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Removing label stickers

  • m

I am having trouble removing label stickers from wooden spoons that I recently bought. The sticker itself came off after some effort, but it remains sticky to the touch. Does anyone have any recommendations for how to remove the residue?


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  1. My dad was always the expert at getting off stickers on anything... I think he used Goof Off the most.

    1. Nail polish remover will certainly work, but it might soak into the wood and leave a lingering smell. Give them a good scrubbing under hot water, and go for the polish remover if that doesn't work.

        1. re: Dim Sum Diva

          I'm with Goo-gone. I usually use my fingernails but Goo-gone for the tough ones.

            1. re: Dim Sum Diva

              I don't like that Goo Gone odor. If the spoon ended up smelling like that, it would go in the trash.

            2. NO! Don't ruin your good spoon with solvents.
              Good old fashioned washing soda does the trick. Soak the spoon in warm water (so it doesn't absorb the washing soda). Mix 2 Tbsp Washing Soda in a quart of warm water and put the sticky side in to soak. 1 hour later wash away your goo.
              Works great on glass jars and useful looking plastic containers.
              Da Cook

              2 Replies
              1. re: Da_Cook

                When you say "washing soda," is this the same as baking soda?

                1. re: pikawicca

                  Not exactly. Washing Soda is Sodium Carbonate. Baking Soda is Sodium Bicarbonate. Washing soda has a pH of 11 and Baking Soda 8.1. Washing Soda should be used with gloves as it is caustic.

              2. I know peanut butter works to remove labels on glass--it might work on your spoon, too.

                3 Replies
                1. re: AppleSister

                  I second the PB trick. I use it on everything. Mayo is also said to do the job but a very thin smear of PB is highly visual and viscous enough to stay exactly where you put it. It also cleans up with the wipe of a paper towel once the sticker is removed.

                  1. re: rainey

                    Save the paper towel; let the dog (or DH) lick it off.

                    1. re: OCAnn

                      You feed your dog adhesives? Poor puppy!!!

                2. I've had good luck using olive oil and rubbing off with my finger or a scraper.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: yinyangdi

                    Yes, any cooking oil will work (same theory as peanut butter.)

                    1. re: yinyangdi

                      + 1 more for cooking oil. I've yet to come across a label it won't remove. Rub the oil over the label, or for your spoon, the glue residue, let it sit. Come back a few hours later and wipe it off.

                    2. On some things a hair dryer works great to get the sticker and stickyness off a product as well. Hope it will work for your wooden spoons.

                      1. I have always found that hot water (as hot as you can tolerate )and dish soap will remove the most stubborn decals. I don't want industrial solvents(nail polish and similar) on kitchen utensils that will touch food.
                        You can use a 3M scrubbie on the really tough stickers after they have soaked.

                        1. One of the best things I found for removing stubborn labels or adhesive residue is WD-40. The little spray can of 'squeak' lubricant. I know it smells bad but it washes off easily and won't damage plastics like a solvent (ie nail polish remover, etc).

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: RichardM

                            We're discussing wooden utensils here, so ANY solvent will ruin the wood for use in food.
                            There is no substitute for good old fashioned elbow grease except, perhaps a little soak in washing soda solution 1st (Sodium Carbonate - thanks Atahualpa) or something oily like PB or mayo to breakdown the adhesive.
                            One other point, try peeling the label while it is dry, once it gets wet it 10X as hard to remove.
                            Da Cook

                            1. re: Da_Cook

                              Let me clarify. Apply the WD40 to a piece of cloth and rub the adhesive off. Wash the utensil in soapy water as you would any new item. Apply a little mineral oil if it's wood.

                              BTW, water is the most common solvent.

                          2. I just used an orange peel. just squeeze the oils from the peel onto the utensil and rub it with the peel. Gone in a flash. and you don't have to pay for goo gone wich is primarily the same thing with foriegn preservatives. Very little elbow grease involved.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: lucky

                              Wow - really? That's fantastic. Will try it!

                            2. I tried a lot of the above on a sticker covering the inside bottom of a no-stick Imusa frying pan here in Colombia. I lost the no-stick in getting the label off.

                              1. To remove the stuck on goo from stainless steal cookware, I soaked first in hot water and dove detergent, then scrubbed with SOS. Worked!!! (scrub with sos pad in directing of grooves in the stainless to avoid scratching)

                                1. On NON porous surfaces, can't think of anything better than WD-40. Wouldn't use it on wooden spoons! If sticker on bowl of spoon, would probably put in a jar/container and cover with plain olf cooking oil to soak.

                                  1. What kind of finish does the spoon have on it and where on the spoon is the residue? You could get a piece of sandpaper and sand it off.

                                    I recently saw an item for sale with the price sticker placed on the item by a moron. A thrift store had a photo autographed by the 2nd baseman of the 1987 Twins, the year they won their first World Series. Granted, he was not a star player, but I live in the Twin Cities and somebody would have bought that photo for ten bucks, IF the price sticker was not on the FRONT of the photograph.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: John E.

                                      I'm a thrift store junkie! One I go to puts prices in with Sharpie markers?? On glasses or dishes... not a problem. On plastic stuff?? Hard to remove!

                                      1. re: kseiverd

                                        A thrift store wher I still occasionaly stop by switched from Sharpies to stickers. One of the kinds of surfaces which is difficult to remove a sticker is brushed aluminum. I bought a vintage Lava Lamp and did not even attempt to remove the sticker, I just turned that part to the wall.

                                        On second thoight about the OP's problem, I think soap, water, and a Scotchbrite pad will get rid of the glue.

                                    2. Depending on where the label was on the spoon, as in bowl or handle, my "go to" is hair spray! It is one of the most surprising "I had no idea!" household tricks I know of. Even magic, you might say! When my grandson was little, he drew on the upholstery of a dining room chair with a ballpoint pen!!! Hair spray removed every last trace that it had ever happened.

                                      I love "repurposing" those huge gallon or bigger plastic containers such as barrels of pretzels or cheese puffs often come in, but I hate the labels! Hair spray takes off the "goo"!

                                      I haven't found much hairspray doesn't take care of, but don't waste your money on the expensive stuff. I keep a bottle of "Suave" pump spray that costs maybe two bucks in the cabinet under my kitchen sink. I think I learned about it in a "Heloise" article in a hard copy newspaper about a gazillion years ago. It has saved me a fortune! But it also makes me wonder what the hell I'm spraying on my hair?

                                      Oh, and one more hint.... If you have a choice don't buy wooden spoons that have stickers in the bowls! LOL! But every last one of us already knows that, right? Just my kinky sense of humor showing again. '-)

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                        Hey Caroline,

                                        I vaguely recall hearing that hairspray removed stuff, but it was ages ago and I've never tried it. I think I've got a can of Aquanet under the sink somewhere. That ought to be cheap enough, huh? :)

                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                          compared to the price of the "specialty cleaners," it's cheaper than dirt and works better! Sometimes I wonder if the expensive "specialty cleaners" aren't just aerosol hairspray with a new label on the can?

                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                            Check one out sometime, the smell should be a dead giveaway. Nothing else smells quite like really cheap hairspray. :)

                                          2. re: DuffyH

                                            The only thing I have used hairspray for is to remove ink from shirts.

                                        2. For much experience I have used first a hair dryer the stick label will just lift right off. But if there is a bit of residue left use a lit cooking spray on the residue and it should rub right off.. This will work on any items that won't stain.

                                          1. If you are just trying to remove the sticky residue from the wooden spoons, try sanding the sticky spot with a fine grit sandpaper.