12 Best Ways to Remove Sticker Residue

A sticky situation

Growing up, we all remember those fun stickers that we used to paste on the door, window, table, or just about any surface available. Stickers can be a fun way to express yourself and make others more aware of your personality. As adults, the trend continues by way of bumper stickers or wallpaper stickers to decorate your home. It’s an enjoyable hobby and aesthetic option for those who want their place or surface to look livelier.

However, the darker side to this trend is when the enthusiasm fades and you’d like to switch out the old stickers with new ones or simply remove them together.

You will notice the sticker will leave a residue that comes from the adhesive. Although it is strong enough to stick onto any surface, this same substance makes it even more difficult for some stickers to be removed from the surface completely.

Whether you placed these stickers on a wood, glass, plastic, or rubber surface, the adhesive can be strong enough to leave a residue that’s almost impossible to remove with any normal means.

This can mean hours of scrubbing away at the surface with a sponge and soap only for there to still be residue to wipe away. Then you will find yourself easily frustrated and stressed due to the level of strength you have to use to remove the residue.

So, you may ask yourself how to remove sticker residue? Fear not, there are multiple ways to remove the pesky sticker residue. To remove the residue, having any of these items will be helpful to rid yourself of the problem. This includes:

  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Masking tape
  • Wet wipes
  • Vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cooking oil
  • Baking soda
  • Peanut butter
  • Mayonnaise

These ingredients could get out of that sticky situation if used properly. With this guide, we will help you rid your home or any surface of that sticky substance that your children are so fond of but have a hard time cleaning up. These are the 12 Best Ways to Remove Sticker Residue:

1. Using finger

What is the first technique you should try to remove sticker residue?

When asking yourself how to get sticker residue off of any surface, most people jump at the chance to use non-conventional methods. However, the first real method anyone should use is to attempt removing the sticker residue with their fingers.

Before attempting plucking away at the residue endlessly, there is a method that could end up being more convenient and lessening the physical exertion putting into stripping the residue.

First, attempt to completely remove the sticker. Once the sticker is removed, you’re going to gently rub the finger across the residue. This will then form the residue into a little ball that is easy to strip away without breaking too much of a sweat. If there is still some residue left on the surface, try using dish soap with hot water, it can easily be wiped away.

2. Scraping the residue

Can scraping help remove the residue?

Although it may seem frivolously difficult, using the right object to scrape the sticker residue can be incredibly effective in completely removing the adhesive. The question is what sharp object is the most effective? Here are some you could find in your household:

  • Knife
  • Old credit card
  • Scissors

With some effort, these objects can be incredibly potent if used correctly. For example,

If you are using a knife, it is important to hold the blade at a slight angle against the surface so that there is no damage done besides removing the residue. If you’re using an old credit card, you will lessen the risk of damaging the surface and you can freely use it in the same manner as a knife.

Before using these objects, it is important to be extremely careful when it comes to using them on a glass or metal surface. For these surfaces, it is highly recommended to use a blunt object like an old credit card instead of scissors or a knife. The sharper objects could also be hazardous if aimed incorrectly and could result in an injury.

3. Tape it!

How can masking tape aid in removing sticker residue?

Using an adhesive object to remove another adhesive can seem pretty odd. But when you think closely, it only makes sense to use a powerful stick on an object to remove another one if it’s done correctly. This doesn’t mean you can just go out and buy duct tape or any ordinary clear tape to remove the residue.

This is where masking tape comes in handy. Although it is a sticky tape, it is not strong enough to get stuck on the surface but potent enough to remove the sticky paper on a surface. This method will work if done correctly. We recommend following the next steps:

  1. Wrap the masking tape around your index and middle finger
  2. Press against the sticker residue
  3. Start to pull away from the residue
  4. Continue pulling away until the residue sticks to the tape

If the masking tape’s adhesive starts to wear off, we recommend switching to the other side of the tape on your index and middle finger or simply use a new length of the tape. This method works easily on glass or plastic surfaces and could avoid any potential injury using a sharp object to scrape the residue.

4. The wonders of Peanut butter

How can you use peanut butter to remove sticker residue?

Many wouldn’t normally think peanut butter is an ingredient for removing any sort of sticky residue from your surfaces. But did you know if you use peanut butter wisely it can prove to be the most effective when getting rid of the sticky substance left by a sticker? This is due to its oily nature.

Simply dab a bit of peanut butter on the area with the sticky residue, wait for 15 minutes and then wipe it off. The longer you leave on the residue the easier it will be to remove the bits of paper so we recommend leaving it on for a long time.

This method works on any surface including glass, plastic, and wood. The wonder of peanut butter leaves much to be said, it can be extremely beneficial in removing sticker residue or any adhesive that gets stuck on a surface.

5. Soap or Vinegar


When cleaning the home, it is a household staple to own ingredients like white vinegar which have the ability to deep clean any surface from your toilet, bathtub, kitchen, living room, and bedroom. Not only can this ingredient be used to clean household surfaces and rid the house of dirt or grime but it can also remove adhesive residue.

