How to Remove Sticker Residue


Alex asked: How do you clean stickers off kitchen plates and bowls? I just purchased a set of bowls and plates, and they have annoying SKU stickers on them. If I try to peel them off, it leaves the glue and pieces of paper. How do I get stickers cleanly off my plates?

Removing pricing stickers can be a real pain to say the least. The sticky residue that is left behind can collect dirt and quickly become a dark, sticky area that takes away from the attractiveness of the new piece. Fortunately, the sticky residue can be removed with a little bit of oil (or oil-based product), scrubbing and time. Here’s what you need to know.

You Will Need:

  • Goo Gone
  • WD-40
  • Plain, white toothpaste
  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Windex
  • Peanut butter
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
  • Hair dryer
  • Mild detergent
  • Soft cloths or sponge
  • Cotton balls

Steps to Remove the Sticker Residue:

  1. Begin by selecting one of the products above to remove the residue. All of these items have oils in them that will help to release the residue.
  2. Moisten a soft cloth or cotton ball with the liquids or spread the solids (ex: peanut butter) over the residue.
  3. Gently scrub the area with a cloth or sponge until the residue is lifted.
  4. Clean the area with a mild soap and water to remove any residue from the cleaner.
  5. Dry with a soft cloth.
  6. For sticker residue on surfaces that may be damaged by the above products, try heating the residue with a hair dryer and then wiping it away. It will be necessary to apply some pressure as you use a cloth moistened with soapy water to remove the sticky goo.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Some cleaning products may affect the surface of the area you are cleaning. Always test a small, hidden area first to ensure there is no damage to the color or texture of the surface.
  • In some cases, the sticky goo can be erased away. Simply rub over the area with a pencil eraser, or larger eraser for larger spots, until the goo is removed. Brush off the eraser shavings and it’s all set.
  • For thicker residue, a thinner such as rubber cement thinner may be helpful to loosen it before removal.
  • If thinner is unavailable, try scraping away as much goo as possible first with a spoon, and then following the procedures above.


  1. Ann says:

    There is an awesome product named “Goo Gone” that will do the trick. It is citrus-based and comes in a spray gel that you should be able to find at your local Wal-Mart or other retailer. Just spray a small amount on the sticker or residue, let it set a few seconds to dissolve the glue, and wipe clean with a paper towel. It tends to leave a somewhat oily film behind, so the item may require a second washing, but it is definitely worth the results!

  2. Darlene says:

    A good, safe way to remove sticky residue left from labels is to use a dab of petroleum jelly. After you have peeled off what label you can, just rub it on and let set a few minutes. Then take a paper towel and lightly scrub off the residue. (As some glues are tougher than others, it may take a repeat effort.) Wash in hot soapy water to remove leftover.

    Many of today’s glues will come off cleanly by simply soaking the object with the label intact in hot soapy water for 10-20 minutes. The label will slip right off, leaving no residue.

  3. Tori says:

    Thanks, this really works. You can use non-acetone nail polish too, it works the same.

  4. Katie says:

    I just tried eye makeup remover today on new sunglasses and it worked wonderfully with a paper towel and using slight pressure to rub the residue off and didn’t harm the sunglasses at all.

  5. Nana of five says:

    I had sticky residue on some plastic plates I removed the sticker from. I tried soaking in hot soapy water and even tried alcohol, neither worked. Then I tried the peanut butter and with a little effort it actually came off.

  6. Robert says:

    The peanut butter does really work, but the peanut butter has to be scrubbed or rubbed in a circular motion, or in some type of back and forth motion. You can actually feel when the sticky residue is coming off, because the glass surface will be smooth and will not be rough any longer. I had sticky glue on a glass countertop, and it came off really quickly. To be honest, I thought the people making the comments about the removal with peanut butter were crazy, but after trying it, IT REALLY DOES WORK!!! After completion, the peanut butter has to be wiped off with a cloth, and the glass has to be cleaned with a glass cleaner, because of the peanut butter.

  7. Joe says:

    PB is not only my favorite food… It is my new favorite adhesive remover!

  8. Janelle says:

    Eucalyptus Oil is my weapon of choice. Just apply it neatly to a cloth and the sticky stuff wipes right off.
    It’s also fabulous for cleaning; a few drops is sufficient, into your mop bucket with your regular cleaning product. Great for when you have a stuffy head; a few drops on your handkerchief or a few drops with water in your oil burner.

