10 Simple Things That Effectively Remove Stickers From Any Surface

Stickers are a common presence in our lives, covering various surfaces from windows to walls. They are stuck on almost every new item we buy, and not only that – we happily slap them onto personal items from laptops to cars. However, removing a sticker or a label can be a headache! You peel it back, hoping for a clean removal; instead, you end up with the dreaded, impossible-to-clean sticker residue.

Fortunately, a few simple and readily available items can effectively tackle sticker residue on different surfaces. Our professional end of tenancy cleaners have a trick (or ten) in their sleeve on how to remove stubborn stickers and labels. This article will explore ten solutions to help you rid your belongings of adhesive residue.

Read also: Stain Removal is a matter of Chemistry


Applying heat is a quick and easy way to remove intact stickers. Use a blow dryer on medium-high heat, holding it a few inches from the sticker. The heat loosens the adhesive, making peeling or scraping easier.

Where to use it?

You can use the heat method to remove glue and stickers from almost any surface. However, you should be extremely careful when heating plastic surfaces and synthetic fabrics, as sometimes, even low temperatures can damage these materials. 

Plastic Scraper

A plastic scraper or the edge of a library card can effectively remove sticky residue for smooth materials like glass. Gently scrape the residue off the surface, ensuring not to scratch it. For stubborn residue, combine this method with heat application.

Where to use it?

You can use scraping on any hard and smooth surface like glass, plastic and metal. It could work on wood, too, if the material is polished. Avoid using scrapers on textured surfaces like wallpapers and fabrics – it won’t be very effective, and you can damage the surface.

Check also: 12 Spring Cleaning Hacks To Transform Your Home [Infographic] 


Take advantage of adhesive properties using tape to remove stubborn stickers. Wrap a piece of masking or duct tape around your finger with the sticky side facing out. Press it onto the residue, and the adhesive will lift it away.

Where to use it?

Masking tape is perfect for removing stickers and labels stuck on delicate or textured surfaces like clothes, carpets or wallpapers. Duct tape works great for removing adhesive residue from hard surfaces and materials. However, avoid using strong bond tapes like duct tape on walls or other painted or lacquered surfaces and materials. Strong tapes can strip the coating, leaving you with a bigger problem than a piece of an old sticker.

Soap & Water

A classic cleaning solution, soapy water works wonders for sticker removal. For glasses or mugs, soak them in a sink filled with warm water and dish soap. Apply the soapy water to windows with a sponge or cloth, letting it sit for 20-30 seconds before scraping off the residue.

Where to use it?

Besides loosening up stickers and labels on glass surfaces, warm soapy water can help you remove adhesive residue from almost any type of surface and materials – tiles, ceramic, porcelain, metal and wood surfaces. Of course, this method is inappropriate for water-sensitive surfaces like cardboard, wallpaper, or painted walls, as the liquid can dissolve and damage the paint.  


Baby oil, cooking oil or even lubricants like Vaseline can effectively loosen old stickers. Apply a small amount to the leftover adhesive and gently rub the spot. The oils will help you push the glue away and remove the old stickers and labels. Be cautious; oil can leave a greasy residue, so thoroughly clean the surface after removing the stickers.

Where to use it?

Removing adhesives with oil is a wonderful method for polished wood, laminate, metal, plastic, glass and other firm and smooth materials and surfaces. However, you should avoid applying oils on fabrics, wallpaper, painted walls, and untreated wood, as they permanently stain these materials.

Read also: How often should you clean? The ultimate cleaning cheat sheet for everything around the house!

Rubber Eraser 

Not just for pencil marks, a rubber eraser can roll away sticker residue on most surfaces. Gently rub the eraser over the residue until it lifts off.

Where to use it?

This method works best on firm, smooth surfaces like glass, metal, plastic or polished wood. Don’t use it on paper; it can rip off the material. 

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a versatile solvent that can help you easily remove sticker glue. Apply it to a cloth or cotton ball and gently rub the residue until it dissolves. 

Where to use it?

This method works wonders for removing glue and adhesive residue from glass, metal and plastic. Avoid using alcohol on painted, shellacked, lacquered, or varnished surfaces.

Check also: The Ultimate Room-by-Room Spring Cleaning Checklist 

Acetone (Nail Polish Remover)

Acetone is a powerful solvent for sticky adhesive residue. Apply a few drops on a cotton ball and rub it onto the spot you want to clean. Be cautious when using acetone, as it can damage certain surfaces, so perform a spot test first.

Where to use it?

Use acetone on glass, ceramics, tiles, and laminate. You can also use it on natural fabrics to remove adhesive residue from stubborn labels. Avoid applying acetone on anything plastic, as it can dissolve and damage the material. 


WD-40* is a versatile lubricant that can also remove sticker residue. Spritz it onto the residue and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a piece of rag to wipe away the residue.

Where to use it?

This petroleum-based lubricant can be used to remove adhesive residue from metal, plastic, glass, ceramics and even wood. Avoid applying WD-40 on paper, clothes, upholstery or painted walls, as it can leave unsightly stains.

Read also: Hassle-Free Tenant’s Moving Guide

Commercial Cleaners

Specific commercial adhesive removers are available designed to tackle sticker residue. Look for products like D.RECT Adhesive and Label Remover, Goo Gone or other adhesive removal solutions* in the household cleaners section of stores.

Where to use it?

Each commercial adhesive remover has a slightly different formula, so to be safe, always check the label on how and where you can use them.

*Please note that we are not affiliated with any of the products or brands mentioned in this article. We only recommend them as a reference for products that, in our opinion, work well.

Removing sticker residue will no longer be daunting, thanks to these simple and effective methods and products shared by Cleaner Cleaner’s end of tenancy cleaning professionals. Whether you use heat, tape, soap and water, or everyday household items like oil, erasers, rubbing alcohol, or acetone, there is a solution for every surface. Remember to test any method or product on a small, inconspicuous area first and use caution to avoid damaging sensitive materials. With these techniques, you can bid farewell to sticker residue and restore the pristine condition of your home and belongings.