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Martha's Secret for Removing Stubborn Stickers and Labels

Martha says this trick works on metal, glass, wood, or stone—and it doesn't require any chemicals whatsoever.

Associate Editor


You can spend way too much time trying to remove shopping labels and price stickers after a shopping haul: No one likes scrubbing stickers with astringent cleaners or chipping a nail in the process of trying to scratch it off. Leave it to Martha, though, to find a way to make a very frustrating task so much easier. Using a household item you probably have at home right now, Martha shared her tip for removing pesky stickers and labels via Instagram—best of all, her method doesn't require harsh chemicals or other costly cleaners. 


In a video, our founder shared how she uses the high-heat mode on her hairdryer to loosen the adhesive on the back of stickers. "Here's a solution for getting stubborn stickers off newly purchased items like these pie plates—just use a hair dryer," Martha writes on Instagram. She doesn't try to remove the stickers until after they've been heated thoroughly for about 10 to 15 seconds; afterward, they seem to slide right off the item. "Apply the heat very closely to the sticker," Martha instructs. "It loosens the glue and the sticker is easily removed. This can be done on metal, glass, wood, stone, anything—how simple!"

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As Martha notes, you may want to use this method on solid surfaces only; anything that is heat sensitive, including some forms of plastic, may begin to warp or melt if left exposed to heat for too long. The sticky label should be simply wiped away after less than half a minute or so on high heat, and since the adhesive is still quite hot after it has been heated, it also makes cleaning off the sticky gunk much easier


If you're trying to remove pesky residue from a plastic item that won't withstand the heat of a hairdryer, Martha has previously shared that adhesive remover Goo-Gone is better than leaving items soaked in hot water. "Right over an old towel, soak the label on the top side with Goo-Gone, and then as it starts to loosen, take that same Goo-Gone and gently rub it underneath the label. It loosens really quickly, it's quite surprising—it leaves a crystal clear, unscratched container underneath."