How to Remove Stickers from Any Surface (including bumper stickers on cars)

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I have a bone to pick with the people that design packaging and stickers (no product should ever require a tool–knife, scissors, etc.–to remove it from its packaging): the level of rage that I feel upon attempting to remove a sticker or price tag from something I’ve just purchased and having some sticky gooey crap still left on it that I can not get off I simply can not describe with the written word. Yes, that bad.

This most commonly happens to me with books: I buy

most of them from Amazon, I love Amazon, and Amazon doesn’t put stickers on their books, thank god, but Books-A-Million does–there’s a Books-A-Million a couple miles from my house where I often go and occasionally purchase books from. Books-A-Million puts stickers on all of their books, and I hate it for precisely the reason

outlined above. I’ve got a technique worked out at this point for getting the stickers off without leaving anything behind that works most of the time, but sometimes I don’t get it quite right, mess up my book, and the rage returns 👿 .

I personally use the alcohol method illustrated in the below video, I like using the highest-content alcohol you can get since it evaporates faster and is less likely to leave a stain the less time it’s on the book (I use 91% rubbing alcohol I get from the grocery store). Check it:

How to remove bumper stickers

Bumper stickers are a bit more difficult, you’re going to need some type of professional sticker-remove like what I recommend below. Also, I’ll warn you right now not to use a razor blade on a plastic bumper for obvious reasons (you will gouge it) but once you’ve got your sticker remover the rest of it is pretty simple, I’ve even got a really short video here of a mechanic showing you how to use it:

Additional Resources and Further Reading

The best all-around sticker remover is something called Un-Du Adhesive Remover–this is the stuff I use for more difficult or sensitive items, it’ll safely get tape off of a photo, remove bumper stickers cleanly, as well as car price labels, kids’ stickers, office labels, computer disk labels, windshield stickers, gum from fabic, etc. It’s an acid free and environmentally friendly solution that works by temporarily neutralizing adhesives and then quickly evaporating which allows the sticker tape and labels to be used again. A huge added bonus is that it won’t stain most surfaces–safe for glass, plastic walls, fabric, leather, vinyl, carpet, wood, and paper.

Here’s a good set of tips on removing stickers from various surfaces from essortment.com.

And hey, you can even erase sticker residue off! How about that?

1 COMMENT

  1. Boy oh boy it really gets my goat when I order from amazon (a third party seller selling through amazon) and they put stickers on my books! I just ordered a beautiful book by one of my favorite illustrators and the seller put a sticker RIGHT ON the dust jacket! The dust jacket was uncoated paper, so the sticker ripped it right off. Ruined 🙁 Glad to see that someone shares this pet peeve! Definitely trying the alcohol trick next time.

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