Peeling stickers off plastic surfaces, getting glue residue off of bathroom tile and removing bugs from your car's bumper are all reasons why a person might reach for an adhesive solvent such as Goo Gone. But buying a product like Goo Gone from the store isn't the only way to get rid of the sticky stuff. You may already have several alternative remedies under your sink or in your kitchen pantry that may prove equally effective.
When adhesives are difficult to peel off of a surface, vinegar can be an effective aid to loosening the bond and making the job simple. Warm water, liquid dish soap and vinegar is a common formula for removing sticky glues.
Nonslip surfaces like bathtubs are especially prone to stuck-on mess from adhesives. A sponge loaded with hot vinegar will soak through and loosen the glue backing from a decal or sticker, making it simple for you to rub it away or peel it off with your fingernail.
Baking Soda Paste
Make a paste out of baking soda and water to remove sticky residues from walls, floors or even skin. Massage the paste into the sticky mess and let it work into the glue, wax or scummy substance, and the gooey mix will easily wipe away. If you would prefer a more powerful baking soda solution, replace the water with coconut oil. It will smell nice, too.
Just as nonstick cooking spray keeps food from sticking to your pots and pans, it can also lubricate other surfaces to allow glue or a sticky mess to slide away easily. Spray the cooking spray directly on the surface you wish to clean, let the oils soak into the sticky area for a few minutes and then scrub it away. Regular cooking oil like canola will have a similar effect if you do not have cooking spray on hand.
PVC Pipe Cleaner
For particularly tough goo that you can't seem to get off with other methods, try using a PVC pipe cleaner. This cleaner is formulated to remove residue from plastic pipes prior to applying a permanent adhesive, which means that it's strong enough to strip off some tougher adhesive leftovers. These cleaning agents are a bit harsh, however, so they may not be appropriate for use on cloth or other delicate surfaces.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.