You thought that bumper sticker was the bee’s knees, until it wasn’t. That home decor purchase was the cat’s meow, until you realized the price tag or manufacturer’s label wouldn’t budge. Those pesky stickers use acrylic-based adhesives that leave behind a gluey mess. To avoid scratching, melting, or discoloring the surface, here’s how to get rid of the gunk: First, try to remove as much residue as possible with your digits.

Selecting the correct approach of extraction is essential, since it not only expedites the task, but also safeguards whatever plane you’re attempting to strip the label from.

We consulted three specialists on the most effective means of tackling tenacious sticker gunk — here’s what they had to say. Pro tip: Instead of clawing at the residue with your nails, try the corner of a credit card or a plastic scraper. A razor blade can also be utilized — just be sure to be cautious so as not to mar the surface beneath the muck.

Method 1:

Submerge in steaming liquid, a green guru and the scribe of “,” declares hot water can be sufficient to remove the muck from refillable items such as glass or plastic receptacles and flasks. This technique can also be a secure way to strip stickers off of apparel.

Douse the adhesive with some steaming H2O. If it’s a vessel, let it chillax for a few ticks. “As it heats up, the glues for most tags will relax, permitting you then to go in with a scourer sponge or something [slightly scratchy] to strip the label or tag,” says Piper.

Method 2:

Baking soda and oil  If you’re dealing with a sticky situation on hard, non-porous surfaces like metal or glass, try slathering the gooey residue with oil — from olive oil to coconut oil to baby oil, all of which can help loosen the sticker residue. Baking soda and oil is the way to go for metal and glass, while other techniques like using a hair dryer are better for softer surfaces like cardboard.

Piper concocts a goopy blend of baking soda and a few drops of lemon essential oil. She pre-soaks the label with hot water to loosen the adhesive, then employs the slurry and a scrubby sponge to eradicate the label. After the label is gone, you can just wipe away the remaining slurry.

Got a sticky situation? Reach for the mayo! Spread a generous helping of the oil-based condiment onto the affected area, let it sit for a spell (20 minutes should do the trick), then wipe it away with a dry rag. If the stickiness persists, just repeat the process. Peanut butter can also do the job if you don’t have any mayo on hand.

Method 3:

Hot-air-gun, Sometimes the most effective way to eradicate sticker remnants is with a bit of warmth, according to Dan Wiener, founder and head interior designer at . You can utilize a hot-air-gun on low temperature to facilitate softening the adhesive and make it simpler to remove. Aim the gust of air on the label. After around 30 to 45 seconds, attempt to lift up a corner of the sticker. Reiterate as needed.

This hairdryer hack can be utilized on a plethora of surfaces, and it’s a particularly great technique for stripping stickers or tags from wood or cardboard. But, you may not want to get too close with the heat on some surfaces that could bend, like thin plastic.

Method 4:

Sam Taggart: If you’re looking to get rid of that pesky stickiness, Goo Gone is the way to go. Just slather it on the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe it off and you’re good to go. It’s safe to use on carpets, fabrics, and hard surfaces, but it’s always best to do a spot test first. Don’t use it on clothing while you’re wearing it, though. Instead, launder the clothing separately with extra detergent after you’ve removed the adhesive. If you’re not feeling the Goo Gone, you can always try Piper’s DIY oil hack. Both will get the job done just as well.

Method 5:

Spray some WD-40 on the sticker residue and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. This multi-use product is a lubricator and rust remover, but it can also be used to tackle sticker residue from glass, plastic, metal, and other surfaces, including upholstery and fabrics. According to Sean Chapman, a professional carpenter and founder and editor-in-chief of , WD-40 will loosen the adhesive and let you scrape off the sticker with a credit card.

Be wary of the effects of extended exposure to WD-40! It can bring on wooziness, skull-splitting headaches, queasiness, or skin discomfort, so make sure to utilize WD-40 in an airy space and scrub off any spills on your bod ASAP.

Method 6:

Rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. If you’re dealing with sticker gunk on your threads, go for rubbing alcohol or an acetone-based nail polish remover. These solvents will break down the adhesive and other stains, so you can get your clothing back to its original state. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, you can also use vodka as a substitute.

Soak a cotton ball or pad with the liquid and give the affected area a good dab to loosen the gunk. Then, delicately scrape away the remains. After that, do the laundry with a non-bleach detergent. Sam Taggart likes to use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to get rid of sticker residue from a variety of surfaces. “Test any solvent on a small area of the sticker first to make sure it doesn’t harm the surface underneath,” he suggests. Rubbing alcohol can stain or discolor delicate or synthetic fabrics, including silk, wool, and acetate. Rubbing alcohol or acetone is also a great way to follow up any of the above hacks to get rid of any sticky residue.

Gettin’ sticky? No sweat! If you’ve got a surface that’s been plastered with a sticker, you can easily de-gunk it with a bit of heat. Boil some H2O or blast it with a hair dryer — either way, you’ll be able to scrape off the residue with ease. If you’re dealing with a more delicate material, like fabric or upholstery, you can try a few household items like WD-40, Goo Gone, rubbing alcohol, or even vodka. Just make sure you do a spot-check first and work in a well-ventilated area. With a little patience and some ordinary household tools, you can be out of a sticky situation in no time.

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