how to remove a sticker
November 13, 2007 4:13 PM   Subscribe

I put some political stickers on the bottom on my iMac, on the white plastic. When I tried to remove them the paper top has torn off leaving residue underneath. What's the easiest way to remove all evidence that they were ever there leaving the iMac unscathed?
posted by diode to Technology (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
A product with the rather silly name of Goo Gone which really works despite that. Should be available at hardware stores, Wal-Marts, Bed Bath and Beyond, places like that.
posted by Naberius at 4:17 PM on November 13, 2007


Seconding the Goo Gone. That stuff is beyond amazing for removing any adhesive remnants and, while certainly not drinkable, isn't that caustic compared to many other cleaners.
posted by Nelsormensch at 4:19 PM on November 13, 2007


Rubbing Alcohol.

Test first to make sure it doesn't dissolve the plastic, but you should be fine.
posted by jeffamaphone at 4:28 PM on November 13, 2007


Open your kitchen cabinet and save the $5 on Goo Gone! You can rub the residue with olive oil or cooking oil on a paper towel or wash cloth. You may have to rub a bit hard but it will come off.

It doesn't work for everything like Goo Gone does but it is great on plastic, glass and anything smooth.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:31 PM on November 13, 2007


WD40 oil will remove sticker residue. I had a guitar covered front and back with stickers and after many experiments with various solutions managed to remove them easily with WD40, it's uses truly are numerous. Just don't scrub with something abrasive.
posted by fire&wings at 4:32 PM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Goo Gone is great, but be careful! I've had it leave stains before.

I'd recommend squirting GG onto a paper towel, and rubbing the paper towel onto the remnants of adhesive until they feel damp. Let that sit a minute or two, then repeat until the gunk rubs off.

Important-- After getting everything rubbed off, go over the area once more with a GG-dampened paper towel. Then, wipe with a handi-wipe or a paper towel dampened with water. You want to make sure the GG is gone too-- it stinks, and traces of the adhesive residue can remain behind if you don't wipe everything clean.
posted by Rykey at 4:35 PM on November 13, 2007


Lighter fluid works well without leaving a residue. Just squirt some on a paper towel and give it a rub. But be careful! It is highly flammable.
posted by waywardgirl at 4:41 PM on November 13, 2007


A pencil eraser. Seriously, the dry (crumbly) pink kind on cheap pencils works best.
posted by you're a kitty! at 4:46 PM on November 13, 2007


Asked previously. WD-40 damaged the finish, but Goo Gone apparently worked just fine.
posted by stefanie at 4:59 PM on November 13, 2007


Be careful about the goo gone, it will melt plastic, and fast!
posted by muscat at 5:33 PM on November 13, 2007


rubbing alcohol won't harm the plastic, either, and it's very cheap. dab it on til the sticker's all wet, then gently scrape off with the edge of a credit card.
posted by twistofrhyme at 5:38 PM on November 13, 2007


I haven't had Goo Gone (which smells like oranges) melt plastic, but Goof Off (which smells like a refinery) definitely will.
posted by zsazsa at 5:40 PM on November 13, 2007


A new razor blade.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:44 PM on November 13, 2007


lighter fluid.
posted by Mr_Crazyhorse at 5:48 PM on November 13, 2007


Goo Gone. It's a lot safer on plastic than alcohol, acetone, or naptha-based products. I would not use lighter fluid or nail polish remover.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:17 PM on November 13, 2007


I'm the poster in the AskMe that Stefanie linked to. Use Goo Gone and only Goo Gone. No lighter fluid, oil, razors, etc. Just Goo Gone and paper towels. Take your time and use as little as you need. It will be good as new.
posted by 4ster at 6:47 PM on November 13, 2007


Citrisolve.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:47 PM on November 13, 2007


Use no fluid remover. Take a roll of transparent vinyl tape,
like slight stretchy packing tape (although duct tape will work),
and pull a piece out, pressing it down over the disfiguring
glue and paper that is clinging to the plastic case. Rub your
thumb strongly over the tape, to make sure it has good, warm
contact on the plastic beneath it. Then, tear the tape off.

Repeat the above procedure with a new piece of tape until
the plastic is as clean as the day you mistakenly misfigured it.
It won't take long, and it never makes a mess. Completely
cleans polystyrene jewel cases for CDs.
posted by the Real Dan at 7:11 PM on November 13, 2007


I haven't used it myself, but others have raved about Un-Du as an adhesive remover. I don't know how it would work in this specific situation.
posted by jeri at 8:40 PM on November 13, 2007


I have a bottle of something that I think is called Goo Gone 2 which says it is safe on plastic.
posted by stopgap at 9:06 PM on November 13, 2007


posted by Optimus Chyme A new razor blade will ruin the plastic on your iMac. Don't use anything sharp or metal.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:48 PM on November 13


Really? At the proper angle a sufficiently sharp razor blade can peel the sticker from just about anything I've tried without so much as a scratch.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:56 PM on November 13, 2007


To add to Real Dan's answer....

just take a piece of masking tape, packing tape, duct tape, etc and ball it up with sticky side out...then "blot" the glue residue should lift up.
posted by dripped at 11:34 PM on November 13, 2007


Agree with the tape: blotting with tape (Sellotape in my case) worked great for cleaning off jewel case glue gunk. (Why do they insist on putting stickers, labels etc on CD cases that don't peel off cleanly?) But I haven't tried it on any of my Macs.
posted by macdara at 4:37 AM on November 14, 2007


Nail polish remover.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:17 AM on November 14, 2007


Soak a rag or paper towel in vinegar, leave it on the residue overnight. Next morning, voila!
posted by Gooberoo at 12:47 PM on November 14, 2007


Lighter fluid, let it soak for a minute or so. Remove sticker and remove any residue with a small piece of tissue soaked in same. Nail polish remover ( acetone ) is not IMHO a good idea.
posted by Dr.Pill at 3:15 PM on November 14, 2007


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