Old Sticker Residue: The Clean Up Guide

Old Sticker Residue: The Clean Up Guide

We’ve all been there. You peel a price sticker off something you bought only to be confronted with a patch of unsightly sticker residue. Or, even worse, you buy something second hand and there it is – old, crusty, firmly dried on sticker residue! Are you doomed to live your life with this blight on your belongings? No. Today we will go over how to get rid of sticker residue.


Common Methods for Removing Sticker Residue: What to Use and When

Cooking oil: Oil is a great way to break down a sticky adhesive. All you need is regular cooking oil and some paper towel. Rub a little oil over the spot, then use the paper towel to scrub off the residue. Use this on firm, non-stainable surfaces – not glassware! Slippery, oily fingers and glass don’t mix. Also, do not use the cooking oil sticker residue removal trick on fabrics, as oil can stain. Then you’ll have two messes to deal with! On this same tangent, some like to use mayonnaise (fats break down residue). Again, this method can stain fabrics and makes for a very slippery surface so use with caution. If using mayo instead of oil, be sure to clean it all up and ensure it doesn’t get into any nooks and crannies. You don’t want to trade sticker residue for a patch of mold.


Alcohol: For this method you can use either rubbing alcohol or something clear and strong like vodka. Again, like the oil, all you need to do is apply, let it sit, then rub off the residue and alcohol with a paper towel. This is a great option for hard, firm surfaces but not for anything that can discolor. Also, use gloves. Alcohol is very drying and if you have any paper cuts, this is going to sting.


Eraser: A fast and easy way to get rid of sticker residue is to simply erase it! Borrow your kid’s school eraser and rub it all over dry (not wet) residue. You should then be able to brush away both the crumbled reside and the eraser shavings. This works for a variety of surfaces and will not fade out things that are colorfast, however, avoid using this on glass since you will need to press firmly. Safety first.


Goo Gone: This is a fairly all purpose method that works really well on glass. It’s a strong commercial solution that lets you just spray or wipe it onto the residue, wait 1-3 minutes, then very lightly scrape everything away. Goo Gone is a good item to have in your home tool kit. It has a variety of applications.


Peanut Butter: Okay. In our very humble opinion, just because you can doesn’t mean you should! Peanut butter can work as a sticker residue remover but why would you want to do this to delicious peanut butter? This is a messy method and not suitable for fabrics but if you have nothing else on hand, it will work.


Water + Dish Soap: We keep saying not to use most of these methods on fabrics to avoid stains or grease spots, so here is a method that works on your clothes: warm water, plus a little dish soap or laundry detergent. Soak it into the area, let it sit, then scrape it away. Wash the item. Anytime you have sticker reside on clothes (for example, from a name tag or price tag) make sure it is removed before you put the item in the dryer.


Baby Oil and Moisturizer: There are times we have sticker residue on our skin from things like event tags, actual stickers, fake tattoos, etc. This calls for a gentle touch. Baby oil or skin moisturizer will work. Put it on a cotton ball, wipe it on the area, let it sit for a couple minutes, then wipe it away. Follow up with a wash of the area.



Sticker residue doesn’t have to ruin your day. There are a variety of removal methods that are quick and easy. Chances are, you already have what you need on hand to safely get rid of sticker residue. Just remember to match the method to the surface to avoid broken glass, stained fabric or irritated skin.


Now that you know how to remove sticker residue, how about crafting your very own personalized stickers? Royal Elements has everything you need. Our online store sells printable vinyl, adhesive vinyl, and heat transfer vinyl along with transfer tape, laminating sheets, magnetic sheets and more. We love to see the projects you make using Royal Elements products. Post your results online with the hashtag #royalelementsstickers so we can feature your designs on our social networks.


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