How To Get Stickers Off Glass - 8 Simple Methods

stickers that you often see on car windows on a gray rectange background

We have all been there: buying something new and shiny, eager, and ready to sample it, before realizing that it is filled with sticky labels that need to be removed. Ok, sounds easy and trouble free, right? Absolutely not. Even with the greatest of cares, even with incredibly steady hands and the patience of a saint, stickers (especially ones glued upon glass, like car window stickers) tend to hold onto their “home” with ungodly force.

Even when, inevitably, you succeed in removing the car decals from their position, you most definitely will not do so without damaging the window or arguably w o r s e…leaving stubborn sticker residue. This adhesive, leftover sticky mess that just clings and masks the clear glassy surface with its worn-out and faded debris is the bane of many brand-new car owners, desperate to get the “blasted” things out of their windshields whilst retaining them in perfect condition.

However, this problem is not only limited to new cars, as new TVs, hand-held consoles, even some smartphones may come packaged with protective decals that have to be removed with uttermost care, lest the precious product is damaged in any way. This is the reason that this below list of diverse but effective in their own way method of removing adhesive has been concocted and is presented to you, fellow fighter against the residue!

How To Remove Stubborn Stickers and Residue

a cartoon style soap

The Classic - Soap

Soap has always been a compatriot to the human struggle against uncleanliness and sticker residue upon glass is no exception. Mix with hot water, creating a wonderful soapy water mix and proceed to drench a piece of cloth (don't use paper towel as it will break down while scrubbing) or sponge in it.

Let it absorb the liquid, before taking it and applying with gentle strokes the mixture to the sticker or residue upon the glass. After the application, let the liquid do its magic and soften up the adhesive tag, before removing the leftovers with a small spoon or even your fingers – you don’t want to scratch the windshields or otherwise sensitive glass surface.

The soapy water, blended with the hot water, will dissolve the sticky “bond” and weaken its hold onto the surface, thus allowing you a most easy and effective removal. Soap is relatively cheap and fairly abundant, allowing for a homemade method that is recommended for light residue and “sticker debris”.

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a cartoon style baking soda

Baking Soda

Now, baking soda is not far from simple soap, its use however may yield different results according to your specific “sticky” problem. By mixing together equal dosages of baking soda and cooking oil (from olive oil to vegetable oil) you will create a special mixture that will act as a cleaning agent to almost any type of minor dirt or debris, working wonders for your sticker on car window problem!

After crating this mix (do not worry about leaks, baking soda is natural and relatively safe for your skin), soak it in a cloth or sponge, making sure to drench it wholly and generously. After that, rub with the vehicle that holds the liquid the sticker and/or residue, leaving it cool there for a good hour or so (maybe even more, if the damage is deemed severe). After that, the mix with the baking soda will have softened up the adhesive link quite nicely, allowing a soft scrub (use a dull knife or wooden spoon’s edge) to remove the leftover residue from the glass. Again, exercise caution when handling the instrument of removal, in order to avoid potential scratches and “scars” on your surface.

The Application of Washing Soda

Car window stickers can be as suborn as they get, and after encountering a particularly uncooperative individual you will need to resort to washing soda. First of all, you create a mixture of washing soda and hot water, creating a dissolving agent capable of removing even the most stubborn stickers. However, make sure to wear protective gear for your hands (gloves will do), because washing soda may cause skin irritation and mild skin problems if it comes into contact with you.

This special “killer mix” is a washing detergent with much more force and finesse behind its abrasive foam, so make sure to take all the precautions that you can take before soaking the sticker and the residue. You can leave it for about 40 to 60 minutes, and since washing soda is a much more potent alkaline than baking soda, the target sticker should come off with relatively easy after the application of the liquid.

Finally, especially if you are removing stickers from a jar or other glass container that will be later used to store food or other consumables, make absolutely sure to rinse all of the washing soda mix with water after finishing the task – in fact, it is suggested that you leave the object under a running faucet for about 5-8 minutes.

Get Some Vinegar

four different stickers you often see on windows on a gray background

Vinegar is an excellent tool for removing stickers, especially when diluted with clear water. Vinegar is a mild acid that will soften and “weaken” the adhesive bonds formed between the sticker and any glass surface, allowing for a rapid and “bloodless” removal.

Heat a cup of white vinegar in the microwave. Wait until the white vinegar is warm enough – the key is to lightly cover the surface of the sticker with the heated white vinegar and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes to absorb the liquid – remember to dilute the mix with water, if you want a less “aggressive” mixture.

