests off! Way cheaper than some of those car cleaning supplies at the store!

  • When you use a razor blade on glass you need to use water or glass cleaner. If you try to scrape off the sticker dry you may (probably) scratch the glass. You can find plastic razor blades for this in automotive stores. I have found them in Walmart in the auto section. If residue is left, a melamine sponge will take the rest off easy.

  • This is not quite a sticky but how could I remove a small name on a piece of clothing. I was given a dress that says Mexico but would like to remove this . Thanks

  • I soak jars in warm water and Blue Dawn. Blue Dawn is the “g0-to” cleaner for everything! If I remember correctly, it is one of your tips. You’re right, any oily substance works great also. Thank you.

  • It’s so nice to have all these options. I don’t always have the goo gone stuff in the house or when I’m helping clients. Knowing I can use some of these items we all have on hand is refreshing.

  • I’ve got a can of adhesive label remover from the automotive store. It works on glass , but can make certain plastics cloudy. I love having options! Thanks!

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