Whether it's a pretty new vase, just-purchased glassware, a stunning mirror, or even freshly-installed windows, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as trying to get a pesky sticker (like a price tag, label, or misplaced kid's sticker) off glass. Depending on the material, some stickers are stubborn and require more than just warm water and soap to properly remove. Not to mention, improper or hasty removal can lead to a patch of tacky, sticky adhesive left behind on your surface, so you want to make sure you do it right.
Luckily, according to cleaning expert Leanne Stapf, the chief operating officer of The Cleaning Authority, “there are multiple remedies you can turn to to get your glass looking sparkling and sicker-free in just a matter of minutes.” Use these expert-backed methods to remove the pesky stickers—and any left-behind glue residue—while keeping your beautiful, shiny glass intact (no scratches here) and get it back to sparkling and sticker-free in no time.
Meet the Expert
Things You'll Need
- Plastic scraper
- Paper towels
- Rubber gloves
- Distilled white vinegar
- Olive oil, canola oil, or coconut oil
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hair dryer
- Window cleaner
- Goo Gone
How to Get Stickers Off Glass
Method 1: White Vinegar
Here's something you likely already have in your pantry that can help remove stickers off glass: distilled white vinegar. As Stapf notes, "Distilled white vinegar is a natural solvent and breaks up adhesives. Just soak a sponge or cloth in vinegar and place it on the sticker for up to 10 minutes ( for smaller stickers, a soaked cotton ball also works). Then, remove the sticker with the cloth or plastic scraper."
Method 2: Cooking Oils
Another method backed by Stapf is to use cooking oil for fuss-free sticker removal. These oils— including vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, and even coconut oil—are equally effective because they work the same way. Since oil dissolves oil, these will help break down the oil-based adhesive that keeps the sticker sticky and help it slide off more easily.
For best results, rub about a teaspoon of your most readily-available cooking onto the sticker's surface and let it soak in for 10 minutes. Then, gently remove the sticker by peeling or rubbing it off with your fingers. Once the adhesive has broken down, the paper part of the sticker should come off with little effort. Clean the glass afterward with warm water and dish soap to avoid streaks.
Method 3: Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is another effective way to remove stickers off glass that's safe and non-damaging for most surfaces, according to our experts. Douse a paper towel with a generous amount of rubbing alcohol (or even hand sanitizer, since it contains alcohol and has a helpful gel-like consistency) then dab it onto the sticker until it is fully saturated. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes and then gently peel the sticker off. Since common adhesives are typically soluble in alcohol, this helps to dissolve the glue that holds the sticker in place and allows you to peel it more readily.
Method 4: Hair Dryer
Have a hairdryer on hand? Pull out to get stickers off glass. According to Paul Moody, home expert and founder of Pro Mover Reviews, this really works. "Blast the surface of the sticker with hot hair from your regular hair dryer," he says. "Once the glass surface heats up, quickly scrape off the sticker before it cools down." The heat from the hair dryer will melt the adhesive, allowing it to break away from the glass without damaging it.
Method 5: Window Cleaner
When it comes to getting stickers off of windows or clear glass especially, bring out the Windex. Moody tells us: "Most commercial window cleaners such as Windex contain mild solvents to improve shine, but these can also be helpful to break down stubborn sticker adhesive." To use, spray the cleaner directly on the sticker and let it soak through the adhesive surface. Leave it for five to 10 minutes and then scrape it off with a soft cloth or plastic scrapper. The good news is that this method doesn't require a second wipe-down of the surface, since the cleaner is already formulated to be streak-free and safe on glass.
When it comes to removing stickers, be patient and don’t stop at the first try. It may take a few times before the residue is removed completely.
Method 6: Goo Gone
For stubborn sticker residue that leaves a nasty film on your glass, Goo Gone is a product that's miracle ingredient is a natural citrus concentrate with enzymes that get under the sticky adhesive. This loosens the glue and works wonders on left-over sticker residue or messes involving tape, glue, or wax.
Apply the solution to the sticker and let it saturate the surface for three to five minutes. Then, using a plastic scraper (or even your fingernail) loosen the edges of the sticker and gently peel it back. Repeat as needed until the entire sticker is removed. Finally, wash the surface with soap and water to get rid of any remaining product and it will look good as new.
Method 7: WD-40
It doesn’t smell great, but WD-40 will work to remove stickers and glue from your glass. Use the spray to wet the sticker with the product, let it sit for several minutes, and then wipe off with a cloth, taking the sticker with it. Keep in mind that WD-40 is a chemical, so make sure to wear rubber gloves and inspect your surface before spraying it.
Always be cautious if your glass is tinted as chemicals or sharp objects may damage the finish of the surface or remove the tinting altogether
What to Avoid When Getting Stickers Off Glass
Razor blades will scratch glass, causing long-term, irreversible damage. Instead of reaching for a razor blade or knife to scrape off the sticker, look for a plastic scraper or even use a credit card. Both of these are safe and effective for helping to remove the sticker and get rid of the glue and gunk that may be left behind, without sacrificing the quality of your glass surface.
Steer clear of using anything too abrasive on glass. Scrubbing sponges, scouring pads, and baking soda are all mildly abrasive and can scratch the glass surface or eat away at any finishes that may be applied.