How to Get Goo Gone Out of Clothes

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It's common practice for retail workers to put price tags on glass, car owners to cover their ride in bumper stickers and children to slap stickers pretty much anywhere they can reach. It's often difficult to clean up the adhesive residue these acts can leave behind. Fortunately, Goo Gone goo and adhesive remover truly does work miracles and removes adhesive residue and other sticky substances beautifully. Unfortunately, however, it often leaves behind an oily residue of its own. To remove it, remember that it's a type of grease. As such, dish soap and rubbing alcohol will both cut right through it, as will laundry detergent.


How to Get Goo Gone Out of Clothes
Image Credit: Mieke Dalle/Photographer's Choice RF/GettyImages

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How It Works

Goo Gone's active ingredient is a petroleum distillate, which is just a fancy way of saying that the product is made from crude oil. You likely have many other petroleum-based products and cleansers in your home, including mineral spirits and kerosene. When used as cleansers, Goo Gone and other petroleum-based products don't simply loosen or dilute dirt. Instead, they actually eat away at and dissolve it, making for very effective cleaning. Goo Gone also contains citrus, which gives the product a pleasant odor and boosts its cleaning power by making it slightly acidic.


Fabrics to Avoid

Although you can remove Goo Gone residue from most fabrics and articles of clothing, there are a few to be wary of. Silk, leather and suede don't fare well when exposed to Goo Gone, so pay attention to what you're wearing when working with it. It's easy to spill the cleanser on yourself or your clothing even when you're careful, so change out of these fabrics before working with Goo Gone.

If Goo Gone Left a Stain

If you've used Goo Gone to remove tree sap or a similar sticky substance from your clothing, you may have noticed that the Goo Gone itself left a mark. Because it's petroleum-based, Goo Gone is oily and is best treated as a grease stain. To remove it, you can apply baby powder or cornstarch to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes to draw the Goo Gone out of the fabric. You can also dab the area with rubbing alcohol. After that, soak the stain in dish detergent or laundry soap for 30 minutes. Rinse the soap away and wash the garment with a little extra detergent. Wash the clothing in hot water unless doing so will shrink or damage it. Check for the stain before putting the garment in the dryer. If any trace of the stain remains, repeat the cleaning process before drying.


Get the Smell Out

Goo Gone's citrus smell is pleasant enough, but you probably don't want to smell like an orange all day. Sometimes, however, clothing exposed to Goo Gone hangs onto the citrus smell even after going through the laundry. If you notice this, wash your clothes again and add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle.



Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Whether you want help organizing your closet, picking a paint color or finishing drywall, Michelle has you covered. If she's not puttering in the house, you'll find her in the garden playing in the dirt. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. You'll find her work on Modern Mom, The Nest and eHow as well as sprinkled throughout your other online home decor and improvement favorites.