How to Remove Sticker Residue

The struggle to remove sticker residue is one that nearly everybody is familiar with. Whether you’ve tried to remove a price tag label from a hard surface or have dealt with the aftermath of children placing stickers where they don’t belong—the truth is that completely removing sticker residue can be a real pain even for a professional home cleaning service.

The good news is that there are plenty of simple and effective methods for getting rid of even the most stubborn sticker residue from just about every surface you can imagine. With these tips and tricks, you can remove that annoying residue and move on with your life.

Removing Fresh Sticker Residue

Let’s be honest. Sticker residue is the easiest to get rid of when it’s “fresh” and hasn’t been sitting for a long time. That’s because the adhesive is still rather soft, pliable, and thus easy to remove. If you’re dealing with fresh sticker residue on a solid surface in your home, there are a few methods worth trying.

Try Wiping It Away

In some cases, you may be able to actually rub the remaining sticker residue away using your finger. This method will work best on leftover label/sticker adhesive that is still quite sticky and soft. For the best results, use your finger to rub away a small amount of residue; it will roll into a ball. That ball of residue can then be used to help pick up the remaining residue as you continue to rub the surface with your finger. In some cases, this method may be sufficient to remove all sticker residue completely.

Scrape It Off

If there’s still leftover residue after you’ve tried the first method, you may be able to scrape the rest of the residue off using an object such as a credit card or even a razor blade. If you decide to go this route, be careful about what you choose to scrape the remaining residue, as some sharp objects could scratch or even break certain surfaces.

To play it safe, try using a non-sharp object, such as a credit card, to remove excess residue. If that doesn’t seem to do the trick, you may wish to try something sharper, such as a pair of scissors. Just be sure to avoid using anything sharp on glass, ceramic, or other delicate surfaces that could easily become scratched or broken.

Use Adhesive Tape

One last thing to try when removing fresh sticker residue from solid surfaces in your home is to use another adhesive, such as masking or painter’s tape. By simply balling up some of this tape so that the sticky side is facing out (or even wrapping some around your index finger), you can use the power of another adhesive to remove the leftover sticker or label residue. Simply press the sticky side of the tape against the area with adhesive residue and then lift up.

This method is best for residue that is already loose, and you may still need to wipe the area with a damp cloth or disinfecting wipes when you’re done to completely remove everything.

Removing Old Sticker Residue

The longer sticker residue is left on a surface, the more difficult it will become to remove. This is because as adhesive residue sits, it will gradually harden and solidify over time. For this more stubborn residue, you’ll need a little more elbow grease and patience—but you should still be able to remove it with these tips and tricks.

For Smaller Items

If you’re trying to remove sticker residue from a small item, such as a mug or dish, your best bet will be to actually submerge the entire item in a homemade cleaning solution. Start by locating a container that will be large enough to hold the item. Then, create a cleaning mixture using hot water and your favorite dish detergent. Once it’s mixed up well, insert the item and allow it to soak for at least an hour. This will give the cleaning mixture time to work and weaken the remaining adhesive.

After the item has soaked for at least an hour, remove it from the water and use a dish rage to wipe away any remaining residue. If there’s any residue left, you can add a small amount of vinegar to your cleaning solution and allow the item to soak for another 20 minutes. This should take care of the remainder.

For Larger Surfaces

If you’re trying to remove sticker residue from a larger surface that cannot be easily submerged (such as a mirror), then you’ll need to spot-treat with a different cleaner. The good news is that in most cases, a bit of rubbing alcohol is enough to remove even the most stubborn and dried-out sticker residue. This will work best on non-porous surfaces, such as glass and mirrors. Simply wet a small section of a microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol and then rub the affected area in a circular motion for about 30 seconds or until the residue is gone.

For Extra-Stubborn Residue

For extremely stubborn sticker residue on non-porous surfaces, you can also create a paste out of equal parts cooking oil (such as vegetable oil) and baking soda. Once mixed, simply apply the paste to the affected area and let it sit for about 15 minutes. From there, you should be able to wipe away the cleaning mixture and the excess residue with a cloth.

And of course, if all else fails, you can always purchase a product specifically designed for removing sticker residue. You can find these products at your local hardware store or even some grocery stores (in the cleaning aisle). Whenever possible, however, it’s best to stick to ingredients you already have at home!

Time to Call a Professional?

Spending your valuable time getting rid of sticker and label residue isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. If your household cleaning tasks are beginning to eat up too much of your time, maybe you should hire a professional cleaning company to step up and take on some of these jobs for you. This can free up time so you can do more of the things you enjoy while still coming home to a clean living space.

At Maid Sailors, we offer an extensive selection of household cleaning services. From one-time deep-cleaning services to routine cleanings and everything in between, our professionals do it all. Our goal is to help you achieve a clean home from top to bottom while freeing up your time and energy. Contact us today to find out more about our services or to schedule an appointment!

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