How To Remove Sticker Residue From Plastic Surfaces

four brightly colored commercial stickers peeling off from the corner

R
emoving sticky residue from a sticker can be challenging and annoying. Many think peeling off the sticker is simple and will cause no problem, but sometimes it may stay partially intact and leave the adhesive. This is because many manufactures use strong glue to keep labels on plastic.

So, there are different ways you can try to remove the sticky residue off the plastic without damage. Using certain substances and materials might work on other surfaces but can scratch and damage plastic.

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The Easiest Methods To Remove Sticker Residue From Plastic

There 3 ways to remove sticky residue without ruining the plastic surface underneath. They are; using oil, using chemical solutions, and using elbow grease.

Method 1: Cooking Oil

a cartoon of cooking oil in an elegant bottle

The first way of removing the sticker residue of the plastic container is to submerge it into a container filled with the cooking oil for 12 to 24 hours.

Any cooking oil can be used, including canola and vegetable.

This helps to loosen up the adhesive as it soaks into the sticker, which makes it easier to remove it later.

After soaking for a while, use a razor blade or a scrapping tool to peel or scrape the sticker residue off the plastic. If it still doesn’t want to come off, soak it in the oil for a little bit longer and repeat this step until you can easily remove the sticker residue.

Another good advice to consider is if the plastic too big to be soaked in oil or cannot be fully submerged into the oil, then you can use a cooking oil spray on it. This can also be done by filling up any spray bottle with any oil to spray on the area if cooking oil spray is not available.

Method 2: Chemical Solutions

rubbing alcohol cartoon blue bottle with white label

There are many chemical solutions that can remove the residue of the plastic with no damage, but when using the chemical solutions, it can be unsafe as some chemicals are corrosive and should be handled with care.

Nail polish remover available in any local supermarket can help you to finally get rid of the sticky residue. You can either soak the plastic in the container of nail polish remover or use an old cloth with the remover to soak the area and scrub of the residue.

It might take a few minutes for the remover to react with the adhesive but make sure not to leave the plastic in the remover for too long as it might cause discolouration.

Another chemical to use to remover the adhesive is 90% isopropyl alcohol. Simply pour a small amount on a cloth and begin to scrub the adhesive. After a minute or so of scrubbing, the sticker residue will start to disappear off plastic surfaces.

Method 2: Good Ol' Fashioned Elbow Grease With Some Household Items

salt shaker cartoon on a white backgound

Other methods required a lot of scrubbing, but this method will need some elbow grease.

Removing sticker residue can be frustrating, but with these methods it will be a simple task.

All the methods use products that can be found in every household.

The first one is to use salt and a wet wipe. Apply a pinch of salt for the adhesive to harden and then follow on with a disinfectant wipe on the sticker adhesive to completely remove it. It might require you to use more than one wipe depending on the amount of residue.

The second method is to use baking soda and warm water to make a paste. Then apply the paste onto the adhesive and scrub it away. The paste consists of 3 parts baking soda and 2 parts of warm water. If you are still struggling to remove the residue, apply the paste again and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Using this method is simple and requires everyday items.

A Job Well Done

stickers peeling off from the corner on a gray square background

The ways mentioned above work to remove tape residue from plastic and to remove printed labels from plastic. If you follow the steps above, you should have no problem of getting rid of the residue.

To make sure you leave no damage to the plastic surface, try to not scrub hard and not to leave any solutions and chemicals on for too long. Otherwise, it may cause discoloration to the plastic.

After successfully removing the sticker residue off of plastic surface, use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe off and clean the area of any excess solution.

If you have an item which is a bit more delicate we also have covered in detail how to get stickers off of your laptop without damaging the stickers or the laptop.

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