The joy we feel after buying a new plant pot, water bottle, or children's toy can quickly turn to frustration when trying to remove the price sticker. We start slowly, peeling back the label with ease, coaxing it to let go. But more often than not, we're left angrily scratching away at leftover residue and possibly even damaging our purchase in the process.
Fortunately, there are several ways to remove sticker gunk from plastic, and they are all extremely easy. In fact, many of the most effective cleaning methods utilize everyday household products like olive oil, rubbing alcohol, and even peanut butter. With just a few minutes and a little elbow grease, you'll be rid of the sticky remains and ready to enjoy your new buy.
Equipment / Tools
- Hair dryer
- Wash cloths
- Paper towels
- Olive oil
- Rubbing alcohol
- Dish soap
- White vinegar
- Peanut butter
Before You Begin
There are a wide variety of materials you can use to get pesky sticker residue off of plastic, but be sure to test your chosen method in an inconspicuous area first. For instance, materials like olive oil can stain some absorbent plastics, and the heat from a hair dryer could alter the shape of your item, depending on how thin the plastic is.
How to Remove Sticker Residue With a Hair Dryer
Heat the Residue
First, point your hair dryer at the sticker. Turn on the hair dryer and heat the area for no more than 30 seconds,
Scrape Away the Residue
Gently pull away the sticker with your fingernails or a plastic scraping tool (such as a gift card).
Repeat the process, if needed.
How to Remove Sticker Residue With Hot, Soapy Water
One of the simplest ways to rid plastic products of sticker residue is with a little soap and water.
Mix Water and Dishwashing Liquid
Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to a large bowl or kitchen sink, then fill with warm or hot water.
Submerge the Plastic in the Soapy Water
If it's safe to do so, submerge your plastic good in the soapy water and let it sit for 15 minutes or so until the sticker softens and the residue begins to lift.
Remove Remaining Residue
Remove the item and use a toothbrush, kitchen scrubber, plastic scraper, or something similar to remove the remaining gunk.
How to Remove Sticker Residue With Olive Oil
If you opt for this method, be sure to test it in an inconspicuous area first, since some plastics may absorb the oil and stain.
Remove the Residue
Start by removing as much of the sticker as you can with your fingers.
Scrub With Olive Oil
Next, dab a wash rag or paper towel in olive oil, then scrub away.
Alternate With Soapy Water
You may need to let the oil sit on the residue for a few minutes and/or alternate between soapy water and oil to get rid of all the gunk,
How to Remove Sticker Residue With White Vinegar
Vinegar is a common cleaning solution, so it's no wonder people use it to remove stickers from plastic! If you'd like to use white vinegar to clean off sticky remains, the steps will be similar to olive oil.
Remove the Residue
Start by taking off as much of the sticker as you can with your fingernails.
Soak the Area
Next, soak a paper towel in vinegar, press it into the sticker goo, and let it sit for several minutes before returning to scrape away the residue.
Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth to finish.
How to Remove Sticker Residue with Rubbing Alcohol
You can use rubbing alcohol to get rid of sticker remains on most surfaces, including wood, glass, and of course plastic.
Soak the Residue
After you've scratched away as much of the sticker as you can, lay a paper towel drenched in rubbing alcohol over the leftover residue.
Let It Sit
Let the rubbing alcohol sit for five minutes or longer to let the liquid do its magic.
Once the adhesive has softened a bit, wipe away the remnants with your soaked paper towel and then clean it with a damp cloth.
How to Remove Sticker Residue with Peanut Butter
This is perhaps the most fun way to rid your plastic product of sticker residue. The oils from peanut butter can help break down the adhesive, so you can safely remove the residue without damaging your plastic good.
Slather some peanut butter over the sticker leftovers.
Leave it to absorb for five minutes or so, then return and wipe away the peanut butter with a dry paper towel.
Use some soapy water and a wash cloth to wipe away the oils and any sticky remains.