UPDATE 6/22/2018: Since first publishing this article in 2013, we have received LOTS of great suggestions from our customers about what works and what doesn’t. Thank you! So, we have incorporated your feedback into a new and improved guide about removing adhesive residue.
Click here to read our updated article on this topic and take the hassle out of removing stickers, labels, tape from various surfaces at work and in your home!
Removing the sticky, adhesive residue left by stickers and tape can be a pain. Sometimes, scraping the adhesive off with your finger nail just doesn’t do the trick. Office Ink shows you how to remove adhesive residue from metal, plastic, vinyl and clothes.
How to remove adhesive from metal
To remove adhesive from metal, try using rubbing alcohol. Really, we should just go ahead and declare good old isopropyl the hardest working man in your medicine cabinet. In addition to removing removing adhesive from metal, alcohol removes cleans hands, removes dry erase marker stains and even revives dried out pens. To remove adhesive from metal, just rub the stain with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol.
Bonus tip: You can also use baby oil or rubbing alcohol to remove adhesive from metal.
How to remove adhesive from plastic and vinyl.
So the object in warm, soapy dishwater, then wipe the adhesive stain away with a soft cloth and vinegar.
How to remove adhesive from glass
To remove adhesive from glass, you need to break out the big guns. Try acetone nail polish remover first. FYI: glass is one of the few office & household surfaces acetone won’t damage. So don’t try it on anything else.
Rubbing acetone on the stain will probably do the trick. But if doesn’t try WD-40 next. Lubricant will break down the adhesive and is easy to wash off glass.
How to remove adhesive from clothes
There are a few methods you can try to remove adhesive from clothes. First, pre-soak your garment in hot water with a stain remover, then launder as usual. If your stain remains try spot cleaning with:
- One tablespoon of laundry detergent mixed with two cups of warm water water.
- One tablespoon of ammonia mixed with two cups hot water.
If neither solution removes your adhesive stain, fold your garment in half so the stain faces inward, with a wet paper towel between the two layers. Let that sit for an hour, then spot clean the adhesive stain with a soft cloth and an alcohol based hand sanitizer like Purell.
Got a can’t-miss stain removing tip? We’d love to hear it! Post your suggestions in the comments.