Things like price stickers and labels, different types of tape (packing, masking, scotch tape) can leave behind a sticky, gooey residue that’s a tricky mess to remove. Here’s a list of items that can help make the cleanup job a lot easier.
Updated: This list was first published in 2007 but there were a few good additions in the comments section below that I’m adding so they won’t get missed…
Careful: Please test in an unnoticeable area first to make sure there will be no damage to the surface (especially on wood).
- Nail Polish Remover
- Petroleum Jelly
- Hand Lotion
- Hair Spray
- Baby Oil (mineral oil)
- Vinegar (soak cloth, apply then leave for awhile–even overnight)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Baking Soda & Water Paste (just rub in gently then wipe off with a warm wet cloth)
- Lighter Fluid
- WD-40 (set for 5 minutes)
- Paint Thinner
- Rubber Cement Thinner
- Artgum Erasers / Pencil Erasers
- Peanut Butter
- Vegetable Oil / Olive Oil (set for about 2 hours)
- Cooking Spray
- Mayonnaise (leave set for a few hours or overnight)
- Goo Gone
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Furniture Polish
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Perfume / Aftershave
- PVC Pipe Cleaner
- For surfaces that you’re afraid to damage, try heating the goo with a hair dryer then wiping off (firmly) with a wet warm & soapy cloth.
- Duct Tape (press on goo firmly, life tape up quickly, repeat as needed)
- Duct Tape Residue: try lighter fluid or WD-40.
- Once the mess has been removed, wash surface as you normally would.
- If one method doesn’t work for your particular spot, wash off the remainder of the remedy you tried and choose another.
- Ann Parker shares a good tip below: If all else fails, and you are ‘stuck’ with the glue, you can stop its stickiness by dusting it with talcum powder.
Have I left out your tried and true method? Please share below :).
(Originally published November 14, 2007) Plastering a vehicle with decals isn’t as common as it used to be but you still may come across them when buying used vehicles (and during hot election seasons).
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now how do you get the stubborn suckers off? Here are a few tips and tricks for peeling them off and getting rid of any residue left behind.
Getting Started: Use old credit cards, plastic rulers or blades to help peel it off when using one of the methods below.
- First warm it with a hair dryer or heat gun until the glue underneath softens and then try peeling it off. If you do this in the summer, let the vehicle sit in the hot sun for about half an hour first since it will speed up the process.
- If you can’t park near an outlet to use a hair dryer or don’t have a heat gun, try pouring boiling water over it to get things underneath melted and loosened up enough to pull it off.
- Saturate it really well with WD40, or lighter fluid, or white vinegar and allow to sit for a few minutes then try to peel it off*
*First test a small area where it won’t be noticed to make sure the vehicle’s paint job won’t be damaged or discolored.
Once you’ve gotten it off, you’ll find a bit of glue left on the vehicle. Keep heating with a hair dryer and rub it off with mineral spirits or a vinegar soaked cloth. You can also try WD40 or go through the list at the top of the page and test items until you find one that works (remember to test the surface of the vehicle first to ensure no permanent damage will occur).
Once you’ve completed the job, wipe the area well with a hot, soapy cloth to wash off the solvent (if any was used).