How to Remove Adhesive Gunk and Other Sticker Residue

by maidinbastrop - August 7, 2018

Don’t you hate it when you buy a brand new vase or piece of furniture and as you go to remove the price tag, it rips? It’s the worst! You just know that it is going to leave that sticky gunk all over your brand new side table and you won’t be able to get it off!

Not only does it draw your attention but it also attracts hair, dirt, dust and anything else that floats by.  So what can you do to get rid of it?

How to Remove Adhesive from Surfaces

The first step is to remove those stubborn stickers without damaging the surface is to loosen it as best we can. You’ll first want to wet a kitchen towel with warm water, place on the sticker and let soak. Then remove any paper, leaving behind the adhesive backing. Now it’s time to de-gunk.  You will need:

  • Rubbing alcohol or acetone-based nail polish remover (Do not combine these chemicals!)
  • Paper towel or microfiber cloth
  • Plastic putty knife

Now let’s remove that sticker gunk!

  1. Apply the rubbing alcohol or polish remover directly to the paper towel or microfiber cloth.
  2. Gently rub the sticky residue until the gunk comes up. You may need to reapply or repeat this step until it is completely removed.
  3. If you run into some stubborn sticky residue use a small plastic putty knife. Be careful the knife can easily gouge or scratch many surfaces such as; wood, glass, or walls. Wrap the wet cloth around the putty knife, this helps to avoid gouging and allows for better scrubbing ability.

Some Don’ts to Keep in Mind

When it comes to getting rid of that pesky sticker gunk you may get desperate to try any solution.  However, here are some things to be aware of:

  1. Do not leave rubbing alcohol or acetone-based polish remove sitting on surfaces. While it will dissolve the glue, it could also cause more damage to those surfaces. We recommend using baby oil or olive oil when removing sticky residue from wood furniture or floors to avoid any possible damage.
  2. Refrain from using your fingernails or any metal objects like metal scrapers or kitchen knives to remove the stickers. This can cause damage to the polyurethane coat on wood surfaces or scratch walls and countertops.

While you can’t prevent price tags and labels from gumming up items in your home, it’s nice to know how to remove sticker residue. But what about the scuff marks on your floor?