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How to Remove Sticker Residue from Metal

How to Remove Sticker Residue from Metal

Stickers always seem like a good idea, especially to kids who love exploring their creative side. However, sticker residue often hardens to a metal surface when dried up, making it almost impossible to get rid of it. Additionally, using the wrong method to remove sticker residue on metal makes the sticky smear more significant.

Read on to learn how you can remove sticker residue from metal without damaging it.

How to Get Rid of Sticker Residue Without Damaging Paint

If you find annoying sticker residue on your favorite metal surface, you should find a way to eliminate it without damaging the metal. Here are some simple solutions to get you started:

Use Soapy Water to Remove Sticker Residue from Metal

Using some dishwashing soap and hot water is one of the most straightforward methods of removing sticky residue from metal. In addition, the soap often softens the glue for easy and quick removal without damaging the surface.

What You Need

  • Hot water
  • Dish soap
  • Razorblade
  • Soft cloth
  • Spray bottle


  • Pour hot water into a spray bottle until it’s nearly full, and add a few squirts of dish soap.
  • Shake the bottle gently to create suds and spray the soapy water directly onto the sticker residue.
  • Let the soapy water rest for a few minutes to enable it to soak into the adhesive. Once it absorbs, use a razor blade’s edge to scrape the residue gently away from the metal surface.
  • Repeat the process if any sticky adhesive residue spots remain, or try another sticker residue remover.
  • Wipe the spot clean using more soapy water and a soft cloth, then rinse the surface with clean water and dry it with a soft towel.

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Use Baking Soda to Remove Sticker Residue from Metal

Baking soda is a common household ingredient, which you can use to get sticker residue off metal surfaces. You can use baking soda with oil to gently eliminate sticker residue from metal. Here is how to do it:

What You Need

  • Baking soda
  • Coconut oil
  • Container
  • Old credit card


  • Mix some baking soda and coconut oil in a container or small bowl.
  • Stir the two ingredients to form a paste, and then apply it to the sticker residue.
  • Let the paste stick for a couple of minutes, and then use the edge of an old plastic card to slide the sticker residue away from the metal.
  • Wipe the surface away clean using a damp cloth to remove any oily residue.

Use Heat and Coconut Oil

You can use heat and coconut oil to remove dried-up sticker residue from metal. When you combine the power of heat and oil, you are likely to obliterate the residue. Here is how to do it:

What You Need

  • Hairdryer
  • Coconut oil or cooking oil
  • Cotton ball
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic card


  • Apply some coconut oil or cooking oil to a cotton ball and rub it in a circular motion on the sticker residue.
  • Plug in a hairdryer and set it on medium heat. Hold the dryer over the sticker residue to heat it, and loosen the adhesive.
  • Slip the edge of a plastic card beneath one side of the sticker residue.
  • Slide the card gently over the metal surface to strip the bond away.
  • Wipe away the residue using a paper towel.

Baby Oil Will Come in Handy

Baby oil is excellent for getting sticker residue off metal. It loosens the bond quickly and makes it easy to get rid of the adhesive. Follow these steps to use it:

What You Need

  • Baby oil
  • Scraper
  • Clean cloth


  • Squirt some baby oil onto the sticker residue and let it soak for at least ten minutes.
  • Slip the scraper’s edge beneath the sticker and push it with gentle force to remove the sticker residue.
  • Wipe the area with a clean cloth once the entire adhesive is gone.

Nail Polish Remover Can Get the Job Done

If your nail polish remover contains acetone, it will help get sticker glue off metal. Acetone is an excellent solvent that helps break the bond between the sticker residue and metal. You can use it as below:

What You Need

  • Nail polish remover that contains acetone
  • Cotton ball
  • Damp cloth
  • Box cutter


  • Pour some nail polish remover on a cotton ball to soak it. You can use rubbing alcohol as a substitute if you don’t have nail polish remover.
  • Press the wet cotton ball onto the sticker residue and leave it for a few minutes.
  • Slide a box cutter blade beneath the sticker and hold it at an angle while pushing off the adhesive.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean the area once the entire gunk is gone.

