How to Remove a Sticker from Plastic

Getting stickers off of plastic seems like it should be much easier than it is. But getting glue to stick to plastic is hard to do, leading most manufacturers to use high-strength adhesives to keep labels on. Whether you can’t remove a sticker or want to clean up the residue there are a variety of potential home solutions to try.

Method 1. Removing the Sticker

1. Always test a removing product on a small patch of plastic before using it. Some chemicals will react poorly with certain plastics, causing them to warp or deform. Before committing to any cleaning solution, use a cotton swab to test the chemical on a small, easily hidden piece of the plastic. Wait 20 minutes, and, if there is no reaction, go forward removing the sticker. custom NHL decals stickers

  • Try and pick off as much of the sticker as possible with your fingernails, the dull edge of a knife, or a razor blade before trying chemical solutions. If the chemical can penetrate the surface of the sticker it will work better.

2. Use a hairdryer on high heat to loosen the adhesive. You only need to blow hot air on the sticker for 45 seconds or so. After you’ve heated the sticker, try and peel off one corner of it. If it is still lodged on, heat it for another 30-45 seconds and try again. If you still have an issue, move on to another solution — the glue is heat-resistant.

3. Soak the label in cooking oil for 12-24 hours. Canola, vegetable, and other oils will soak into the sticker and loosen the adhesive, making it easier to remove later. If it doesn’t work, try again and then scrape it away lightly with a razor blade.

4. Rub the sticker with lacquer thinner. This hardware-store solution can cut right into the sticker, and it only needs 5-10 minutes to soak in. After you’ve let it soak, scrape up the sticker for an adhesive-free clean up. custom mlb stickers

  • Some specialty products, like Goo-gone, function similarly.

5. Use a degreaser, like WD40, to wipe away the sticker. Test the WD40 on a patch of the plastic. Then, spray degreaser on a clean cloth or directly on the sticky label or glue residue. Working in a circular motion, from the center out, rub the sticker until it pulls away.

6. Try nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol. Let the liquid soak into the sticker, or apply it liberally to a cloth and scrub away the sticker. The longer the liquid has to react with the sticker, the easier it will be to remove.

7.Wipe over the sticker with a disinfectant wet wipe. Apply some table salt to the sticker to prevent the glue from continually sticking and to help it coagulate into balls. Use as many wipes as necessary to soak and remove the sticker.

8. Rub an eraser over the sticker. Rub until the sticker lifts, then pull it back. You can then rub over any leftover residue to remove it.

Method 2. Removing Leftover Adhesive

1. Wipe peanut butter over the sticker residue. The oils in peanut butter, believe it or not, will break down many adhesives. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a sponge and warm, soapy water.

2. Use baking soda and warm water to remove goo. Mix together a paste with the baking powder and a touch of water, then use it to scrub away the adhesive. If it is not coming off, wipe the paste on the adhesive and let it set for several minutes, then return to it.

3. Use rubbing alcohol to lift the adhesive away. Get a carton of isopropyl alcohol, preferably 90%, and use it with an old rag to wipe away the adhesive.

4. Use a rag coated in WD40 to scrub away the leftover glue. Degreasers like WD40 may react with the plastic, causing it to warp or discolor. Be sure to test it out on a small patch of plastic before attacking the goo. When done, be sure to clean the surface with some water and a touch of dish soap.

5. Use nail polish remover to get it off. Make sure that it contains acetone, which is the key ingredient to removing glues. Let it soak for 4-5 minutes then scrub it away with a sponge, moving in small circles.


  • Pull the sticker at a shallow angle relative to the surface (opposite to the direction in which you are peeling). This makes it more likely to come off cleanly.
  • Soak in a mixture of hot water and dish-washing liquid. Scrub with a brush to remove any lingering bits of your removal method, such as WD40.
  • Use a toothbrush instead of a cloth for tricky bits of adhesive.
  • Instead of peanut butter, you can use margarine or hand lotion. These will work just as fine in dissolving the glue that sticks to the glass.

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