How to Get Gel Clings Off a Painted Wall

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Things You'll Need

  • Automotive lubricant and degreasing spray

  • Small knife, razor blade or flat spatula

  • 1 tbsp. baby shampoo

  • Chemically enhanced rubber sponge

  • Pencil eraser or art gum eraser

Gel clings are colorful, decorative pictures that have been designed to stick to flat, dry surfaces without additional glues or adhesives. The bright, thermoplastic polymer pieces are pressed into position and left in place for as long as desired. Clings can be reused any number of times on a variety of surfaces; however, they tend to work best on impermeable materials, such as glass or plastic. The clings are made from soft, flexible materials that can bleed color over time; consequently, when placed on painted walls or cupboards, the ornaments tend to leave a multicolored, oily residue behind.


Step 1

Spray automotive lubricant and degreasing agent around the edge of the gel cling. Wait five minutes, and then loosen the edges of the picture with the edge of a small knife, razor blade or flat spatula.

Step 2

Pull the loosened portion of the cling away from the wall and wiggle the blade to move it further beneath the cling. Work from the outside edges toward the center, spraying more lubricant as needed, until the entire cling is free.

Step 3

Drench any discolored areas in additional lubricant spray and wipe with a paper towel. The water-displacing formula draws oils and coloring agents to the surface so they can be cleaned up without causing any damage to paint or wallpaper.


Step 4

Wash the affected area with a sponge that has been dipped in a soapy solution made from 2 cups of hot water and 1 tablespoon of baby shampoo, and then pat dry with a soft cloth. Aerosol lubricants can be irritating to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes, so it is best to cleanse the wall, rather than risk exposure.

Step 5

Rub out any stubborn spots with a chemically-enhanced rubber sponge. These cleaning tools erase a wide variety of problematic stains while having no effect on the underlying materials. In a pinch, an ordinary pencil eraser or art gum eraser can be used to remove many of the marks left behind by gel clings.



Lisa Parris

Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.