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Get that Goo Gone: A DIY Recipe for Your Own Sticky Residue Cleaner

a person holding popsicle stick

Ever find yourself in a situation where you’ve got this sticky mess on your hands? That price tag or child safety latch that just won’t give up the ghost? I’ve got a nifty trick for you to safely remove sticky residue that won’t damage the material underneath and is made from two ingredients you definitely have in the cabinet.

a person holding popsicle stick
Scrub away stickers and sticky goo with things in your pantry

Let’s cut to the chase

Oil and baking soda – that’s all you need. Yep, you read that right. And a little bit goes a long way, too! Just make a thick paste by adding oil to some baking soda. Any kind of oil will work – olive, canola, avocado, vegetable, baby, you name it.

You might need to experiment with your ratio, but a “little bit” is all you need. Baking soda is surprisingly good at scrubbing things up because it is lightly abrasive. The oil is great at getting that sticky glue and paper off because it does a great job at dissolving the glue. Put the two together and you have a fantastically easy way to get rid of stickers.

Leftover sticker residue after a brief soak of the oil and baking soda

How it works: my method

I threw together some goo-gone not long ago; I bought some labels that ended up being much too large for the lid on these tins I planned to use for my solid lotion bars. I just had to get them off! But they were higher quality stickers, so they were pretty well-adhered to the metal top, even right after putting them on.

Oftentimes, like in this case, I will give my items a brief warm soak in soapy water, just to start. Here I peeled what I could by hand before throwing my paste on.

I tend to start out adding as little oil as possible until I have a dryer paste. This is my personal preference because I almost always underestimate just how much oil I’ve actually got in the mix. Once I have a paste, I throw it on the spot, give it a quick scrub and let it sit for a few minutes, to let the oil do it’s thing. Sometimes, if i find that the sticker paper isn’t releasing it’s hold just yet, I add a little more oil to the mix. It might take a little elbow grease, but sure enough, this home remedy is one that really works. After a quick soapy rinse, the lids were nice and clean and ready for better-fitting labels!

Check out some of my more home DIYs!

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