There are many ways that you can use vinegar to remove the adhesive. The first method is to rub off the residue with vinegar, if it’s an item, we would recommend soaking the item or product in soapy water to facilitate the removal.

This method will work depending on the longevity of the adhesive, for those products that have stickers on them, this will help in removing the sticker at a much faster pace.


There is a chance that you may not even need to get to the second part of this method due to the possibility of removing the residue with soapy water alone. This method although a much more conventional way can be the catalyst in taking care of the pesky adhesive on any surface of any object.

Simply soak the object for half an hour, or more if the residue is persistent to get most of it off, and then when you remove the object from the soapy water, whatever is leftover can be removed with a damp towel.

Continue to remove the spot with the most adhesive until it comes off. This method works well for product labels or glass items that have product stickers on them.

6. Rubbing Alcohol

Can using rubbing alcohol help remove sticker residue?

Another method that you can use is rubbing alcohol. This potent ingredient can remove even the toughest sticker residue from any surface like glass, wood, and plastic.

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol in your household, you can use normal alcohol like vodka as long as the alcohol doesn’t contain any sugars or has any sweeteners. For example, Rum is known for its sweet taste so it would generally leave a stickier situation than what it was originally.

When you’re using rubbing alcohol, the best method is to dampen a towel with the rubbing alcohol and use the towel to rub the adhesive off. Make sure to check within 15 seconds of rubbing to see if the sticker residue has been rubbed off, if not continue rubbing until there is nothing left.

7. Marvelous Mayo

Can using mayonnaise facilitate the removal of sticker residue?

Much like peanut butter, mayonnaise contains oil as a compound that breaks down any adhesive. Mixed with vinegar and this ingredient has enough potency to get the job done.

However, it is important to note that this product doesn’t work on all surfaces. We recommend avoiding surfaces like wood, plastic, and cloth which are considered to be porous.

Using mayonnaise on these surfaces can lead to damage or stains, but on surfaces like glass, it would be most effective. The method requires you to simply rub the mayonnaise on the surface and then rub until the residue is completely gone.

8. Cooking oil and Baking Soda

How can a mixture of cooking oil and baking soda be used to remove the residue?

The wonders of oil continue! Another oil that works best to remove any adhesive residuals left by a sticker is cooking oil. However, like mayonnaise and peanut butter, it is always best to use on surfaces that won’t leave a stain such as glass.

Another compound that could work is using Baking soda. A prime ingredient used in every cleaning method to illuminate any surface and rid yourself of any dirt or persistent grime.

One specific method is using two tablespoons of cooking oil and three tablespoons of baking soda. When you mix these two ingredients you will make a paste that you could spread on the persistent residue on the surface.

You can use your fingers to rub the paste onto the surface and then you can remove the paste with a paper towel. Make sure that any excess baking soda and oil is removed properly to ensure that it doesn’t leave behind any residual product. If you have any leftover paste leftover, you can use it for any other part of the house to remove any other sticky substance.

9. Wet Wipes

Can you remove sticker residue with wet wipes?

For those who are having a hard time with the other methods or don’t have any of the products needed at home, wet wipes can also help remove the adhesive.

Wet wipes, sanitizing wipes, or Clorox wipes can remove sticky residue thanks to the alcohol that it contains which is proven to assist in the other methods.

10. Acetone or nail polish remover

How does acetone or nail polish remover assist in removing sticker residue? 

Generally speaking, when using stickers, most people determine that it is being used on surfaces but some children get their stickers stuck on their clothing.

Although it can be fairly easy to remove, some material can be incredibly difficult to pluck out the residual adhesive from. It can be even more difficult if the clothing has already gone through the dryer, making it almost impossible to remove.

For those difficult times, acetone can work to remove the adhesive or simply a nail polish remover. This mostly works on natural fibers. Simply rub into the acetone with a clean cloth, then wash and dry your clothing to completely remove the substance.

11. Rubber Eraser

It can seem a little odd but, can you remove sticker residue with a simple rubber eraser?

At first, it can seem questionable, but removing residue with a rubber eraser works just as well as these other methods. Due to an eraser’s rubber surface, it can gently roll off the sticker residue right away.

This method is gentle and won’t damage most surfaces like plastic, wood, glass, or cloth. Make sure to lightly brush the eraser against the residue for optimal efficiency.

12. Goo Gone or WD-40

Goo Gone

If you would like to purchase an item that was specifically manufactured to remove adhesive or pesky residue from stickers then look no further than Goo Gone.

Goo gone can minimize the endless effort it can take to remove partial residue with one simple application of the product. Just dab the product onto the surface, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it away with a cloth.


WD-40 works in similar ways. This product comes in a spray form which can lead to more precise targeting. You will spray the product onto the surface, let it soak for 10 minutes, and then wipe away with a paper towel or cloth. It’s that simple.

This method is sure to aid you in your quest for erasing the persistent annoyance of leftover sticker residue.