Home Remedies to Remove Sticky Adhesive

Updated April 13, 2018

Tape, pricing stickers and even craft stickers can sometimes leave behind a sticky residue that can be difficult to remove. There are many commercial products capable of cutting through the mess, but you may not always have one available in your pantry when it's needed. In addition, there are several homemade remedies that can tackle the sticky job just as well, and you probably have most of them in your home right now.


A razor or hard, plastic scraping tool should be the first remedy tried for removing sticky adhesive from firm surfaces. A pliable rubber scrapper is useful for scraping adhesive from fabric or other easily damaged objects. Scrape away as much adhesive as possible before applying other remedies. Some adhesive requires the application of more than one remedy before it is completely removed. Use a scraper after trying other methods that may soften, but not completely remove the sticky mess.


Dab a small amount of grease-cutting dish soap on a clean cloth and rub it on the sticky surface and rinse in clean water. Or, wet a bar of soap and rub it directly over the adhesive, then rinse. Waterless hand-sanitiser may also remove adhesive residue, and it is even safe to use on fabric. Apply a small amount of sanitiser and rub your finger over the residue to roll it off.

Household Products

White vinegar, used alone or with a sprinkle of baking soda, may remove residue and is safe for all surfaces. Try rubbing a small amount of cooking oil or mineral oil on adhesive that is stuck to hard, non-porous surfaces. Some commercial adhesive removal products are made with citrus oil, so try using the rind of any citrus fruit as a scrubber with cooking or mineral oil. The texture will serve as a gentle abrasive against the sticky residue.

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About the Author

Jo Burns has been a freelance writer since 1980. She specializes in articles relating to home and garden, alternative health care, travel, writing and crafting. In 2007, Burns received an M.F.A. in creative writing.