How to Remove Stubborn Stickers

Written by melissa schack
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How to Remove Stubborn Stickers
Old stickers can be a challenge to remove (travel baggage stickers tags & labels - grunge tex image by Wingnut Designs from

Stickers and price tags can be unsightly on your possessions. Sometimes stickers may sit on a surface for a while or be exposed to humidity or heat, making the glue or the sicker itself difficult to get off without ruining the surface. The most that can be done for stubborn stickers is trying one method after another until the adhesive is gone. This can be done with some perseverance and caution for your safety and the preservation of whatever surface you're trying to get a sticker off of.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dull knife
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cloths or rags
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Metal scrapper
  • Laundry spot remover
  • WD-40

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  1. 1

    Remove as much of the sticker as you can with a dull knife. Push the knife away from yourself and be gentle. You may also try rubbing the area with your hand or a cloth.

  2. 2

    Coat the area in vegetable oil and let it soak overnight. Some stickers can be removed easily after this with your fingers.

  3. 3

    Rub the area with a mixture of warm water and dish soap. If the surface is sensitive to water, try to wring the cloth out as much as you can.

  4. 4

    Apply lacquer thinner with a dry cloth and push the sticker off with a metal scrapper. Do this in an open area so you don't breathe in the odour. Also, remember lacquer thinner is flammable.

  5. 5

    Spray the sticker with a pretreatment laundry spot remover to try to dislodge the glue. Let it sit for a few minutes then you can try to get the sticker residue off with lacquer thinner or WD-40, greasing up the area more.

Tips and warnings

  • Test a small area of the surface before trying to remove the sticker. This will help prevent ruining your item.
  • Always wash the cleaner off of the area before using another method and after removing the sticker. It is often dangerous to mix chemicals.

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