  9. Jess says:

    Toothpaste! Who knew?

    I had bought a PS1 Game and the original sale stickers were still on it. I tried to remove them but got left with sticky glue. I came across this site and tried the only thing I had in my cupboard, toothpaste, and it worked! Thank you so much, the game looks nearly new now. ^^

  10. Russ says:

    Task: Remove the residue left on a textbook cover after completely removing a paper “Used Book” sticker.
    Results (in order of application):
    Peanut Butter – FAIL
    Bathroom Cleaner w/ bleach – FAIL
    90% isopropyl alcohol – FAIL
    oven cleaner – FAIL
    Comet powder with water – FAIL
    Tea Tree oil – INSTANT SUCCESS!!!

  11. KP says:

    I used an eraser to remove old sticker residue from a used laptop, and was surprised at how easy it was to clean off. I then used rubbing alcohol to clean the rest. Thank you very much!

  12. Timmy says:

    The pencil eraser worked magnificently. I can’t believe it!

  13. Clara says:

    When I removed a label from a protective sheet for my tablet, it left glue behind. I tried the toothpaste first and it barely worked. I had applied it twice. Then, I tried the alcohol and the glue was partially removed. I finally took a soft cloth and rubbed the glue deposit. Hallelujah; it worked. Thanks for all the helpful tips.

  14. Moe says:

    Mine is on a laptop. What should I use?

  15. Tom says:

    Vegetable oil works brilliantly! I put some stickers on the keys of our piano to help my niece learn the letters and when I peeled them off, the sticky residue was left behind. I tried scraping it off with a knife and tried rubbing alcohol, which didn’t work, but (inspired by this site) I dabbed some safflower oil onto a paper towel and rubbed it on the keys. Voila! Perfectly smooth and slick again. It took all of five seconds to do! I’m assuming any vegetable oil would work equally well.

  16. Jeff says:

    Yep, worked perfectly for me. I had to remove some stickers from the bottom of a laptop, so many methods described here would not work except tea tree oil. It truly is one of nature’s all-purpose wonders!

  17. Ceesan says:

    I just bought camping plates and bowls, and unfortunately they placed the sticker right in the middle of the inside of each plate/bowl! So I tried to remove them as best I could, but couldn’t remove the residue. I used petroleum jelly and peanut butter, and the peanut butter works best. It doesn’t require any elbow grease. Used a scouring pad under hot water after I let them sit for two hours. Thanks for posting everyone!

  18. Megz says:

    So, I’m doing the party packs for my son’s birthday party and they have these huge glue spots. I used good old cooking oil and a cotton ball, and literally within minutes they were gone!!

  19. Laura says:

    Peanut butter worked like a charm to get sticker residue off the bottom of mugs! Thanks for the tip!

  20. Murtuza says:

    Smart me used a textbook plastic cover on my cell phone screen. After taking it off, all the residue was left on the screen. Big disaster! That was one thick layer of residue. Manually, very slowly, I tried: Hair dryer, only very slowly. Ketchup, well, I was kidding myself. Peanut butter? Yummy residue, but no luck. Finally, nail polish remover took some effort, but I had my shiny screen back at last.

  21. ADG says:

    Bloody amazing! I was trying to remove the sticky stuff for ages, then I found this and within a couple of minutes (and with some help from my WD-40) it was off in seconds.

  22. Richard says:

    Vegetable oil works. I guess any oil (WD-40, peanut butter, etc.) would work.

  23. Devilde says:

    I’m so going to try this out, thanks!

  24. Heather says:

    I just got a new leather-bound notebook, but it had a huge price tag sticker on it. Turns out toothpaste was the only thing that worked for me.

  25. Glenn says:

    Used WD-40 on those annoying “please don’t sue me” stickers wrapped around the electrical cord of every major and minor appliance I have, and it worked perfectly!

  26. Jess says:

    I had stickers on my mobile phone, and I went to take them off – soon I was left with a sticky gross phone! I used peanut butter, which I spread on then wiped away with a wet washcloth (I took the back off the phone first, obviously) then I gave it a quick spray of some surface cleaner (like what you use for a kitchen bench or a shower), and I had a shiny, clean phone again!

  27. Christine says:

    I stuck some stickers on my laptop lid and tired methylated sprits but that didn’t work and then tried vegetable oil and it works!

