Ever heard of Goo Gone? That cleverly-named, citrus-smelling degreaser helps all sorts of goo be gone (for lack of a better description). While it's a relatively good product that I've successfully used to de-stick several stubborn stickers, it's expensive (about $1 an ounce…ouch!) and there isn’t always a bottle around every time you encounter a sticky situation.

If you find yourself caught in the “stick” of it and don't want to schlep to the store or pony up your hard-earned cash for a pricey bottle of Goo Gone, there are several products you most likely already have at home that should do the job just as well.


If you're looking for a chemical-free way to remove pesky price tag stickers or logo stickers from products, grab your hairdryer (ionic, bionic, sonic, catatonic…it doesn’t matter, it just needs to blow hot air). Turn your hairdryer up to its hottest setting and then blast the stubborn sticker for 45 seconds from a distance of about eight inches. Try peeling off one of the corners of the sticker. If it doesn't peel off easily, blast it for another 45 seconds with hot air and then try again to remove the sticker. The heat from your hairdryer should melt away the chemical adhesives that have given the sticker a death grip on the product to which it is affixed. If there is any remaining residue, use a rag dipped in warm water to rub it away. Note: Only use this hairdryer technique on products that aren't heat sensitive (i.e. a sticker on a glass picture frame). If you use a hairdryer to try and remove a sticker on an item such as a candle or a lipstick, you may inadvertently ruin (melt) the product.


When unsuccessful in trying to remove leftover glue from a sticker, label, or unfortunate bumper sticker, it's time to break out the vodka. Don't get too excited–I'm not advocating an impromptu cocktail hour! The vodka is for de-sticking, not drinking. Pour a little vodka on a rag and rub the rag over the leftover glue for 60 seconds. The vodka rub should remove the pesky leftover glue. And unlike Goo Gone which leaves an oily residue behind (and is almost as hard to get off as the original offending substance) the vodka rub should leave a clean and shiny finish on the item. I’ll cheers to that!

Lighter Fluid

So you tried to peel off the sticker from a new purchase and ended up with an unsightly, sticky residue. Bummer. Don't drown the item in lighter fluid and throw it into the fireplace in a fit of frustrated despair! Rather, use that lighter fluid as a de-sticking agent. First, spot test a teeny amount of lighter fluid on an inconspicuous place on the item to make sure it doesn’t discolor, harm, or otherwise destroy the item. Then pour a little lighter fluid on a rag and rub it over the stubborn sticker residue for 60 seconds. Note: make sure you do not use lighter fluid on a flammable item or near a flame and make sure to wipe clean all the remaining lighter fluid off the item. Always work in a well-ventilated area. 

Pencil Eraser

Did your child just miss a week of school due to Angry Birds-induced carpel tunnel syndrome? If so, it's time to remove that "My Child Has Perfect Attendance at Midtown Middle School" bumper sticker from your car. If you are faced with stubborn sticker residue, grab a pink eraser out of your kid's pencil box and rub away. It should do a grade-A job in no time!


Dip a paintbrush or folded up paper towel in full-strength white vinegar and then use it to lightly coat a stubborn sticker with the vinegar until the vinegar seeps in around the sides of the sticker or soaks through the sticker. Let the vinegar sit on the sticker for 10 minutes, and then wipe away the remaining vinegar and try to gently peel or scrape the offending sticker off the item. Wash the area clean with a little bit of warm water.

How to Remove Stickers, Goo, and Other Icky Residues Using Household Items