How to remove sticky label glue

Updated February 21, 2017

Sticky labels are often placed on new clothes to indicate their size and style. Sometimes these labels peel off easily, but in some circumstances, bits of the adhesive are left behind. Items such as jars and plastic containers may also leave leftover glue after a label is pulled from the surface. Removing sticky label adhesive is simple once you understand the proper procedure.

Apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball.

Dab the cotton ball onto the adhesive residue on the fabric. Allow the rubbing alcohol to sit on the fabric for five minutes, giving it time to break down the components in the glue.

Wipe the glue from the fabric with a damp cloth. Wash the garment according to the care label instructions.

Run a sink full of hot water and add one squirt of dish detergent. Place jars or plastic containers in the sink and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.

Scrub the glue residue from the containers with a nylon scrub pad. Rinse the containers with warm water.

Apply cooking oil to any adhesive still stuck on the containers. Allow the olive oil to remain on the containers for 30 minutes.

Scrub the containers with a nylon scrubbing pad. After loosening the adhesive, wash, rinse and dry the containers.


Dab the rubbing alcohol on a hidden area of the garment first to ensure that it does not discolour the fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Damp cloth
  • Dish detergent
  • Nylon scrub pad
  • Cooking oil
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.