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bobbinhood's avatar

How do you remove sticker residue from plastic (humor welcome)?

Asked by bobbinhood (5898points) June 9th, 2011

Everyone I ask always says to use rubbing alcohol, but whenever I try that, I just end up with a much larger sticky mess than the one I started with. Rubbing alcohol successfully spreads the stickiness, but I have never gotten it to remove it. What methods have you found to be successful at banishing the evil sticker residue? Humor, hyperbole, and sticker war stories are welcome, but if you have genuine tips, I would love to hear those, too.

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24 Answers

josie's avatar

Orange oil

AmWiser's avatar

If I can’t remove it, or hide the spot, I usually just throw it out.

TexasDude's avatar

Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

Or alternatively, try denatured alcohol and a plastic stiff bristle brush.

woodcutter's avatar

Mineral spirits should work.

creative1's avatar

Alcohol usually works on breaking up the sticky

wundayatta's avatar

Set it on fire. You won’t need to worry after that.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Napalm or Un-goo will work removes stickers, stickees, glue….etc.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I second Goo Gone.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I call Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius, and he does it.

If he’s not available, I use Goo Gone.

If that’s not available, I use running hot water and my thumb.

Sunny2's avatar

There are several products like Goo Gone. Check your local hardware store. It’s a good product to have on hand. Sticky marks from various tapes are easily removed with whatever you hardware store has like Goo Gone. (If they don’t have Goo Gone) When a stick-on hook comes off and leaves residue, it takes that off too. Unless, of course the goo is really witch’s spit. If you have an infestation of witch’s spit you need to find a local shaman to get rid of it. He or she will have incantations to remove the tackiness, but the Goo Gone is much cheaper. I think the going rate for shamans is somewhere around $350, depending on how bad the infestation is. I think I’d try the hardware store first.

Earthgirl's avatar

I third Goo-Gone. It works great. If you don’t have any a good substitute is a combination of alcohol and lemon juice.

Mariah's avatar

How weird, I was just thinking of asking this question the other day! Get out of my brain! ;)

mazingerz88's avatar

Slowly scratch it off the surface with a sharp blade.

If nothing works, catch that monster alien from the Alien movies and use its blood to wipe the sticker residue off. : )

Kardamom's avatar

At work we used to use lighter fluid. Just be careful about where you are working and don’t have any matches or flames around when you rub the lighter fluid on the residue, and then douse your scrubber in water before you discard it. Lighter fluid is a solvent, that is why it works. But it should leave a clean, non residue surface and not just roll the adhesive around like alcohol does.

perspicacious's avatar

Goo Gone or charcoal lighter fluid will remove it with ease.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I recently used vegetable oil for this purpose. I’d spent the day trying to get 2 big labels off a plastic pepper grinder, to no avail. I’d tried soaking it, hot water, soap, soap and hot water.. and what finally did it was the oil. I just dipped a finger in oil and rubbed it around on the adhesive. Mind you, I’d gotten most of the label off, but the glue and white paper stayed behind stubbornly.

I have no idea why it even occurred to me to do, but at least it worked. :P

Barring that, Goo Gone is awesome.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Zippo lighter fluid. I use it for everything. Everyone should have a can of it under their kitchen sink.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

A shotgun.I don’t have time to fool around

Cruiser's avatar

Put peanut butter on it and toss it to the pup!

snowberry's avatar

Seriously, use baking soda. It will NEVER scratch plastic, and it dissolves instantly in water. I dump out a little pile in a dish, dip a wet finger in it, and rub away on the spot. If it can be removed, this should do the job. You will have to do it over and over, but it will begin to combine with the glue and ball up a bit. Periodically you will need to clean off your finger and start over, but it WILL come off. You can also use a bit of damp rag, but I find a damp finger dipped in baking soda works better because I have more control. I can actually feel where it’s coming clean.

You can use baking soda to detail anything from toasters to microwaves. Once I had a toaster with metal sides, and the bread wrapper stuck to it, and melted all over the side. I thought I’d have to get a new toaster. I tried using a knife, but it only scratched it. Then I tried baking soda. Apparently the crystals from the soda worked their way under the melted plastic, and it came up like a dream. No scratches except for the ones I put on it with the knife.

It’s also handy to have an old tooth brush handy to get tiny areas. Dip the wet toothbrush in the soda and away you go! When finished everything will wipe up with a damp rag.

bobbinhood's avatar

@snowberry Thanks for bringing me back to this question. I asked it when my internet wasn’t working well, and I had forgotten that I hadn’t given everyone their GAs yet. Also, I’m very anxious to try your method since Goo Gone didn’t work as well as I had hoped. It got everything off, but it left discoloration on the clear plastic.

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard @wundayatta @aprilsimnel @Sunny2 @mazingerz88 @lucillelucillelucille @Cruiser I love the creative answers! They made me smile.

@worriedguy Zippo lighter fluid. I use it for everything. I’m very curious. What all do you use lighter fluid for?

snowberry's avatar

Warning about plastic. NEVER use anything with ammonia on plastic. It can damage it, permanently. That’s why makers of plexiglass tell you to use a non ammonia based cleaner. There are many brands available in the stores. Always read the labels on your cleaners.

Also, NEVER EVER combine ammonia and bleach. The fumes that result are extremely toxic.

And of course, baking soda is non-toxic.

SomeoneElse's avatar

What about WD-40? I thought that had a myriad of uses and a Fan Club!

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