Buying dishes individually often means removing price stickers before washing and using your finds. Although many of these stickers peel off with ease, some are incredibly stubborn and won't come off in one piece. To remove pesky price stickers, start by simply soaking it in water. If that doesn't work, work your way up through household oils. As a last resort, use adhesive-removing products.
Removing Price Stickers With Water
The best DIY sticker removal method is also one of the simplest. A soak in hot water and a little dish soap loosens the adhesive that keeps many types of stickers, labels or tags used on dishes. This method is also a great way to get sticky labels off of bottles and jars. Fill the kitchen sink with enough hot water to cover the dish, then add a squirt of dish soap. Swirl the water around, then add the sticker-laden dishes. Wait 20 minutes or until the sticker is loose enough to rub off with your fingers.
The Cooking Oil Method
Any oils you have around the kitchen, such as olive oil or vegetable oil, are also good at loosening stickers and removing the gooey mess price stickers sometimes leave behind. Pour your choice of oil onto a folded paper towel, using enough oil to cover the stuck sticker. Place the folded paper towel atop the sticker and rub the oil into the sticker a bit. Leave the oily paper towel atop the sticker for at least several hours.
Remove the paper towel, then rub the sticker with a dry paper towel or a clean rag. This should loosen any paper-based sticker, as well as the adhesive. Wipe off as much of the oil as possible, then wash the dish in warm, soapy water. If any bit if adhesive remains, apply a drop or so of cooking oil and rub it in with your fingers. Wash the dish again.
Rubbing Alcohol or Vinegar Solution
If the water or oil hasn't completely removed the last bits of sticker residue, rubbing alcohol may do the trick. Rub the sticker or adhesive remnants with a rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab or folded paper towel. Pour some of the alcohol directly on the sticker on a back of a plate and let it sit for a few minutes, if possible. Like oil, alcohol often has the ability to loosen sticky adhesive residue.
If you don't have any rubbing alcohol, vinegar also works well. Soak the sticker with straight vinegar for 10 minutes or so, then rub the area with a rag or a nylon scrub pad designed for dishes. Do not use a knife or scraper, as these may scratch some types of dishware.
Household Adhesive Removers
In rare cases, a sticker may be so stubborn it doesn't fully come off with water, oil or vinegar. A goo-removing product such as Goo Gone or Goof Off removes most sticker residues, but is best used on the back side of a dish. Some of these storebought adhesive removers may contain chemicals that aren't food-safe, so always read the product label before using the liquid on the top of a plate or dish. Always wash the dish thoroughly after using such a product to avoid contact with foods or your skin.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.