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How to Remove Stickers From Records

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you enjoy collecting and listening to vinyl records yourself, or you would like to sell them to someone who does, an attractive cover and record label are essential. Caring for vinyl records is a lost art. If you are trying to remove a sticker or some leftover adhesive residue from your vinyl record label or cover, try one of these tried-and-true methods. The steps progress from the simplest and easiest to the messiest and most difficult, so you will want to follow them in the recommended order.

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  1. Take the record out of the cover to avoid any potential damage. Turn a hair dryer on its highest (hottest) setting. Train the heat directly on the label, sticker or tape that you're trying to remove. Gently lift up one edge of the sticker, then carefully remove it. The heat from the dryer will heat up the glue and the sticker should easily slide off.

  2. Use tape while the adhesive is still hot to remove the residue. Take the sticky side of the tape and use it to pull the tacky sticker residue off of the record label or cover. Do this very gently, so you don't mar the surface.

  3. Try automobile paste wax if some of the residue persists. Make sure you use only pure canuba wax. Rub the wax gently on the residue, then wipe it off with a soft rag. This may alter the colour of the cover or label very slightly. Don't use a combination cleaner/ wax, or it will remove the colour.

  4. Use turpentine if the automobile wax fails to remove the sticker residue. Dip a toothbrush into some turpentine, and brush it gently on the adhesive residue. Let it soak for at least five minutes, and then wipe the turpentine along with the residual glue off of the label with a tissue.

  5. Tip

    To clean the records themselves, you can spray 409 on a paper towel and wipe them clean.


    Remember that heat warps vinyl when you're using the hair dryer.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hair dryer
  • Automobile paste wax
  • Soft rag
  • Toothbrush
  • Turpentine

About the Author

Tammy Dahlvang

Tammy Dahlvang began writing professionally in 1997. She has contributed "Across the Pastor's Desk" articles to the "Albert Lea Tribune" in Albert Lea, Minn. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University in 1993, and in 1997 earned a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.

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