This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click through to an online shop and make a purchase I may make a small commission. Thank you if you choose to do this.
19 June 2024

How To Remove Sticky Labels and Their Residue

Sticky labels, and the residue they often leave behind, can be extremely annoying. Whether you’re trying to remove an unsightly sticky label from a new household item, need to take a label off of a gift before wrapping it or just need to carefully remove a sticker your child has stuck to the wall, it can be annoying if sticky residue is left behind.

However, there are various household products that can be used to remove sticky labels. Next time you need to do so, why not try one of the below options?

Stickers on a cupboard and box ready for easy removal

Before you begin removing sticky labels

Before you get stuck into removing sticky labels (if you’ll pardon the pun!), it’s important to do a patch test on a small , unseen area to make sure it won’t affect the item, for example by bleaching it. If there’s a care label, check to see if there’s anything in the information contained there to suggest that you shouldn’t use a substance on the item you’re trying to remove the sticker from. Any substance you do use, remember that you do so at your own risk!

Furthermore, follow any safety instructions on any of the substances that you’re using to remove the labels with, such as thinking about any allergies you may have, how ventilated the room is and whether you need to wear protective items as necessary. Now we’re ready to get to the bottom of those labels!

How To Remove Sticky Labels Without A Trace

Sticker Removal Pen or Liquid

Did you know that you can actually purchase pens which are designed solely for the removal of stickers? These can be purchased online or in hardware / craft shops.

Give the pen a good shake, and then use it to dab at the sticker all over, and particularly at the edges. Let it soak in for a short while, usually around a minute should be enough, and then peel the label from the edges. This method should leave little residue behind, although it can sometimes leave a shiny surface underneath as the pens tend to be oil based.


WD-40 is one of the easiest ways of removing a sticky label, yes that same magic spray that will stop your doors from squeaking and help make that rusty screw easier to turn. This can be done by spraying it onto the sticker, leaving it to soak and then using a paper towel to wipe the residue away. Be sure that you’re not using WD-40 on an item which will stain or react to the chemicals.

Natural Remedies

If you want to use something a little more natural, there are several options. Soap and water, vinegar, peanut butter and lemon juice will do the trick to remove sticky labels on the right surface.

For soap and water, wet a paper towel with some warm water and then add a drop or two of soap, such as dish soap. Rub the cloth over the sticker residue until it loosens and you should then be able to wipe away the remaining residue. Vinegar can be used in the same way to remove stickers.

Peanut butter sounds like an odd choice for sticker removal, but due to its natural oils, it can work well on residue that just won’t lift. It’s also a good choice for more delicate or natural materials, such as when removing residue from varnished wood. Don’t forget to try a small, hidden patch first to make sure it doesn’t stain, however.

Lemon juice can be a great choice when removing residue from surfaces such as plastic or glass. In this instance, squeeze some lemon juice onto a paper towel or a cloth, and wipe it over the residue. However, do not use this method on anything that could be damaged by the lemon juice, such as electrical items (e.g. if trying to remove a sticker from a laptop).

Bicarbonate of soda

In some instances, you may need something slightly more abrasive to remove a sticker. If this is the case, bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda) can be a good choice. It’s a mild abrasive, and also has an effervescent nature about it which can help with the removal.

For this method, make a paste using equal parts baking soda and water. Apply it to the affected area and leave to soak for approximately 15 minutes. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe away any residue. Again, do not use this on anything that could easily damage or scratch, such as laptops.

I hope that there are several ideas here that you can try the next time you need to remove a sticker or super sticky label. Always try the area first to ensure that you’re not going to damage or stain it, and go gently, starting with the edges so that you can try to peel sticky labels away. And as I know that many people find sticker label removal very satisfying…happy sticker removal!

Would you like to comment?