How to Remove Residue From Stickers

Written by emily jones
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How to Remove Residue From Stickers
Remove sticker residue with a few simple tricks. (sticker mauve image by Unclesam from

A sticker label can often leave behind a sticky residue that's difficult to remove once it's peeled off. Adhesive residue can usually be removed with oil or an oil-based product. Oil-based products can affect the surface of some items, so test a small, inconspicuous area of the surface you are dealing with to ensure you won't damage the colour or texture of it.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Plastic spoon
  • Freezer or ice cube
  • Oil-based lubricating spray
  • Warm soapy wash cloth
  • Hair dryer
  • Adhesive removal product

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  1. 1

    Scrape away as much of the adhesive residue as possible with a plastic spoon. If the item is small enough, place it in the freezer for about an hour to make the removal process easier. If the item is too large to fit in a freezer, rub an ice cube over it to chill the glue, then scrape the residue with the spoon.

  2. 2

    Spray an oil-based lubricating spray on the sticker residue and leave it on for 10 minutes to get rid of any remaining residue. The oil-based product may leave behind an oily residue, so you won't want to use it on surfaces that you may want to paint later.

  3. 3

    Scrub the area gently with a warm soapy cloth until all the residue has lifted. Repeat the process if some residue is still present.

  4. 4

    Heat sticker residue on surfaces that could be damaged by an oil-based lubricating spray. Use a hairdryer to heat the glue residue until it becomes removable. Wipe the residue with a warm soapy wash cloth.

  5. 5

    Remove glue residue with an adhesive-removal product. If you don't have success with an oil-based lubricating spray, there are many citrus-based adhesive-removal products, such as "Goo-Gone," that will remove adhesive residue. You can find these items in the home improvement aisle of grocery stores and other retailers.

Tips and warnings

  • Erasers are also a viable way to remove sticker glue from surfaces. Gently rub a pencil eraser over the sticker residue. You can use a large eraser for larger spots. The rubber from the eraser will bond with the glue, making it less sticky. Scrape the eraser shavings and residue away with a plastic spoon.
  • Make sure you have proper ventilation when working with oil-based lubricating spray. Open up as many doors and windows in your home as possible.

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