As much as we love stickers (know more), dealing with their residue is not fun at all. If the sticker has been on the surface for less than a year, scraping it off is easy. The sticker is still quite new and should peel off with little or no surface sticker residue left. Any sticker that stays on for more than a year or two will be harder to remove. This is so because the glue backing would have separated from the printed material over time. It then becomes harder to remove the clear sticker residue. Read on to find out how you can remove sticker residue from different surfaces.

Techniques for Removing Sticker Residue From Any Surface

Here are some of the best tools and techniques you can use to clear sticker residue from any surface.

The Mechanical Technique

Here are some mechanical tools you can use to get rid of surface sticker residue from hard surfaces. A good scraper will go a long way to help you get rid of stubborn sticker residue.

  • Paint scraper

Paint scrapers have a good size and sturdy handle. This makes it a great tool to use for scraping the residue off a large area.

  • Plastic pan scraper

Plastic is always a good option because it is not so likely to scratch or damage most surfaces. Although it may not be sharp enough on stubborn adhesive, it is a great tool to start with.

  • Razor blades 

Razor blades are sharp and flexible objects that are great for getting residues off. They work very well for contoured surfaces such as bottles. 

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The Thermal Technique

It is quite easy to weaken adhesive using heat, especially if the surface is glassy. You can bake a bottle in an oven over moderate heat for about 30 minutes. Take it out, then peel off the label in one piece, with little or no adhesive left over. 

Other heat options you can use to remove sticker residue include a hairdryer and hot iron.

But, note that hot glass may shatter if not handled with care. Also, a hot, sealed container is very likely to explode when put in an oven.

The Chemical Technique

Applying a chemical solvent is another option that can break down adhesive properties. Chemical solvents like vegetable oil, peanut butter, mayonnaise, or other oil are great. 

To use oil, place some of it over the residue and allow it to sit for about 1 hour. Then either scrape it or wipe it off. If the object is thinner, soak a cloth in the oil and place it on the residue. Leave it to sit for about an hour before scraping or wiping it off.


Another chemical you can use is alcohol, either in the form of rubbing alcohol or in vodka. The method of application is the same as with oil, but not as time-consuming. 

Do not allow any powerful solvent to sit for too long on any surface before cleaning it off.

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How To Remove Sticker Residue From Most Surfaces

Personalizing your personal effects with stickers can be fun – and lots of people do it. The stressful part is getting the sticker off without leaving behind sticker residue. There are so many methods you can explore.

Step 1: Protect your hands and workspace

Some products used to clear sticker residue may irritate the skin. It is advisable to protect your hands by wearing latex gloves. Also, protect your workspace like the table by covering it with newspaper before you begin.

Step 2: Use the right technique for the right surface

The technique you choose to use depends on the surface you want to remove the residue from. It also depends on the amount of surface sticker residue you are dealing with. Oily products are not good for porous surfaces. Corrosive products, like vinegar, may damage stone or metals.

You can use products designed for the sole purpose of removing sticker residue. Many people attest to the fact that some household products are more effective.

Step 3: Shut down and unplug electronics

  • Power off your electronics and unplug before you start trying to remove the adhesive. You can also remove batteries where applicable. 
  • Then clean your surface with water or other liquid.
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Step 4: Use a damp cloth to rub the adhesive

To remove sticker residue from a sticker that has been in place for over a year, use water. If this does not work, try using alcohol or other cleaning solution. 

  • Get a microfiber cloth that is clean, damp, and lint-free. Soak it in hot water and wring it out very well.
  • Apply firm pressure and tight, circular motions to rub the adhesive’s gunky spot.
  • Then apply some elbow grease and try scrubbing away the residue. Be careful so the moisture goes not enter any of the openings to avoid damages.

Step 5: If you must, put a drop of mild dish soap on the cloth

After rubbing the adhesive with a damp cloth, the area may still feel sticky or gunky.

  • Return the cloth to the hot water and add a drop of mild dish soap to a corner of the cloth. Make the soap lather then take out the cloth and use it to wipe down the gunky area.
  • After doing this, use the part of the wet cloth that is not soapy to wipe away suds.
  • Do not apply any dish wash soap, spray aerosols, or cleaning solution directly on your surface.

Step 6: Then use a dry cloth to wipe the surface

After wiping the adhesive with a wet cloth, dry the surface with a lint-free cloth that is clean and dry. This will help to prevent streaking, especially if the sticker was large.


Step 7: Try rubbing alcohol

If the residue is stubborn, dip a corner of the lint-free, microfiber cloth in 90% rubbing alcohol.

  • Use the same tight and circular motions as before to scrub off the residue.

Final Thought

On a final note, the method you choose to use to remove sticker residue depends on how stubborn it is. Although annoying and time-wasting, you can still get rid of surface sticker residue. Only ensure you use the right technique to clear sticker residue so that you won’t cause damage. If you have any demand for custom personalized stickers, welcome to inquire us at Zigpac.