Unilever logo
Cleanipedia PH logo

Removing labels: how to remove sticker residue

Removing sticker residue and sticky labels from clothes, walls, or glass has never been easier with these great tips on how to remove sticky residue from stickers!


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

how to remove sticker residue

Key steps:

  1. Dried out sticker stains on clothing are much more difficult to remove than fresh stains. Make sure the stain is completely removed before drying your garment.

  2. Do not use a sharp object to scrape stickers off windows – you don’t want to scratch the glass!

  3. Hot soapy water is great for removing any sticker residue left behind on surfaces.

Let’s be honest: what child doesn’t love stickers? But turn your back for five minutes, and those stickers will likely be labeling the walls, books, windows, and clothes around your house. If you think it’s about time you learned how to remove sticker residue, you’ve come to the right place.

Use a basic pencil eraser to scrub off the last few scraps of sticker residue on hard, flat surfaces – their shape makes them particularly ideal for lifting small deposits of glue.

How to remove sticky labels from clothes

If you’re wondering how to remove sticky labels from clothes, it’s much easier than you’d think:

1. Check your garment’s care label. This step is important to ensure that you use a suitable detergent and wash cycle. If your garment is wool, silk, lace, or any other delicate fabric, you’ll want to use a mild detergent and to treat the stain with a little extra care.

2. Rub detergent directly onto the stain. A good quality detergent, like Breeze, goes a long way if you want to know how to remove sticker residue from clothes. You can also use a specialist adhesive stain remover, but be sure to check the label first to ensure it won’t damage the fabric. And remember: when dealing with any cleaning product, always protect your hands and follow the instructions on the label.

3. Wash the garment according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Our guide on how to interpret wash care symbols can help make sure that you are using the correct setting. Wash at 104°F or below to ensure that the heat from the wash doesn’t set the stain.

The Poll

Would you be more likely to buy a Cleaning or Laundry product that had a QR code visible on the pack over a product without a QR code? 

0 Votes

4. Re-treat the stain. If some of the residue remains on your clothing, try to tackle the stain again. Alternatively, you can try blotting rubbing alcohol directly onto the stain and washing the garment again. But always make sure that you test any treatments on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure that your removal method and the material are compatible.

5. Avoid drying clothes with a sticky stain. If possible, do not let your clothes with sticky labels go through the dryer – once the stain has dried out, it’ll be much harder to remove.

How to remove sticker residue from metal, plastic, and wood

Learning how to remove sticker residue from metal, plastic, and wood can be a bit trickier if you don’t know the safest method to use. Chemical removal agents can damage these materials, and anything abrasive can leave marks or dents. So here’s what you can do:

  1. Apply vegetable oil to the stain and let it soak in for a couple of hours.

  2. Use a warm (not hot) hairdryer to soften the residue before wiping it off.

  3. Use hot soapy water and a cloth for a final clean.

If you want to know how to remove super glue from these different surfaces, check out this guide!

How to remove sticky residue from stickers on walls

It’s common to use large vinyl stickers to decorate our walls – but what if you want to take them off? Most manufacturers of wall decals recommend their own method for removing their stickers. But if the packet instructions have disappeared or a normal sticker has mysteriously made its way onto your walls, you’ll need to know how to remove sticky labels. These 3 steps should do the trick:

  1. Remove as much of the sticker’s paper part as you can by hand.

  2. Use a pencil eraser to rub away excess residue.

  3. Use a cloth dampened with hot soapy water to completely clean the wall.

How to remove sticker residue from glass

Letting your kids put stickers on the inside of your car windows is all fun and games, until you realize you can’t get the sticker residue off. Sticker residue is not an ideal car accessory and neither are scratched windows. Here is how to remove sticker residue from glass windows to avoid both situations. Fun fact: some of these steps can also be used for removing price stickers from books. Let’s have a look:

  1. Avoid scraping the window with a sharp object – we know it may be tempting, but this could seriously scratch the glass.

  2. Moisten any paper residue with a damp cloth.

  3. Apply an acetone-based nail polish remover and rub/roll the stickiness away from the glass. Acetone is also a great solution for removing price stickers from books!

  4. Use hot soapy water to remove any remaining residue.

If the sticker has been stuck to the window for a long time, it will be more difficult to remove. If the above steps don’t do the trick, you might have to resort to a palette knife or a similar object. But be very careful to protect your fingers and make sure you use it to flatten against the glass to avoid scratching the windows.

How to remove sticky labels from jars

Glass jars are incredibly useful to decorate with and store things around the house. Whether it’s a simple flower vase or a jar to hold cooking utensils, they can be used in a variety of ways. If you want to know how to remove sticky residue from stickers on jars, this is the easiest method:

  1. Plunge the jars into a big bowl of hot soapy water – use a good quality washing liquid to lather the jars.

  2. Leave them to soak for about a half hour. After this time, the residue should have dissolved and the labels will slide off easily.

  3. If any residue remains, use neat vinegar and a microfiber cloth – or a small nail brush – to scrub the glass bottles clean.

There you have it: our top tips for removing sticker residue from different surfaces. Whether it’s knowing how to remove sticker residue from metal or how to remove sticker residue from glass, you’ll never have to worry about giving your child stickers again with this guide.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on how to remove stickers

Can I remove stickers from a laptop?

There are a few everyday household products which are perfect for removing stickers from your laptop. We recommend non-oil-based solvents such as acetone, rubbing alcohol or vinegar and water. These will loosen the sticker and allow you to peel it off the surface of your laptop. Once you have removed it you simply need to wipe the surface with a clean, lint-free cloth to remove any remaining residue.

Do WD-40 and similar products glue residue?

If you find yourself wondering does WD40 remove glue residue, we’ve got you covered. As long as you give it time to penetrate the adhesive, WD40 and similar products can be effective glue removers. WD40 is safe for use on most surfaces, even wood, making it a great choice.

How long do stickers stay sticky?

How long the adhesive on a sticker stays sticky depends on the surface it is adhered to. Most stickers will stay permanently attached to surfaces such as paper but may not last as long when stuck to surfaces such as plastic.

What removes sticky residue from skin?

There are a few of products ideal for removing sticky residue from skin. Mild soap and water, baby oil and a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol are all great options.

Originally published