After that, wipe off any excess and try to scratch the sticker until it goes away. If the residue remains and persists, repeat the process, as each subsequent pass with the white vinegar will “cripple” the bonds more and more, until the sticker and its residue will vanish into nothingness altogether, leaving your glass windows and jars sparkling with crystal sheen! Moreover, vinegar is a mainstay in almost all kitchens, elevating this particular method to be the most easy, accessible and hustle-free of them all.

a cartoon hairdryer

Heat It Up

By law of nature and physics, heat reduces melts adhesive liquids, such as glue, reducing them to crumbling specks of dust if applied for long intervals, and reducing its “gluey” capabilities if applied for short intervals. In any way, you can heat the sticker that sits upon the glass using your everyday common blow dryer, making sure however to use the highest level of heated (and not cold) air that your dryer has.

Blow the sticker and the residue for about 3 to 6 minutes – remember to NOT let it cool before letting it off, as it may harden once again. Now you can try to softly scrape the sticker (not with your fingernails). Alternatively, if you so much prefer or do not have a blow dryer at the ready, you can let the sticker sit in the sun for about 2-4 hours (depending of the intensity of the heat) before trying to remove the adhesive decals.

In any case, when applying heat to help you get rid off sticker residue, make sure to be careful when handling the glass surface, as it will be hot and may cause skin irritation or minor burns. We recommend using a dull knife or a wooden kitchen utensil to slowly scrape off the “sticker debris” residing on the glass.

Alcohol

Alcohol possesses some abilities of a natural cleaning detergent, making it into another natural and accessible tool for taking care of sticker residue with relative ease. First of all, you need to have some pure alcohol in order to achieve maximum results. After obtaining it, drench a napkin, a small cotton piece or a sponge with it, before applying it into sticker territory. Rub it carefully and let it soak for about 10 minutes or so – do not worry if the residue won’t come off immediately, simply use another alcohol drenched napkin and repeat the process. With meticulous application and some time, the sticker will come off easily – just keep in mind that alcohol is highly flammable before using it. This method works wonders if you are unable to soak the object wholly into water or if you are cleaning sensitive objects, such as car windows that reside closely with the car’s electrical power frame.

WD-40 Is There Anything It Can't Do?

This is it – this is the “big boy”, the one that you call when everything else in the house has either failed or resulted in mild results. WD-40 is very potent that happens to be a chemical solution, so it is highly recommended to take all precautions when handling the bottle spray.

Simply spray WD-40 evenly on the sticker and try avoiding spraying the liquid on the glass surface – if want, you can first spray the WD-40 on a cloth and then wiping the sticker with care. Again, at all times, make sure that you are wearing gloves. After applying the chemical compound, let it rest for about 3 minutes, before drying it off with another piece of cloth that you will then discard. Usually, the sticker (alongside with its residue) will disappear after that, however, if by some miracle there is still trace of the “culprit”, then gently scrape off with a dull knife the no weakened sticker debris.

a cartoon style pile of ice cubes

Try Some Ice

The most basic method is the one that uses ice – simply hold an ice pack over the sticker for a few minutes to cool off the adhesive, before carefully peeling off the sticker with a dulled knife. This method also acts as a preliminary for identifying the severity of the sticker problem, so don’ be discouraged if it doesn’t work at first.

How to remove stickers from glass with vinegar

As mentioned above, vinegar is simple, relatively easy to use tool that possesses many qualities and capabilities when it comes to cleaning. Of course, there are many different and oftentimes surprising uses for common household products, including cooking materials. Like baking soda, vinegar has amazing cleansing and odor removal properties. To remove stickers and their residue from any glass surface, first heat some white vinegar and damp a cloth with it. Then use this cloth to get the vinegar on the target sticker, before letting it absorb it for some minutes. Finally, simply scrape off the residue.

How to remove any left over sticker residue off of glass

You can remove left over stubborn sticker residue off of glass using many great homemade methods that require little bit of elbow grease but no professional products. Anything from vinegar to baking soda and even the application of a blow dryer can wok wonders when trying to remove the persistent and stubborn adhesive sets after the “violent” removal of a sticker from a glass surface, such as car windows, glass jars or even mirrors.

What is the best way to get stickers off windows

The best way to get stickers off windows is directly correlated to your specific sticker problem – some will prefer the usage of natural and “homemade” mixtures of water and vegetable oils to remove the pesky sticky adhesive without risks of skin damage, whilst other will prefer the use of professional products specifically designed to remove the sticker from glass surfaces – the choice is yours and yours alone! Hopefully by now we have helped you get rid of that pesky sticker and more importantly removing adhesives left behind that look worse than just leaving the sticker.


Hopefully this has helped you to get your stickers off of glass, if you need help removing stickers from other surfaces we also have guides on how to remove stickers from wood and even how to get them off your laptop or other plastic surfaces.

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