How do I get adhesive from a T-shirt tag off of the front of the T-shirt?
June 12, 2010 5:16 PM   Subscribe

I pulled the transparent sizing information tag off of the front of a new T-shirt. Now there is a big patch of adhesive on my new T-shirt. :( Help!

Any suggestions on how to get this stuff off? It's 90 degrees F here today, and I'm guessing that's what caused the problem.

Rubbing adhesive with fingers (worried will damage the shirt, also not working)
Sticking original tag back onto it, peeling off slowly (not working)

This stuff is stickier than I would have thought.
posted by circular to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total)
lighter fluid.
posted by ttyn at 5:21 PM on June 12, 2010

Goo Gone? It's a citrus-based solvent.

If it were my shirt I'd try washing it with dishwashing liquid (specifically, Dawn) rubbed into the spot. Then I'd air-dry it so I could give it another round without worrying about the effect the dryer would have on it.
posted by cabingirl at 5:26 PM on June 12, 2010

Duct tape is the answer to everything. Simply putting a piece of tape over the spot and pulling it back off works really well. Duct tape: It isn't just for breakfast anymore.

An common pencil eraser works great. Simply use the eraser to ‘erase’ the residue adhesives. The eraser shavings will absorb all the adhesive, and all you have to do is rinse it with water.

WD40 will do the trick as well. Apply on paper towel or cotton ball then wash off with a soapy cloth.
posted by netbros at 5:27 PM on June 12, 2010

I'm gonna try the Goo-Gone or Dawn next.

I tried the duct tape and it was removing the adhesive AND making my shirt go all fuzzy. :(

Also the pencil eraser didn't do a thing.

posted by circular at 5:33 PM on June 12, 2010

Well, what if you just cut the duct tape to the size of the sticky stuff, then stick it and peel it off? If the shirt is cotton, it will probably de-fuzz once it gets washed.
posted by so_gracefully at 5:52 PM on June 12, 2010

Nail polish remover.
posted by fifilaru at 6:20 PM on June 12, 2010

Return it to the store where you bought it--it's defective.
posted by Carol Anne at 6:30 PM on June 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

Duct tape makes things stop. WD-40 makes things go, so that's what you want here.

I had a (cotton knit) shirt that got washed with a sticker on it, leaving a sticky residue. I googled around and found suggestions that WD-40 would remove it, which it did. I was worried that WD-40 would leave a stain, so I soaked the area in Dawn (to degrease?) as soon as the WD-40 had done its job. I don't *think* the WD-40 left a stain, but the shirt in question has a busy stripe pattern and wasn't in great shape to begin with so I'm not totally sure - I would advise testing on an inconspicuous area.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:33 PM on June 12, 2010

(I would try Goo Gone before WD-40, though. I think they're somewhat similar - WD-40 can be used instead of Goo Gone on hard surfaces--but I get the sense that Goo Gone might be less likely to stain.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:35 PM on June 12, 2010

If you live real near a screen-printing shop worth its salt, they'll have a spray gun (known colloquially in the business as a "Zim" gun, as Zim Chemical Co. invented it back when) that's used to spay minor defects like unwanted ink and dirt, etc. out of t-shirts without destroying the fabric. If the proprietors at said (possibly) nearby screen-printing shop are nice, they'd do you a favor if you asked nicely, and spray that spot out for you in a jif.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:39 PM on June 12, 2010

Seconding WD40
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:17 PM on June 12, 2010

Maybe I missed something, but...have you washed it? This happens to me all the time but the goo goes away after the shirt's maiden voyage in the washing machine.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 9:21 PM on June 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Call the store, explain that the sticker left residue, ask for advice, and tell them you plan to return it for a full refund if it can't be safely removed; there may be a recommended resolution. I used to get grease off clothes with Gojo hand cleaner, which washes out. Lighter fluid may remove color; my Mom swore by it, and I lost a few shirts that way.
posted by theora55 at 9:16 AM on June 13, 2010

If you think the high temperature is the problem (and that seams reasonable to me), why not put the label back on (or stick something else to the goo) and put your shirt in the freezer overnight? Maybe when you take it out, the goo will have solidified enough to come off in one lot?
posted by embrangled at 4:10 AM on June 14, 2010

My wife took the shirt away before I could do any more damage. She washed it and all the gunk came out.

I'm left with little hardened balls of t-shirt material in that one spot, but they're not really visible and should be easy to take care of if I feel the need.

Thanks for all the responses!
posted by circular at 4:27 PM on June 25, 2010

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