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How to remove stickers from wood, glass, metal & more

Got a sticker stuck on a surface you can’t get off? Whether you’ve got an outdated promotion window sticker, some branding you no longer love or had a little one stick an unwanted sticker on your wooden table, stickers, although we love them, can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare to remove, especially from difficult surfaces. 

When peeling price tags stickers, manufacturer labels, or any given product sticker, we can be left with a sticky residue or a particularly stubborn sticker might leave behind half the sticker. Our choice of removable stickers help massively reduce the risk of residue being left behind, but if you’ve changed your mind on what you once wanted to be a ‘permanent’ sticker, don’t panic. 

We’ve put together our guide on how to remove stickers from different surfaces, which will help you remove even the trickiest of stickers! 

What can you use to remove stickers?

The answer to how you can remove stickers could be lying within your kitchen cupboards. Different surfaces may require different products and methods to remove stickers so you don’t damage the surface underneath, but these common household items are known for being good at removing stickers: 

  • Hot soapy water
  • White Vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Nail varnish remover
  • Razor blades
  • WD-40
  • Hairdryer
  • Baking soda and coconut oil
  • Window cleaner

So, before you rush out and spend your money on expensive cleaning products, check your cupboards as the answer to removing stickers may be in your home already.

How to remove stickers from wood

Product or promotional labels stuck to wood should be relatively easily removed. However, stickers that have accidentally made their way onto wood, e.g. a rogue kids sticker, name tag, or residue from a coaster sticker, can prove a little trickier to remove. Don’t worry though, there are a number of methods and products to try, to remove stickers from wood. 

White vinegar to remove stickers from wood

Soak a cloth or paper towel in white vinegar and lay it over the sticker so it sits for 5 minutes. After this, gently remove the sticker from its surface using a scraper, tweezers, or your fingernail if you have neither in. Repeat this process until the sticker is fully removed. 

Once the sticker has been removed, wipe down the wood with the appropriate wood furnish. 

*It’s important not to soak the wood in water when cleaning or removing the sticker to prevent as much damage to the grain or cause the wood to swell*

How to remove stickers from wood using heat

To remove stickers from wood using heat, you just need to own a hairdryer! Keep your hairdryer on the lowest setting for both power and temperature as too much heat can cause damage to the wood. Aim your hair dryer at the sticker and warm it up so the sticker loosens up the adhesive and so the glue becomes soft and pliable.

Then, carefully peel the sticker away. Alternatively, use a flat object that won’t damage the type of wood such as a credit card, scraper or pallet knife and scrape the residue away. Again, finish with a wood polish or soft cloth.

How to remove stickers from glass and car windows

Maybe you’ve had a parking notice put on your windshield, need to remove an outdated promotional window sticker, want to get the dealer car window sticker off, or want to get a price tag off some new glassware or jar. Removing stickers from glass can be particularly painful and a tedious task. Luckily, there are a number of different products and methods that can be used to remove stickers from glass.

1. Use rubbing alcohol to remove stickers from the glass

Wet a cloth or rag with rubbing alcohol, apply and rub into the sticker so that the residue lifts off. For more stubborn stickers, you can apply an alcohol-soaked rag or cloth onto the area and let it sit for 3-7 minutes before peeling away. 

2. Use window cleaner to remove stickers from glass

Spray window cleaner onto the sticker on the glass and use a blade to remove the sticker or residue. Be sure to go slowly here but spray and chip away as many times as you need to to get the sticker off.

3. Use WD-40 for removing stickers from glass

Remove as much of the sticker and residue as you can before. Then, spray WD-40 onto the sticker area and let it soak for several minutes, before wiping any residue away with a damp cloth.

How to remove car stickers

Having a rebrand and car sticker you want to remove as though it was never there? Car decals, although incredibly durable, can also be removed. The challenge with removing car stickers is to try to not damage the paintwork. 

There are four steps to removing car stickers without damaging the paintwork, although this can’t always be avoided:

  1. Clean the sticker so there is no debris on or around it that could scratch the car paintwork when you begin to remove the adhesive.
  2. Apply heat to the car sticker, to weaken and loosen the adhesive, ideally with a hairdryer again as a heat gun can be too powerful. Distribute heat around the decal and particularly around the edges, for a few minutes. Then, peel as much as you can with your fingertips, or a soft spatula if needed.
  3. Remove any remaining adhesives or marks with either rubbing alcohol, WD-40 or a specific adhesive remover designed for cars. 
  4. Clean, wash and dry the area. Apply car wax to the area if the decal has taken off any. 

How to remove stickers from plastic

Product and retail labels can be pesky to remove, from cosmetic labels to water bottle labels. If you are wanting to reuse the plastic, you’ll most likely want to remove whatever promotional information is on it. The easiest way to remove stickers from plastic is using products you most likely already own. 

  1. Start by beginning with hot soapy water and a damp cloth if you think it is a label that can be easily removed. Alternatively for tougher labels on plastic use vinegar or nail varnish. 
  2. With your chosen solvent, wet a rag or cloth and apply it to the sticker residue area and let it soak for 15 minutes. 
  3. Then, wipe away the area with a rag and try to peel off the stickers as much as possibly. If you are still struggling to remove the sticker, use a scraper to scrape the remaining residue off. 
  4. Once the residue is off, clean the area with warm soapy water and clean with a dry cloth.

How to remove stickers from metal

Metal is known for its strength and durability, which is why stickers can stick incredibly well to them. To remove stickers from metal try the following:

  1. Scrape away what you can of the sticker with a scraper, flat blade or credit card and wipe away anything remaining either with vinegar or WD-40.
  2. Create a soapy water spray and spray it onto the area. Let it rest for several minutes to soak into the adhesive, then remove using a credit card or razor blade. 

Other adhesive removers that could be used instead of vinegar, WD-40 or soapy water to remove stickers from metal include: 

  • Coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed together
  • Baby Oil
  • Nail varnish remover
  • White vinegar

We hope you’ve found a solution to your sticker situation, with our selection of tried and tested methods to remove stickers from different surfaces. When in doubt, try with hot and soapy water and work your way up from there. 

Looking for some stickers to replace your old ones? Explore our full sticker product range and custom stickers for all kinds of products and branding, or read our blog for more helpful tips and tricks.