How to Remove Sticker Residue

Sticker residue can be annoying and difficult to deal with. Luckily, it is easy to remove. How you go about doing it, however, depends on how stubborn the residue is. This wikiHow will show you several ways of doing that.

  • How do you remove sticky label residue?
  • How do you remove adhesive from metal?
  • How do you get sticker residue off jeans?
  • How do you remove tape residue?
  • How do you get sticky tape residue off clothes?
  • What dissolves sticky adhesive?
  • How do you remove adhesive from glass?
  • How do I remove glue?
  • How does vinegar remove stickers from glass?
  • How do you remove labels?

Scraping, Pressing, and Rubbing

  1. Scrape the residue with scissors, an old credit card or a knife. If you’re using something sharp, make sure to align the blade flat against the surface. Otherwise you risk cutting grooves into the surface you’re trying to clean. Using a credit card allows you to scrape at the residue more liberally without risking damage to your surface.
    • Be careful using a knife or scissors on a glass or metal surface. These could easily get scratched. Try using one of the other methods for removing residue on glass or metal.
    • Be sure to scrape away from you to avoid possible injury.
  2. Wrap masking tape around your fingers and press it against the residue. Ensure the tape makes a tight ring around your index and middle finger with the sticky side facing out. Press it against the surface and pull away. Notice the residue sticking to the tape, and repeat until you’ve lifted off as much residue as possible.If the tape loses its stickiness before you’re finished, you can either rotate the ring or use a new length of tape.
  3. Use your fingers to roll the adhesive into balls. This is more effective if the residue is fresh and not too resilient. Run your finger along the entirety of the residue, applying constant pressure. The residue will roll into balls that you can easily pluck off the surface.
  4. Rub the remaining residue with a wet wipe. You can either use wet wipes from the cleaning supply aisle or sanitizing wipes. Rub until you no longer feel any stickiness. You might have to let the surface dry and rub a few more times to completely rid it of residue.

Using Soapy Water and Vinegar

  1. Fill a container with soapy water. This method works best with items like glass jars, which can be soaked and submerged without being damaged. Pick a container, like a large bowl, which can hold your item along with a few cups of water. Combine dishwashing detergent with hot water and fill your container.
    • Don’t fill the container to the brim, or it will overflow when you insert your item.
  2. Soak your surface for half an hour. Using the example of a glass jar, make sure the sticker and residue are completely submerged. Over this half hour, the glue will dissolve and the residue should come off easily.
  3. Rub the surface with soapy water. After soaking for half an hour, whatever residue is left shouldn’t be particularly difficult to remove. Dampen a cloth or rag, then rub until the residue comes off.
  4. Rub off any remaining residue with vinegar. If there’s still some residue tenaciously sticking to your surface, add vinegar to the bowl of water. Whatever residue remains will already be softened after soaking, and will easily come off with vinegar.
    • Don’t use vinegar on marble, stone, aluminum or cast iron. It can corrode and damage these surfaces.

