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Removal of Sticky Labels and Residues

When using solvents please be aware that they are often toxic and should be used in a well ventilated area.

The following tips have been submitted by our readers and suggest many different sovents and methods. Solvents include WD40, Lighter Fluid and Nail Polish Remover (Acetone).

Alcohol in its various forms can also be effective (try some good old Smirnoff), as can Good old Soap and Water. Mineral Spirits is very effective with some residues.

Which ever method you use we would wish you good luck and let us know how you get on -- A list of Materials and Solvents is to be found at the foot of the page - Materials and Solvents

Adhesive Removal on Jars. I was recycling old jars for Christmas gifts in a jar and I needed to get the glue off. I tried most of the remedies suggested here but the best and easiest way to do it is to boil the jar for about 3 minutes, then take it out with tongs and (still using the tongs) scrub the glue off with an s.o.s. pad. Afterwards just rinse off the soap and dry it...good as new! -- Crystal Carruthers 

Removing Sticky Price Tags. Use adhesive tape to remove sticky price tags. It's moisture- and odour-free, and works even on glossy paper. Simply rub or lightly scratch in the tape to lift as much of the price tag as possible. Repeat till the whole tag and sticky residue comes off. Learnt it from shop assistants doing gift-wrapping. It works! Cheers, GI  -- atheneum 

Remove Sticky Residues. To remove the sticky residues left by labels from nearly any surface, use a few drops of LIQUID LIGHTER FLUID on kitchen paper or duster and simply rub off. It works every time and won't cause damage to the surface like nail varnish remover may. -- Bev Burns 3/07/09

Removing Sticky Marks Hi, I find that household spray-on polish removes most sticky marks left by labels etc- especially good for taking them off the bottom of new shoes. -- "Joanna Keith"

How to Remove Labels  hi this is hema from california. to remove labels from plastic & glass jars, just keep the jar in hot water for 30 - 40 min. take off the label. it works very good on glass jars but on plastic jars its hard to remove sticky residue. so try the idea of T Cattermole the idea is applying oil on sticky residue & leave it for few days & wash it with detergent & water. i also tried & i saw the magic. -- (Kumar Pandya) hema pandya

tips on stuff. To remove any sticky residue left on after peeling, use "goo gone" which can be purchased at Walmart. It works better than alcohol on sticky stuff. -- I've learned a lot of neat things while on this planet for 68 years. Try them, what do you have to lose? --   (Irene M. Ward)

Sticky Residue. Fingernail polish remover works great to remove sticky residue - especially on glass & metal surfaces. Do a test spot if using on plastic though, it will melt most plastic. -- Dan & Evelyn Fleddermann,

Adhesive Residues. Simple alcohol will clean off adhesives. Sometimes you will need to apply and let sit a few minutes, but it will work. Some people like to use nail polish remover. Alcohol is its major ingredient. Save yourself some money! Alcohol also removes ink from nonporous surfaces, i.e., kitchen counters. ~~ E Melsem

Comments: Given a few days to work, cooking oil will combine with the glue and soften it. After peeling off the label, the oily residue responds to hot water and detergent. You can help the oil to penetrate by peeling off or scratching the label's surface -- “Tony Cattermole”

Sticky label remover from glass I have found that if you put peanut butter, preferably not chunky, on glass, bottles, or even mirrors, it will remove the residue. Sometimes it takes more than one application. Most people have peanut butter on hand.  --  Anon

Sticky labels. I use WD40 to remove sticky labels. Just spray a little WD40 on the label and leave it for a few minutes. The label usually slides right off.-- "The McKenna's"

Old decals can be removed from glass using a razor blade.-- Mike Hanewinckel

Removing Adhesive: Rubber cement thinner which you can buy at most art supply stores and some office supply stores removes most adhesives used on labels. Scrape off as much of the paper from the label as possible before applying the thinner and rubbing with a cloth or paper towel. It works great on glass, Formica and most non porous surfaces but will cloud many plastics. Also, it is extremely flammable. Lighter fluid often will also remove rubber based adhesives. Bob Lipson

Use white spirit (Mineral Spirits in the US) or lighter fluid to remove the residue from sticky labels. - - Vanessa Echols

