How to Remove Label and Sticker Residue

How to Remove Label and Sticker Residue

Life sure can leave us with a bunch of trouble, huh? (chuckle) One of the annoying and common ones is label and sticker residue. No matter how well you thought you had peeled them off, you find yourself stuck with a messy ring or bits of paper left behind. The good news is removing labels and sticker residue isn't impossible! There are some ways you can make this task easier on yourself while still getting the job done properly.


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Nail polish remover

Nail polish remover is an effective way to remove sticker residue from furniture, plastic. The acetone in nail polish removers will break down many adhesives, including those used for labels and stickers.

  • Pour a small amount of the nail polish remover onto a clean cloth or paper towel.

  • Wipe the cloth over the label and sticker residue until it has been removed from the surface of your object.

It will help break down the adhesive on many thermal labels, but you may need something stronger if the label is really stuck in place.


Heating with a hairdryer

If you have a heat source, like a hairdryer, this could be your best bet. Try using a hair dryer to heat up the label until it loosens up and comes off more easily. This can also be done with an iron or other heat source like a stove burner or curling iron—just be careful not to burn yourself! Be sure that the surface you're working on won't melt under high temperatures or damage from heat exposure.

  • Plug in your hair dryer and turn it on high

  • Hold the hairdryer about six inches from the sticker for about 10 seconds (be careful not to overheat the sticker)

  • Continue heating the sticker until it is soft and looks like it’s starting to come off

White vinegar

Another option is to soak your label in vinegar for about an hour before trying to remove it; this should soften up the adhesive enough that it comes off easily when rubbed gently with water or soft scrubbing pads (like dish soap). You can also use vinegar to remove label residue from glass, plastic, and metal surfaces.

  • Pour white vinegar onto the surface.

  • Rub the glue with a rag or sponge until it dissolves (this may take some time).



  • Soak the label in water for a few minutes.

  • Use an old toothbrush to scrub the label, and then rinse it off with water.

  • Dry with a towel.

Rubbing alcohol

If you've got label stickers mess on your hands, rubbing alcohol can help. This solvent-based liquid is an inexpensive alternative to nail polish remover, and it's great for removing residue left behind by labels and stickers.

How does it work? Rubbing alcohol dissolves any sticky residue left behind by stickers, leaving your surface cleaner than ever before. The best part? Because it is a solvent, rubbing alcohol will not damage the surface!


Label removal sprays

  • Sprays are easy to use. All you have to do is spray on the surface of your item, leave it for a few minutes, then wipe off with a clean cloth or paper towel.

  • They can be used on many surfaces. Label removal sprays can be used on wood, glass, plastic and metal surfaces as well as vinyl.

Things to consider

Before trying any of these methods, test a small area of your surface (like the bottom of a can or the back of an envelope) to make sure they won't cause damage. Also be careful when using chemicals around food or drinks—don't let them come into contact with your skin and don't eat, drink, or smoke while you're working on removing sticker residue.

You'll be surprised how easy it is to get rid of label and sticker residue. With these tips, you can remove the sticky adhesive from your kitchen cabinets, bathroom tiles, clothes and more.

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