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How to Get Rid of Sticker Residue on Plastic

Sometimes it can be really tricky to remove price tags or children’s stickers from toys or plastic containers. Once you have peeled off the adhesive sticker, you are often left with a gluey mess. And the more you try and remove the gluey mess, it just gets worse.


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How to Get Rid of Sticker Residue on Plastic

We’ve come up with a handy list to help you get rid of sticker residue and the beauty of it all is that you can usually use products that you may have around the house.

What is the best way to get rid of the sticker residue?

We find stickers on just about everything these days. And who wants an ugly, sticky mess on your new plastic bottle, right? So how do you get sticky residue off plastic? It can be tricky but it’s actually really easy when you know how.

Before you begin, it’s best to try to get as much of the label or sticker off with your fingers. Don’t be tempted to use a knife as this can damage the surface underneath. Once you have removed as much as possible by hand, then use one of our handy methods below.

Home remedies that can help remove the sticker residue.

Whether you’re wondering how to get rid of sticky residue from stickers on plastic, or from any other source, we’ve put together some of the most effective methods using items and products you definitely have at home, including peanut butter!

Use A Utensil

Using something with an edge, but not too sharp can usually help to do the trick. Instead of using anything metal, it’s best to use something plastic because this won’t damage the surface. A credit card can work really well. A kitchen sponge can also be used, just rub the scouring side of the sponge over the label to assist in getting the stickiness off.

Soak It In Warm, Soapy Water

Put a small amount of good quality dish detergent, like Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid or Surf Dishwashing Liquid, into a bucket of hot water and soak the item for 10 mins or so. Cold water is just not as effective as warm water. Another effective product to use is rubbing alcohol. Using a clean rag, dip it into the rubbing alcohol and wipe over the sticky residue.

Some Pantry Items Can Help Too

Did you know that peanut butter can help? Just make sure that you only use it on plastic or glass as it will stain other materials. You can also put some olive or vegetable oil onto a paper towel and use some elbow grease to give it a good rub.

Use Your Beauty Products

Nail polish remover is also very effective. Many nail polish removers contain a solvent that dissolves adhesive called acetone. Put a small amount onto some cotton wool and soak the area that needs cleaning. Then simply wipe off the gluey mess. Another tool to help you, is your hair dryer. Aim your hair dryer at the sticky area and the heat will start to loosen the adhesive. Then once again scrape to remove the goo.

How to prevent sticker residue from happening in the future?

Follow these handy tips on how to get rid of glue on plastic. Sometimes when you use your fingers to remove a sticker, it doesn’t always work so well. We found that using the edge of a plastic credit card yields better results. Always try to remove as much as possible before using any of our other methods.

Have the kid’s stuck stickers to anything else in the home, like walls? Read our blog on In-Home Cleaning Tips: Cleaning Interior Walls for more.

So, there you have it, no need to throw away any plastic items with unsightly sticker residue. Just try one or more of our tricks above. They are all effective in making your plastic items look like new.

Browse through Family, Kitchen cleaning and In the home categories for more cleaning tips and tricks.


Does vinegar remove sticky residue?

Vinegar works really well plus you can use it to clean other surfaces around the home too.

What removes sticky residue?

Peanut butter, vinegar, olive oil, rubbing alcohol or a good dish detergent, like Sunlight.

What is the easiest way to remove labels from plastic?

Remove as much of the label as possible by hand, then use one of our recommended remedies above.

How do you remove sticky labels from plastic without scratching?

Never use a metal scraper, always use something gentler like a plastic spatula or a credit card

How do you get sticker residue off without alcohol?

Read our blog above for a few other options including dish soap, vinegar, olive oil or peanut butter.

Originally published