Tip: Household - Cleaning - removing sticky residues You can remove sticky residues and loads of other hard-to-shift marks by simply "rubbing them out" with a rubber (or even Blu-Tack), just as you would rub pencil marks off paper. -- Simon Davey:  

Sticky residue/glue I discovered the other day, finger nail polish remover, (most already have it in the home). Removed old wall paper glue the tub insert with one wipe, removed melted plastic bag off of curling iron, paint spatter windows and tub insert. All was removed with just one wipe of remover on a piece of toilet tissue. -- D Dugan

Residue from Sticky labels: Goo Gone works great on removing adhesives left behind by stickers, store stickers, gum, etc. It is found in Sears Hardware Stores and other department stores.  -- Good Luck, Patti Seizetheday

Removing Adhesive: I used vinegar to remove adhesive from glass jars, and off of our sink. it worked pretty well  -- Jan Tani

Talcum powder can help to remove sticky residues -- Edward Sitwell

Sticky Residue  I've found Avon Skin-so-soft works great for getting off sticky residue left from labels or tape on glasses, plastic dishes, etc. and it smells good too. Put it on a cotton ball and rub on residue, then wash with soapy water. I've also used this to get it off windows and walls. -- Rhonda Carpenter 28 Nov 2002

  Avon Skin so Soft. to take sticky goo off of things. I use it for many things. Including the dog and cat. I use it when cleaning old glass it helps take the old grease off and leaves everything shining. Baking soda is a all around cleaning solution. It is non abrasive. Cleans the outside of a refrigerator very well and takes the yellow away if you have white. I use it in the wash instead of softeners. It sweets the clothes and softens them also. It is also good to take the bugs off the car. Remember it is non abrasive. Always keep baking soda in the car as it will put out a fire, yours or someone else's. Cheap also. We used baking soda in our pool along with bleach for 14 years and never bought another chemical. We had the best looking pool in the neighborhood. Crystal clear. I also use it in my pond for the PH. --  KD Bug 27 Nov 2002

Re Sticky Residues Sticky residue can be removed with methylated spirits, dabbed on with cotton wool. Use sparingly at first, use more if necessary. Works for residue left behind by Sellotape/Scotch tape/decals/stickers/sticking plaster/price stickers. Works on wood, glass, metal and plastic. And skin. It's flammable so take care. Gerard Sagar +44 (0) 20 8883 5052 +44 (0) 7711 036723

REMOVING GUM Great way to get GUM out , rub it with PEANUT butter! I think it is the OIL in in, and though I have not tried it, I am sure oil would probably due the same thing, except the peanut butter is GOOEY, and the oil runs! -- "Kathy Ulmer" 5 Sep 2002

Sticky Decals on Glass Some people sure go through a lot of trouble trying to remove the stickers, try WD 40 or lighter fluid, it does come right off without the hot water and soap. But of course you want to rinse the chem smell. ~~ D1 Kelly 22 Dec 2002

Use of Talc for Removing Sticky Stuff. Talc causes cancer. Try cornstarch in its place. Baby powder can now be found in cornstarch form. -- maryanne tom  6 Jan 2006

 Sticky Residue. To remove any sticky residue from any surface, simply clean with eucalyptus oil using a lint free cloth. Cheers from sunny down under. -- Tina Gianakoudakis  29 Aug 2005

Full List of materials, Solvents and Methods:-

Rubbing Alcohol
Methylated Spirits
Isopropanol or IPA
Mineral Spirits (Also called White Spirits)
Charcoal Lighter Fluid
Ronson, Zippo or other lighter Fluid
Eucalyptus Oil (In Australia)
Goo Gone
Talcum Powder
Cooking Oil
Peanut Butter
Hair Dryer
Steam Cleaner
Hot or Boiling Water (Careful)
Some Creams and Cosmetics
Washing up liquid
Adhesive Tape
Nail Varnish remover
Bestine (Art Stores)

Blu Tak
Rubber Eraser

Aerosol Furniture Polish


When using solvents please be aware that they are often toxic and should be used in a well ventilated area. It is also a good idea to try the solvent out on a part of the item that will not be visible as you could damage the surface; nail polish remover can damage some plastics.

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