You Can Opt for Goo Gone Adhesive Remover

Goo Gone Adhesive Remover is a popular adhesive remover that removes gooey messes effectively. You can use it on stickers, glue, tar, markers, and so much more. The best thing is that it will only take you a few minutes to use it, and it works on most surfaces, including metal.

Here is how you can use the adhesive remover when you want to remove sticker residue from metal:

  • First, spray Goo Gone on the sticker residue and let it soak for a few minutes.
  • Then, use a putty knife to peel away the residue.
  • If there will still be some sticker residue left, re-spray the surface with Goo Gone, and use a clean paper towel to clean the surface.

How to Clean and Polish Metal after Removing Sticker Residue

It’s best to clean metal surfaces after removing stickers from them. Cleaning rinses away any leftover residue and keeps the metal surface clean and shiny. Here is how to do it:

What You Need

  • Dish soap
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Sponge
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft cloth


  • Create a cleaning solution by adding a cup of white vinegar, warm water, and a squirt of dish soap into a spray bottle.
  • Shake the spray bottle to mix the solution well and spray the cleaner over the metal’s surface.
  • Wipe the entire metal surface using a clean sponge, and rinse it with clean water.
  • Use a clean cloth to buff the metal dry to prevent streaking.

How Do You Get Sticker Residue off a Car Without Damaging Paint?

Car stickers usually look great when new; however, sun exposure and the usual wear and tear can make it difficult to distinguish the images or words on the sticker. Here is how you can remove decals, bumper stickers, or duct tape residue from car surfaces without damaging paint:

Clean the Area Thoroughly Before Removing Stickers

One of your most significant concerns before removing sticker residue from your car might be whether you’ll find the right ingredients to do the job. Additionally, you might be concerned whether the elements will damage your car’s paint. However, before choosing any cleaner to deal with sticker residue, ensure that you clean your car thoroughly.

A good car wash will help you clear as much debris and dirt away from the sticker and surrounding areas, making the sticker residue remover more effective because there are fewer barriers between the cleaning solution and the sticker.

Melt Away Sticker Residue Using Heat

Using a little heat is an excellent way of removing sticker residue from your car. A heat gun or a hairdryer is a safe way of melting away sticker residue from your vehicle. The heat method also works on glue residue and decals.

Here is how to do it:

  • Place the hairdryer or heat gun over the sticker.
  • Hover over one corner of the sticker for about a minute to give time for the glue to soften.
  • Gently pry up the edge of the sticker using a scraper or a plastic card.

Does WD-40 Remove Sticker Residue off a Car?

No matter how well you peeled the sticker off or heated the area, sticky residue will most likely remain on your car’s surface. You can remove sticker residue from your vehicle using an oil-based substance such as WD-40. If you don’t have WD-40, you can use lighter fluid to do the trick. Here is how to do it:

  • Use WD-40 to soak the sticker residue for about two minutes. Ensure that it goes underneath the adhesive.
  • Use a plastic scraper to remove the adhesive gently.
  • Wait for the residue to dissolve completely, and then scrub the surface gently using a soft cloth.

You can also use WD-40 to remove sticker residue from other surfaces such as metal, plastic, and glass.

Wash and Wax Your Vehicle

Your vehicle will need some attention to restore its lustrous shine after removing sticker residue from it. You can clean your car and dry it thoroughly after the sticky residue removal process. However, suppose you used any harsh chemicals when removing sticker residue. In that case, you might have to apply a new layer of car wax to replace any that you peeled off in the process of removing sticker residue.

Additionally, waxing also delivers an added protection layer to your car. There are several store-bought car waxes that you can choose for this step, some of which you can apply easily by hand, while you might have to use a buffer for others.

Does Vinegar Remove Adhesive?

Vinegar is a mild acid; therefore, when you dilute it with water, the resultant solution works pretty well to remove sticker residue. You can soak a dishrag in the solution and then wrap it around the affected surface, leaving vinegar to work its magic for a few minutes.

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Once the time lapses, remove the cloth, and you should note that the sticker residue has become considerably less sticky.

Removing sticker residue from metal surfaces can be annoying and challenging. However, the tips shared above should get you started and leave you with a clean area.