How to Remove Sticker Residue from Stainless Steel

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Stainless steel appliances are popular for their smooth, stain-resistant surface. Stainless steel is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms, but may also be found in other areas of the home. Stainless steel water bottles are also increasingly popular as they are durable, eco-friendly, and can keep liquids hot or cold for a longer period of time.

The bane to stainless steel, however, is the sticky label that manufacturers place on the surface. These stickers often contain adhesives that leave marks or residue on stainless steel, and can be a pain to remove. Here's how to safely and easily remove sticker residue from stainless steel.

How to Remove Sticker from Stainless Steel

Method 1: Use Soapy Water

Soaking sticky labels in soapy water before you remove them will make it easier for you to peel away the sticker later on without any glue residue stuck on the metal surface. Soap will help loosen the adhesive, allowing you to peel away the sticker in one piece. Soap can also remove sticker residue, but you may need to scrub it off to completely remove the adhesive.

Fill a container or your kitchen sink with warm water. Add enough dish soap to create a mild solution, then soak the stainless steel item with the sticker-side down. Let the sticker soak for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight for particularly sticky labels. Peel away the sticker, then wipe the surface clean.

While this method is ideal for non-electric appliances, do not soak appliances with electric or mechanical parts as soaking them may damage the item. Instead, soak a soft cloth in the soapy solution, and cover the sticker to remove the sticky label residue.

Method 2: Use Oil

Olive oil, cooking oil, and baby oil will do the trick to remove sticky residue from stainless steel. This method is best used to remove stickers whole, and to remove the sticky residue left behind after peeling away the label.

Place enough oil to soak a paper towel, and rub the oil onto the metal surface where the sticky residue is. Rub in circular motions, and you should see the adhesive slowly starting to scrub out. Once all the adhesive has been removed, wipe the oil away with a clean paper towel, then use rubbing alcohol or vinegar to remove any remaining oil.

Method 3: Use WD-40

WD-40 isn't just for lubricating metal gears, but it as numerous practical uses around the home as well - one being, to remove glue residue left behind from stickers. WD-40 is safe to use on most stainless steel surfaces, and will remove adhesive with very little effort.

Spray WD-40 directly on the sticker or glue residue, and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Take a clean cloth or paper towel, and start rubbing the adhesive away. When used on whole sticker labels, WD-40 should allow you to peel away the sticker with ease, and without leaving any sticky residue. Wash and dry the stainless steel afterwards.

Method 4: Use Nail Polish Remover

Take note that not all nail polish removers can be used on stainless steel. You may want to steer clear of acetone nail polish remover if you have painted metal, colored stainless steel. Most metal surfaces can withstand acetone nail polish remover, but varnished, sealed, and painted or dyed surfaces may not. Test it out on a small patch first.

You may alternatively get an oil-based nail polish remover that contains no acetone, and will remove adhesive with ease. Simply rub the nail polish remover directly on the sticker, or use a cloth soaked in nail polish remover to wipe away the glue residue. Use rubbing alcohol to clear the residue from an oil-based nail polish remover.

Tips and Tricks to Maintain Your Stainless Steel Surfaces

Stainless steel is relatively low maintenance, and is great for kitchens that handle a lot of heat and stains daily. However, there are a few things to consider when it comes to maintaining the smooth and shiny appearance of your stainless steel items:

  • Avoid using abrasive scrubbers like steel wool. Although these remove stains and baked-on gunk easily, using too much pressure when scrubbing can cause scratches to form, making your stainless steel surface look dull.
  • Clean the surface with dish soap daily, and sanitize with a household disinfectant solution.
  • Avoid scratching or scraping the surface with sharp objects.
  • Clean up spills immediately.

Looking to ensure a thorough cleaning in your home? Luce Home has got what you need to keep your home looking pristine all day, everyday. Our cleaning services will get the gunk out of every corner of the house, so you can enjoy a squeaky-clean comfort.

Book a cleaning schedule today, and feel the difference!

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