What Takes Stickers Off of Plastic?

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If somehow stickers have found their way to plastic, it can be difficult to remove them. Anyone with kids has more than likely dealt with this issue at one point or another. If scratching with your fingernail simply isn't enough to remove a stubborn sticker, it may require a little more ingenuity. With the proper materials in your arsenal, you'll be ready next time Hello Kitty and Thomas the Train find their way to places they aren't wanted.

Saturate the Sticker

Baby oil and vegetable oil can be of great assistance when it comes to removing stickers, and there's very little effort involved. Use a clean cloth to apply either one to make sure that it gets thoroughly soaked. The oil will help to break down the sticker, making it easier to clean up. Let the sticker soak for at least five minutes, and wipe it away with a clean cloth. If you have any residue left over, wash the item in warm soapy water. You can use Goo Gone and WD-40 the same way; spray it on and wait a few minutes before washing it away.

Soak a clean cloth or cotton ball, depending on the size of the sticker, in either vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Place the cloth or cotton ball on top of the sticker and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. The sticker should peel away easily, and the residual adhesive can be washed away with warm soapy water.

Dry-cleaning fluid and lighter fluid have both proven to be effective in removing stickers and adhesive but are also highly flammable. If you chose to use one of these, wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. These should not be used on children's toys or dishes.

Other Ideas

Hold a hair dryer over the sticker for a couple of minutes. Move the hair dryer around so as not to melt the plastic. As the sticker heats up, so will the adhesive underneath, making it much easier to remove. Lift up a corner of the sticker and focus the heat underneath it. Continue to pull the sticker away as you melt the adhesive. Eventually the entire sticker will come off.

Cover the sticker in peanut butter. The oils in peanut butter can break down the adhesive in the sticker quickly. Use a hair dryer to heat the peanut butter for 30 seconds, and wipe it all away with a soft clean cloth.


Melynda Sorrels

Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.