Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

Stickers on Surfaces in the Home Don’t Need to Stick Around!

Adriana Aziz
July 27, 2023
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Don’t you just hate it when you buy something brand new and find a sticker on it? You already know that it’s going to leave a sticky residue on the surface after you peel it off. What’s even worse is that sometimes the sticker doesn’t come off in its entirety, leaving bits of paper on the surface to scrape off before getting to the adhesive stain.

Whether it’s glass, plastic, wood, or another material, sticker residue can be removed using various methods. The real question, however, is which methods work best for removing stickers from surfaces in the home? Well, MaidForYou is answering that question for you today!

If all your efforts have gone in vain, or perhaps you are looking for simpler, quicker ways to get rid of stickers from household surfaces and items, you will be very pleased with the solutions below!

How to Remove Stickers from Glass Surfaces

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We all know that glass is fragile and easily scratched if you are not careful enough. This makes it all the more tricky to remove stickers from glass because you run the risk of damaging, cracking, or breaking it. With that in mind, it’s important to use agents that break down the adhesive on their own so that minimal pressure is required when cleaning off the sticky residue.

Note that the methods mentioned below can be used on both glass and ceramic surfaces/items in the home.

Cooking Oil

This is one of the easiest and most effective methods for getting rid of sticker glue from glassware, dishware, windows, mirrors, etc. All you need to do is follow the instructions below.

  • Dip a cotton ball in a bowl of vegetable oil, and place it over the adhesive. Allow the oil to soak the glue for a few minutes.
  • Remove the paper towel, dampen a soft scrubber or cloth with warm water, and wipe the surface clean. 
  • For any stubborn, sticky remnants, a mild abrasive like baking soda can help get rid of it. Simply dampen a clean soft cloth with water, dip it in some baking soda, and scrub the surface in circular motions until the stickiness is removed.
  • Rinse and dry the surface to finish off.

Acetone/Nail Polish Remover

If you’ve ever used either of these products, you know how quickly they remove nail polish, paint, and colour in general. On top of this, their formula sees the liquid cut through adhesives without much effort, too! For best results, pour a small amount of nail polish remover or acetone onto a cotton pad, and gently scrub the glass surface to remove the sticker. You might need to repeat this with a fresh cotton pad until the residue is removed completely. 

Dish Soap & Hot Water

If the glass item is small enough to be soaked in hot soapy water, this is yet another simple way to remove unwanted stickers. It’s important to remember that the temperature of the water should be hot and not boiling hot as high heat can crack or even shatter glass. 

To use this method safely, heat water in a pot, and pour it into a basin; the water should not be so hot that you can’t touch it. Add 5-10 drops of dish soap, and give it a few stirs to create a hot, soapy solution. Soak the glass item in the water for at least half an hour, then proceed to clean off the sticker and residue using a soft scrubber dipped in the soapy water. 

How to Remove Stickers from Plastic

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A few things to be wary about when removing stickers or sticky residue from plastic include discolouring, dulling, and/or denting the material. In other words, the products and methods used to clean adhesives from plastic must be tried and tested. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for that! Take a look below.

Rubbing Alcohol

You get a two-in-one benefit when using rubbing alcohol or Isopropyl Alcohol (70%) to remove stickers and sticky residue from plastic. Along with cleaning off the adhesive, rubbing alcohol also sterilises plastic surfaces. You can use a paper towel, cloth, or cotton ball to rub away stickers (and the residue left behind) on all types of plastic items including Tupperware.

WD-40

If this product can remove rust from metal, you best believe it can break down a little sticky buildup too! It is, however, advisable not to use the product directly on the surface as it is quite a task to remove the strong smell of WD-40 from plastic. To eliminate this problem, simply spray the product onto a clean cloth (just enough to dampen it), and use it to remove stickers on plastic items/surfaces. Once you are satisfied with the result, wash the area with dish soap and warm water immediately to get rid of the WD-40 odour.

How to Remove Stickers from Wood

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Wooden Furniture, decorative pieces, and household items made from wood are slightly more complicated when it comes to removing stickers. This is because there are factors such as whether the wood is sealed, finished, or painted, that dictate what methods are more suitable.

IMPORTANT: Learn about the wood in question prior to using a cleaning solution/agent on it. If needed, do a spot test on a hidden area of the wood to check for any damage.

Vodka

Spirits do a good job at removing dirt, stains, and stickiness from various household surfaces. For wood, however, vodka is recommended over other spirits as it is clear and odourless. All you need to do is dampen the adhesive with a vodka-soaked paper towel, and then clean the area with a warm, damp cloth.

Blow Dryer

As you know, glue melts when heated; therefore, the goal behind using a hairdryer to remove stickers from wooden surfaces lies in loosening the grip the adhesive has on the wood. In doing so, the sticker should peel off cleanly. If, however, there are sticky remnants, they can be gently scraped off with a blunt object such as a credit card or plastic spoon. 

NOTE: A distance of five inches between the blow dryer and surface must be maintained to protect the wood. You should also begin with a low heat setting before increasing the temperature as needed.

Yes, it is a sticky situation but removing stickers from surfaces in your home doesn’t need to be as difficult as it seems. As long as you are using products that are safe for the material in question, and effective in breaking down the adhesive clinging to the surface, you are just one simple method away from getting rid of that pesky glue residue!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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