Sticky residues left by tape, grease or food may be found on a variety of surfaces in your home. If the spots are caught right away, most sticky residues easily are cleaned with a bit of soapy water. However, sticky spots left for a period of time can be challenging to remove. The best method to remove sticky residues depends on the material you're cleaning.

Row of messages on sticky paper
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Sticky residues from tape and adhesives can stain fabrics and walls.

Electronics

Step 1

Turn off and unplug all electronics before you begin to clean, to avoid electrical shock.

Step 2

Remove surface grime and sticky residues from electronics casing using a wet wipe. Do not clean the electrical components or exposed wires with the wet wipe; only the cases that house these components.

Step 3

Wipe surface dust from LCD screens with a dry microfiber cloth. A paper towel or an old rag is too abrasive for screens.

Step 4

Dampen the cloth with water and add a few drops of 90-percent isopropyl alcohol. Wipe sticky residue from screens and other hard surfaces.

Step 5

Unplug keyboards, and DVD or CD players. Gently shake out debris.

Step 6

Dip a cotton swab into some alcohol and gently rub away sticky residue from the keys or controls. An alcohol-dampened swab also can be used to lift dirt from keyboard crevices and remote-control buttons.

Fabrics

Step 1

Scrape off excess residue from fabrics such as curtains, clothing and upholstery using your fingernail or a blunt edge such as a spoon.

Step 2

Rub waterless hand cleaner into the remaining residue on washable fabrics with your hands, then gently rub your hand over the residue to roll off the bits of adhesive.

Step 3

Apply a prewash stain remover to stubborn residue on fabrics and leave it for the time recommended on the label.

Step 4

Place the fabric item into the washing machine and launder as usual.

Step 5

Sponge residue on upholstery and carpeting with a cloth dampened with dry-cleaning solvent.

Step 6

Blot the residue with a dry cloth until the solvent is absorbed. Continue applying the solvent and blotting it dry until the residue is gone.

Step 7

Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into two cups warm water.

Step 8

Sponge the solution onto stubborn carpet residues. Blot with a dry cloth to absorb the solution and the sticky residue.

Step 9

Apply cold water to the treated area, then blot it dry. Reapply solvent to remove if any residue remains.

Walls, Trim, Doors and Cupboards

Step 1

Wipe the surface with soapy water to remove surface dust and debris. Rinse with clean water.

Step 2

Dampen a sponge with vinegar and scrub the sticky residue from the surface. Rinse with clean water to remove the vinegar.

Step 3

Remove stubborn residues by mixing equal parts baking soda and water to make a thick paste. Add more baking soda if necessary to make a paste thick enough that it won't drip down vertical surfaces such as cabinets and walls.

Step 4

Apply the paste to the sticky residue using a sponge or a clean cloth. Make sure the paste fully covers the residue.

Step 5

Leave the paste to dry, then scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush dampened with water.

Step 6

Rinse the surface with clean water to remove all traces of the paste. Reapply the paste to remove all traces of the sticky residue that remain.