Peeling off price tags, manufacturer’s labels, and children’s stickers may leave behind sticky gunk on surfaces that can be stubborn to remove. Many do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, including some on this blog, require that glass and plastic surfaces be cleaned and sticky-free before you can actually repurpose them. Here are five methods to try the next time you need to remove a sticker.
- Plastic scrapers:
Metal blades often scratch the surface you are trying to save and can even pierce plastic containers. Instad, use a plastic scraper or an old plastic gift card.
- Hot water:
If you are trying to clean a glass item, consider submerging it in a bucket full of hot water and a few drops of dish detergent until the residue softens. Then, scrape away the gunk with your fingers or a plastic scraper. Note that some plastics should not be placed in hot water.
- Rubbing alcohol
One of the most effective solvents that’s safe for most surfaces, rubbing alcohol can clean and disinfect at the same time. Simply wet a rag with rubbing alcohol and rub the residue to lift it off. For stubborn stickers, place an alcohol-soaked rag on the area, and let it sit for several minutes to soften the residue. Then, use the rag to rub off what’s left behind.
- Canola or olive oil:
Cooking oil can also help soften sticker residue and make it easy to scrape off. Just be sure that the item can be cleaned later on since it will definitely be oily.
Vinegar is a multitasker around the house. Like rubbing alcohol, soak a rag with vinegar, lay it on the sticky area for a few minutes, and scrape the residue off.
Here are a few DIY projects that you can apply these tips to:
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022