How to remove sticker residue

How to get rid of sticker residue

Have you ever tried cleaning off the sticky residue that comes after peeling off a sticker? There are tons of methods used in the history of these terribly adhesive labels to remove them. We will give you the best methods to remove these grimy goo of stickers.

Oil and cooking spray

Start by choosing an oil or a mixture of oils. There are tons of oils out there on the market, but olive and canola oil are relatively cheap and can be found in many home kitchen. Also, essential oils work great at this too. Since many essential and herbal oils have the possibility to stain or leave marks, take this into consideration when applying this method. Spray the oil or pour it onto a cloth, paper towel, or rag with enough moisture to ensure it can be applied properly. Then, gently lay the rag on the glass or jar for a few minutes to allow the residue to soak into the fiber and compounds of the adhesive. After a few minutes, remove the rag and peel off as much of the residue and remaining sticker as much as possible. I recommend using your fingers, fingernails, or credit card to scrape away the remaining residue. You may need to repeat this method several times to get a clean, polished jar.

Citrus Cleaners

Go out to your local hardware or superstore and purchase some a cheap cleaner that contains a citrus base. Goo Gone, or GooGone, is a prime example of a citrus cleaner that works wonders on removing sticky residue leftover from adhesives. The main ingredient is limonene, which is particularly good at removing and reduce the stickiness of many industrial adhesives. In fact, even a bruised orange or natural lemon peel will also work at removing the glue if rubbed on. Always follow the directions that pertain to the product you purchased. Many sprays suggest leaving it soak for a while before wiping off. I recommend spraying the sticker or decal and letting the liquid soak for around 3 minutes before considering trying to wipe it off. After 5 minutes, it should come off very easily, but still may require a tool such as a plastic knife or your fingernail. Always pick a test area and try before implementing the entire technique since some surfaces can be damaged, scratched, or become unusable with certain compounds. Let the surface dry and remove any extra oils with a towel.


There are many suitable types of alcohols when removing sticky residue from a surface. Rubbing alcohol, clear vodka, and even solutions that contain alcohol such as Germ-X will work completely fine. Try to stray away from any alcohols with sweeteners or dyes as they will induce a stickier bond from the sugar. Dab some of the alcohol onto a cloth just like you tried in the methods above and lay the moistened cloth onto the bottle or jar. This seems to work especially well at removing license stickers from windshields. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then lift up the cloth and rub it off to the best of your abilities. Use your fingernails to your abilities or grab something like a plastic fork to help. Many times heating up the sticker with a hair dryer will aid in the removal process. Repeat this process as many times as necessary.


You can remove sticky transfers or collages that have the glue still on them with a very simple vinegar wash. First, take a paintbrush and paint over the sticky part with some vinegar. After leaving it to soak in and dry for a while, wash it off with some warm water. This should allow the process of scraping off the glue easier. If it doesn’t, try another vinegar method. If you are trying to get off from a ceramic, fill a bowl with some vinegar. Since vinegar is very cheap and easy to get, this makes for a perfect solution to solve this problem. After soaking for a desired amount of time, scrape off the extra goop with a plastic knife or the single blade of some scissors. If needed, repeat this process until all of the residue comes off and polish as necessary.

Kerosene or paraffin

Household kerosene, also known as Paraffin, is a great way to remove decals from a clear surface. For many, decals are desirable way to show what you support on the back of your car at first. Then, it slowly becomes old and needs to be scraped off or replaced. Little did you know that these decals can leave behind very irritating sticky residue marks. If you are looking how to get rid of sticky residue from a windshield or dresser or some other surface, look no further. Start by moistening a soft cloth with some kerosene. Then take the wet cloth and lay it over the windshield or jar for a few seconds, then start vigorously start rubbing it until the the plastic starts to come off. Keep rubbing the surface until all the residue starts to come off, and add more kerosene if necessary. I recommend using a hair dryer to heat up the sticky glue, which will allow it to come off easier. This method may take up to 30 minutes depending on the sticker size, but I guarantee it will come off pretty fast.

Lighter fluid

Another great liquid that works well at getting rid of that nasty grime and goo from a leftover sticker is lighter fluid. If you decide to use this method, make sure to put on some gloves to ensure that the oil and compounds don’t soak deep into your skin. Also consider placing some newspapers down under the surface that you are working on to keep the area clean. Pour some lighter fluid on a cotton pad or some cotton ball. If you are working on a small area such as getting rid of residue from a laptop, consider using a Q-Tip. Rub the wet pad or cotton ball onto the desired surface until the residue starts to come clean. This method works great on metal and glass, but not particularly well with plastics. If you are trying to learn how to get rid of masking tape residue, then stick with this method since lighter fluid works extremely well at removing masking tape residue.


Getting rid of the stuff left when you peel a label can be a difficult task for anyone. WD40 offers a huge variety of solutions to a large array of problems. Basically use the same methods as above. To prevent this reading from getting overwhelmingly boring and redundant, just repeat the steps you took with the lighter fluid. Make sure to use an old cloth that isn’t of much value, since the WD-40 may ruin it. Also, make sure to wipe it all off when finished to ensure the WD40 doesn’t ruin anything else. This method and liquid of choice seems to work well with hard surfaces such as furniture or windows, but not on soft stuff like clothing. Many oil-based substances work well at removing adhesives from stuff. If you are trying to remove the sticky stuff behind a label on a glass jar, consider using some WD-40.


Steam is another great way at loosening up the glue that is left over after after peeling off a sticker. I recommend boiling some water in a kettle or pot until steam starts to be produces. There’s also another method that involves submerging the glass or plastic jar into water; however, make sure that a sudden change of temperature will not shock the glass into breaking. This method works with hard plastics, metal, and thick glass. Anyways, after you have the water boiled, turn off the stove and pour the water into another bowl. Place the jar or whatever you are trying to remove the residue from into the water. Make sure that the steam has a chance to come in contact with the adhesive. This will make the glue goo easier to peel and scrape off immediately.

Scrape with credit card

This is probably the go-to method for this problems. If you have tried peeling off the label really slowly, but the glue still seems to have a problem coming off, you’re going to need some way to scrape off the excess. For many, this consists of just scraping it off with a credit card. Old credit cards work best since there is no worry about breaking it. Some individuals require extra support and will use their own fingernails. This is a great way to remove the goop, but will push the glue under the nail which can be very annoying. GooGone is the best consumer sticker residue removing product out there. I hope this comprehensive article helps you get rid of the sticky gunk from a label.

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