Stickers on glass harden with time and don't peel off easily. Paper-backed, vinyl and plastic stickers each require a different approach to remove them and the sticky mess they leave behind.
Removing Paper-Based Stickers
Soften paper-based stickers with your chosen ingredients before trying to remove them. Once the paper is softened, it comes away easily from the glass to allow you to clean up the sticky goo still on there.
Using Household Solvents or Oils
Nail polish remover, mineral spirits, rubbing alcohol, and vegetable or olive oil are all effective at removing stickers and the glue they leave behind from glass.
- Dampen a paper towel with the chosen remover, and rub it on the sticker until it soaks in.
- Starting at one end, apply a razor scraper over the moistened sticker or carefully use a one-sided razor to remove the sticker.
- If the sticker remains partly attached, apply more of the chosen solvent or oil before rescraping it.
- After removal, clean the glass.
Using Body Lotions, Oils or Creams
Hand and body lotions or oils as well as face creams can all soften the sticker to make it easier to remove.
- Cover the sticker with a reasonable about of oil, cream or lotion.
- Let the sticker set for about 10 to 15 minutes to soften.
- Once the sticker has softened, insert the bladed end of a one-sided razor beneath the sticker and scrape the glass to remove it.
- Wipe up the lotion, cream or oil with a clean paper towel.
- Clean the glass to remove any film left behind by the oil, cream or lotion.
Removing Glossy Stickers
You can remove glossy stickers by ensuring that oil gets under the sticker to loosen its hold on the glass -- the other methods won't soften the plastic or vinyl part of the sticker.
- Once the oil has penetrated beneath a glossy sticker well enough, peel it away by grabbing it with your fingertips or tweezers, or scraping it with a razor scraper.
- Blot up remaining glue with a rubbing alcohol soaked cotton ball.
- Clean the glass.
Removing Sticky Stickers and Tape
- Place the glass item with the sticker on it in the sun, to soften tape, price tags or window stickers before removal.
- The other option is to hold a hair dryer set to "hot" over the sticker until it heats up enough and softens.
- Once the tape, tag or sticker is hot, it becomes supple enough to peel it away from the window.
- Remove the glue residue using rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover or a glue removal product designed for sticker removal.
Homemade Glass Cleaner
This homemade glass cleaner doesn't leave any streaks, doesn't contain any chemical fragrances and is safe to use. Apply the glass cleaner to any sticky residue to remove it.
If the cleaner is not strong enough to remove the glue, apply a direct solution of rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to the glue to remove it, and then clean the glass.
- Combine one 1/2 cup of ammonia, 2 cups of rubbing alcohol, 1/2 gallon of water and a teaspoon of your favorite grease-fighting liquid dish detergent in a gallon container with a lid.
- Gently shake the ingredients together without making too many suds.
- Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spritz the glass.
- Wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.