Using Other Household Products

  1. Wear disposable gloves and protect your work space. Some of the household products used in this method might irritate the skin. Make sure to wear latex gloves to avoid this. If you’re working on a table or countertop, make sure to cover it in newspaper before proceeding.
  2. Choose the right product for your surface. The right product depends on the surface you’re cleaning as well as the amount of residue you need to remove. Avoid using oily products on porous surfaces, and be careful about using corrosive products such as vinegar on metals and stone. Some household products are much more effective than products specifically designed for removing sticker residue.
  3. Use rubbing alcohol for most surfaces. This is likely your best choice, as it doesn’t leave any residue, dries quickly and it’s best at neutralizing sticky residue. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, you can use vodka. Avoid sweet alcohols like rum as they can leave their own stickiness behind.
    • Moisten a rag or cloth with alcohol and rub the surface vigorously.
    • After about 15 seconds of rubbing, check the surface to see how much residue is left. Continue rubbing until the surface is clear.
  4. Use cooking oil on nonporous surfaces. Letting some cooking oil soak into the sticky residue will allow you to remove it more easily. Because it lacks strong chemicals, it can be ideal for more sensitive surfaces. However, some will absorb the oil and cause a stain; avoid porous surfaces such as wood or cloth. If you’re unsure, test the oil on a small, inconspicuous spot of your surface. If it wipes off without a trace, you can go ahead.
    • Dab oil onto a paper towel and lay it over your surface.
    • Wait a few minutes for the oil to soak into the sticky residue.
    • Remove the paper towel, and scrape or rub the residue away.
  5. Combine 2 Tbs of cooking oil and 3 Tbs of baking soda. Baking soda mixed with cooking oil will form a paste that you can use to remove sticker residue from a surface. Rub the paste onto the sticker residue using your finger. The baking soda and oil will take off the sticker residue without scratching the surface. Once the sticker residue has come off, wipe away the excess paste with a paper towel.
    • You can store any unused paste in a plastic bag and use it another time.
  6. Rub vinegar on tricky residue. While it requires a bit more effort than alcohol, dabbing sticker residue with vinegar will make it easier to rub off. Make sure you dilute the vinegar in a bit of water to get the best solution. Avoid using vinegar on marble, stone, aluminum or cast iron. These surfaces can be damaged by vinegar.
    • Moisten a rag or cloth with vinegar and rub the surface vigorously.
    • After about 15 seconds of rubbing, check the surface to see how much residue is left. Continue rubbing until the surface is clear.
  7. Slather peanut butter onto the sticker residue. A safe alternative to many acidic products, the oiliness of peanut butter is great for removing sticky residue. If you’re not sure what product to use on a particular surface, peanut butter is a safe choice.
    • Spread peanut butter onto the sticky surface and let it sit for 15 minutes.
    • Wipe off the peanut butter; the majority of the residue should come off with it.
  8. Use specially designed products such as Goo Gone. This product is specifically designed to remove sticker residue. It’s safe to use on many surfaces, but tends to leave an oily residue behind.
    • Follow the instructions on the packaging. They’ll tell you what surfaces the product is safe for in addition to how to use it.
  9. Remove residue with mayonnaise. Since mayonnaise contains both vinegar and oil, it’s well suited for removing sticky residue. However, you should make sure to avoid using it on porous surfaces, like wood, plastic and cloth, as it could stain these.
    • Spread mayonnaise onto the sticker residue.
    • Rub the surface until the residue is gone.



  • Other possible cleaning agents include WD-40, proprietary products, spray deodorant or perfume, (non-oily) nail varnish remover, lighter fuel, etc. Just bear in mind that the more ingredients in a product, the more likely it will be to leave a mark on absorbent surfaces such as fabric, plastic and wood.
  • Good scrapers can be made from plastic utensils, old credit or bank cards or purpose-made plastic paint scrapers.
  • Pour a little nail polish remover onto a paper towel, and lightly rub the affected area. It will easily remove any excess adhesive.
  • Cover metal surface in white-out and rub off with an eraser. This should bring out the sticky residue and completely remove all evidence.
  • Be careful if you’re scraping off a label sticker from a plastic surface, as consistent scraping can cause the plastic material to weaken.
  • If you’re unsure what products are safe to use on the surface you need to clean, default to soapy water as it’s least likely to cause damage.
  • Clorox disinfecting wipes work really well.
  • Sticker residue on your phone or phone case can easily be cleared up by dipping a cotton ball in nail polish remover and rubbing it on the affected area. Be sure to clean off where the nail polish was used after.
  • You can use spray or normal sunscreen to get things off in less than five minutes.
  • You can use hot soapy water to remove the sticker residue.


  • Handle any flammable product with appropriate care.
  • When using substances that produce fumes, work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Always test an inconspicuous area first, to test for possible staining. In some cases, surfaces may be harmed by oils/alcohol or change color, such as applying these substances to some plastic surfaces.

Things You’ll Need

  • Credit card, knife or scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Wet wipe or hand wipes
  • Cleaning rag or paper towel
  • Alcohol, cooking oil or vinegar
  • Hot water
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Large bowl


  1. http://www.networx.com/article/8-ways-not-to-use-vinegar
  2. http://lifehacker.com/the-best-household-items-for-cleaning-up-sticker-gunk-1280151322
  3. http://lifehacker.com/the-best-household-items-for-cleaning-up-sticker-gunk-1280151322
  4. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-remove-sticker-residue/#.WKXT6_krK70
  5. http://lifehacker.com/5825384/remove-stubborn-stickers-with-vinegar
  6. http://www.networx.com/article/8-ways-not-to-use-vinegar
  7. http://removeandreplace.com/2015/01/10/20-methods-to-remove-sticky-adhesive-goo-gunk-from-various-surfaces/
  8. http://removeandreplace.com/2015/01/10/20-methods-to-remove-sticky-adhesive-goo-gunk-from-various-surfaces/
  9. http://lifehacker.com/the-best-household-items-for-cleaning-up-sticker-gunk-1280151322
  10. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-remove-sticker-residue/#.WKzDNvkrK70

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