How to Get Sticker Residue Off Clothes

Removing Sticker Residue From Clothes

The picture above shows my favorite shirt with the NYC "I Voted" sticker on it. Usually, this wouldn't be a problem. However, having left that sticker on this shirt for an entire three weeks, it is now stuck to my favorite shirt like cement. Moreover, even when I remove the sticker itself, the sticker residue still clings to the shirt like white on rice. So, how do I get sticker residue off my clothes?

It turns out I am not the only one in this predicament. A quick google search will give you hundreds of methods to remove stickers and sticker residue from t-shirts, different types of clothing, and a variety of fabrics. In this quick tutorial, I will try to cover all available methods so that you will never have to go through the pain and misery I experienced when trying to recover my favorite shirt.


How to Get Starch off the Iron?

If you make use of spray starch while ironing you would have encountered starch stains on your iron and wondered how to remove it. It’s quite simple once you have the following tools

Step 1

  • Warm up the iron and then proceed with caution to prevent burns

Step 2

  • Set your iron to high heat if a small residue of starch or fusible fabric is covering the iron’s plate. Wipe the iron as it’s hot vigorously using an old rough towel to erase the residue. Then let the iron cool off

Step 3

  • If the iron’s soleplate has thick residue of starch, set it to a low setting, until the residue begins to slowly soften. Then scrape it off the iron’s bottom using a wooden spatula. Turn the iron off let it cool.

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What Causes Residue on Iron?

The causes of residue on your iron can stem from a buildup of spray starch or synthetic melted fabrics. As the iron cools off, it becomes almost impossible to get rid off.

Dry Clean-Only Clothes

If the garment is labeled as dry clean-only and the stickers have left adhesive on the fibers, you can spot treat the area with dry cleaning solvent. If the garment is expensive, it is best to take it to a dry cleaner. Point out and identify the stain to the professional. 

For tips on removing sticker residue from suede or other napped fabrics, follow these instructions.

  1. Apply the Solvent

    Using a small sponge or cotton swab, apply the dry cleaning solvent by blotting—not rubbing.

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Scrape the Residue Away

    Use a dull knife or the edge of a credit card to lift away the loosened adhesive. Do not rub because that can smear the adhesive deeper into the fibers. Allow the fabric to air-dry.

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska


Can acetone remove sticker residue?

Yes. Acetone can be safely used to remove sticker residue from glass, but shouldn’t be used in every circumstance. Acetone is extremely harsh and can damage surfaces. 

How do you remove sticky residue from a laptop?

To remove sticky residue from your laptop, spray WD-40 onto the area, leave for 10 minutes, then rub clean with a microfibre cloth. This should only be used on flat, external areas of your laptop where you can be sure it won’t leak inside.

What household products remove sticker residue?

Household products such as acetone nail polish remover, washing up liquid, WD-40 and distilled white vinegar can all be used to remove sticker residue. They should not, however, be used interchangeably as every material must be treated differently.

Reader Success Stories

  • Judy B.

Feb 24

    Judy B. Feb 24

    “Great. Masking tape for residue on plastic! Thank you, thank you.”

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