  28. Mickey says:

    Just took a sticker off of my skateboard with Olive Oil.
    Took a little elbow grease but it did nothing to the paint.
    Couldn’t be happier.

  29. Judy says:

    Yea for peanut butter! Other solutions did not work to get the sticky label off my new trifle bowl, but peanut butter did the trick. Peanut butter (1/2 t.) also stops hiccups!

  30. Terri says:

    The Magic Eraser was amazing at taking off the sticky residue on silverware. Simple; just a few rubs and it was sparkling clean.

  31. Veronica says:

    A little bit of rubbing alcohol did the trick!! I took a label off of a book and it was really sticky, but I put some rubbing alcohol on a piece of tissue and it rubbed right off. Also, with using rubbing alcohol, it dries quickly with no mess! This changed my life. 😉

  32. Dasy says:

    You can remove sticky labels and glue marks using mayonnaise or regular vegetable oil. Coat the label liberally with the mayo or oil, then give it a few minutes to work through the glue. Carefully scrape off the label, sticky stuff and the mayo or oil using a clean rag and a little window cleaner or alcohol. Should cut the grease and leave the glass underneath sparkling clean.

  33. CIT says:

    Just a WARNING to anybody trying to remove residue from their trainer/sneaker rubber insoles, don’t use the warm water and soap with a hair dryer treatment!!! Used it due to reading it on here and it didn’t get rid of that irritating last bit of stickiness that actually was only a minor irritant, nothing worth worrying about, but I attempted to remove it, and using this method, it didn’t work AND my insole seems to have melted very slightly and also shrunk by 5 mm in the main focus area, the heel, so now with them in my shoes and on my feet I can feel a slight shift of the insole, which is rather annoying considering that these are my brand new Nike RosheRuns that cost £70/$105ish!

  34. Gayle says:

    Sticky residue left from masking tape on a silver-plated place setting.
    How do I remove that? What will hurt the finish?

  35. Dawn says:

    Trying to get medical tape off of a baseball bat without peeling the decals off. What do I do? Help.

  36. G. Srinivasan says:

    I removed the sticker from my passport. So how to remove the stickiness once the sticker is removed?

  37. Rich says:

    I always use lighter fluid and a cotton ball. It leaves no residue, will not scratch or etch plastic, and evaporates.

  38. Aled says:

    HELP, I’ve just tried to remove stickers and residue off my car (so, metal). I’ve tried vinegar, boiling water, Mr. Muscle and a hair dryer, but nothing is working! Any ideas?

  39. Melanie says:

    You need either the article on How to Remove Bumper Stickers or the one on How to Remove Dealership Decals from a Car.

  40. Teresa says:

    Wow, the pencil eraser worked like a charm to get label residue off a new baking pan! I’m amazed–no scrubbing, and not even soapy water needed. Thank you!

  41. Arwen says:

    Does anyone know how to clean the sticky reside from stickers put on the inside of trainers without leaving a mark?

  42. Rachel says:

    Peanut butter on residue on a metal surface works like magic!!

  43. Allison says:

    Eye make-up remover works great on sunglasses! I tried nail polish remover with acetone first and it only worked a little, so then I switched to eye make-up remover and the sticky residue was gone in a matter of seconds. Minor swipes with a cotton square and no damage. Rinsed the sunglasses off with soap and water, and then dried them with my T-shirt; good as new!

  44. Hal says:

    What is the easiest way to get rid of residue left from bowling tape?

  45. Melanie says:

    Alcohol is a great first choice since it will work for most types of adhesive and according to, it can work on bowling tape. If the residue is at the bottom of the finger hole and tough to clean, fold a paper towel, pour some rubbing alcohol on it, then wrap the damp folded paper towel around a screwdriver; you can use the screwdriver to easily scrub the finger holes with the paper towel.
    If alcohol doesn’t work, use the same trick with one of the other cleaners on the list – acetone nail polish remover might be a good choice, but be careful, it could damage the finish on the bowling ball. Oil is another great choice for removing adhesive residue, but be sure to clean it all out with dish liquid and water or you’ll have trouble holding the ball in the future.
    Source: Youtube, – How To Remove Finger/Thumb Tape From Your Bowling Ball

  46. Barbara Tanguay says:

    Rubbing alcohol did the trick and I am glad I chose you to help me–if I ever need ‘help’ again will get it from you!

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