Loosen Stubborn Stickers With A Popular Ingredient You Probably Have On Hand

Have you ever stood over the sink with soapy hands and the rough side of your sponge, scrubbing furiously at a stubborn sticker glued to your newest purchase? Whether it's a price sticker, a label, or an adhesive you yourself put on, it's a common frustration most people have experienced at least once. It seems like no amount of warm water loosens the glue, and what's left after your bout of scrubbing is sticky patches of leftover residue. Rather than spending the next 10 minutes trying to scrub it off with your fingernail, you can instead reach for a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. The common household staple will help loosen the glue's bonds, making it easier to wipe off.

This is a great hack to try since it utilizes something you might already have in your pantry and that's easily accessible. Rather than having to get a specialty product from Amazon like GooGone, you can instead use something you already have on hand. Not only does it save money, but it also cuts back on clutter. Here is how to use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of sticker residue.

How to use hydrogen peroxide to remove stickers

To remove the stubborn label, all you will need is hydrogen peroxide and a paper towel or cotton ball. This is a hack endorsed by everyone from glue companies to cleaning services, so it's worth a shot if you're struggling to get some tricky adhesive off of your item. Simply pour the liquid onto the towel, saturating it. You want it to be nice and moist, so it transfers onto the sticker. Apply the paper towel directly onto the label, hold it down for a minute or two so it can eat away at the adhesive, and then use the paper towel to wipe away the residual glue. It should easily come off at this point. 

While this hack should be perfectly fine to use on glass or plastic, if you're removing a sticker from something more porous, such as wood or clay pottery, it's a good idea to test an inconspicuous spot first. That way, if the liquid stains the piece, the mark won't be in an obvious area. If you try it on such a spot and it stains, you will have to try a different sticker-removing hack. Luckily, there are some great alternatives. You can remove price tags with a clothing steamer if you have one, or a few drops of dish soap if the item can only handle a gentle cleanser.

Why this works

The reason the sticker is so stubbornly attached to your piece is because of the molecular bonds that make up the glue. The stronger the bond, the more effective the glue, making the label stay steadfast on the piece. The trick to removing it is breaking those bonds. Luckily, hydrogen peroxide is a compound with an oxygen atom that isn't tightly attached, which makes it super reactive. This is what makes it such a foolproof way to remove sticky labels. When it interacts with something — such as glue — the atom detaches and reacts with whatever it comes into contact with. It's why it's also great for disinfecting and lifting stains.

Hydrogen peroxide is so effective at softening adhesives that it's even recommended to remove superglue. So, if it's strong enough to break down a notoriously strong adhesive, it should also be effective at removing stubborn labels or price stickers. So the next time you have a sticker you can't seem to scrape away, peroxide will be able to help you in a pinch.