20 Methods To Remove Sticky Adhesive Goo & Gunk From Various Surfaces

Removing sticky residue from various surfaces can be a challenge. Things like packing tape, stickers from price tags, advertisement labels, packing glue, masking tape, and more can leave a nasty sticky substance behind. It can be a gooey residue blob of mess that is not easy to remove. Here’s a list of 20 items that can help make the cleanup of sticky adhesives easier. These methods or adhesive removal products can remove things like crayons, tar, grease and gum. You may need to experiment with some of these to find the correct one to remove the adhesive.

how to remove sticky residue

Removing adhesive from acrylic, plastic, and glass without damage

The below 20 items will help you to remove sticky residue such as tape residue or sticker residue:

  1. WD-40 (set for 5 minutes)
  2. Pencil Erasers
  3. Peanut Butter
  4. Vegetable Oil / Olive Oil (set for about 3 hours)
  5. Margarine
  6. Cooking Spray
  7. Nail Polish Remover
  8. Petroleum Jelly
  9. Hand Lotion
  10. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
  11. Furniture Polish
  12. Eucalyptus Oil
  13. Tea Tree Oil
  14. Hair Spray
  15. Baby Oil (mineral oil)
  16. Vinegar (soak cloth, apply then leave for 30 minutes)
  17. Rubbing Alcohol
  18. Windex / Window Cleaner
  19. Baking Soda & Water Paste (just rub in then wipe off with a wet cloth)
  20. Goo Gone

Once the gooey mess has been removed, wash the surface with soap and water to remove any leftover gunk.

If one removal method does not work for you, then wash off the remainder of the method you tried and try another. Try to use the least harmful product first and work your way to chemical solvents when all else fails.

We had a sticky mess from a ROSS label on a beautiful picture frame. We did not want to use harsh chemicals as it might have damaged it. We tried soap and hand lotion and it did not fully remove it. But guess what? Peanut butter completely got all the residue off without any damage! We left it sit for about 15 minutes then wiped it off. It worked awesome!

We also had a new wood table we bought at IKEA that had streaks from a tacky substance from the way it was packed. We tried peanut butter and it worked well and the oil in the peanut butter polished at the same time. Peanut butter is amazing!

NOTE: Do not use nail polish remover on plastic as it will eat through it.

If you know of some better ways to remove sticky residue from any surface, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant
Allen is a Home Maintenance/Appliance tech and the author/creator of this website. He has 30 years of experience troubleshooting and repairing all types of machinery. Contact here

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 LA May 6, 2017 at 9:49 pm

I have found some tape used when painting my condo, stuck to my blinds
they are those screen type blinds, that you can see thru
I’m not sure how the heck to get the residue off my blinds which are brown.
what would you suggest out of the list….


2 Una S Nelson-White April 23, 2017 at 11:59 pm

Peanut butter worked great for getting chewing gum off my bicycle tire. I had heard that nail polish remover and Goo Gone would crack the tire, so I didn’t want to use that.


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