How to get rid of sticky residue from stickers

Adhering stickers and labels to surfaces not intended for adhesive can leave a sticky mess. Sticker glue residue can remain on fabric and hard surfaces long after stickers are peeled off. Airborne dust particles adhere to sticker residue, causing surfaces to look grimy. Rapidly remove the residue to prevent having to treat more stubborn stains in the future. Sticker residue continues bonding to surfaces the longer it sits. Fortunately, basic products can remove sticker residue from fabric and hard surfaces.

Saturate the corner of a white cotton cloth with acetone nail polish remover. Rub the cloth over the sticker residue until the nail polish remover is completely absorbed into the fabric. Roll off as much sticker residue as possible.

Moisten another white cotton cloth with cool water. Dab the fabric with the cloth to rinse out the nail polish remover.

Saturate the remaining sticker residue with a prewash stain remover. Follow the instructions on the product label.

Rinse out the prewash stain remover with cool water.

Launder the fabric in a washing machine as indicated by the manufacturer's instructions on the fabric's care tag. Add washing powder to the wash according to the product's directions. Disregard this step if the fabric is on furniture.

Let the fabric air-dry completely.

Set a hair dryer on its highest heat setting. Hold the dryer 4 inches from the surface for 45 seconds to soften the sticker residue.

Moisten a clean white cloth with warm water. Rub the damp cloth over the surface to wipe away the residue.

Examine the surface for remaining sticker residue. If some adhesive still remains, spray the surface with an all-purpose water-dispersing lubricant. Let the lubricant permeate the residue for five minutes.

Scrape off the last bits of residue with a razor blade. Work slowly and cautiously to prevent scratching the surface. Keep the lubricant on the surface as you scrape.

Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to rinse away the residue and lubricant.

Dry the surface with a terry cloth towel.


Test the acetone nail polish remover on a small, unnoticeable area to ensure the fabric doesn't become discoloured. Test the all-purpose water dispersing lubricant on an inconspicuous area to prevent damaging the hard surface.

Things You'll Need

  • White cotton cloths
  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Prewash stain remover
  • Washing machine
  • Washing powder
  • Hair dryer
  • Water-dispersing lubricant
  • Razor blade
  • Terry cloth towel
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About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.