kids tutorials

How to Remove Sticker Residue from Clothing After Washing

I’m going to share a little trick I learned on how to remove sticker residue from clothing after washing…

How to Remove Sticker Residue on Clothing - even after washing and drying! I've saved a handful of my daughter's shirts this way!

This year at preschool, my daughter has been an all-star (lol, what kid in preschool isn’t an all-star?!)  and you know what that means?  She gets lots and lots of sticker rewards that go all over her shirts.  Yay for a great job….nay for when I forget to take them off and they end up going through the washer/dryer!

How to Remove Sticker Residue on Clothing - even after washing and drying! I've saved a handful of my daughter's shirts this way!

And if you’re the one who does the laundry in your house…you’ll know what kind of frustration that little leftover goo causes!  Ugh!

I was bound and determined to find a solution…I wasn’t going to let that almost brand new shirt sit ruined with a sticky mess on it.  I Googled and Googled…and all I could find were ways to remove sticker goo that had sooo many steps to it and so many products that I thought I’d ruin the fabric even more.  Then out of the blue one of my girlfriends gave me a suggestion that I’m going to share with you!

What you need to remove leftover sticky goo from stickers after washing/drying:

*The article of clothing (make sure to read the directions on how to care for the fabric…if it’s not meant to be ironed, you can’t use this method)
*An iron
*Ironing board
*Paper towels

Here’s how you get the goo off:

Take the shirt (or other article of clothing), lay it on an ironing board and cover the sticker residue area/area of the shirt that the iron will be touching with two layers of paper towels.  Set your iron on high (no steam) and set it on the area just long enough to heat the goo up (5-10 seconds).

How to Remove Sticker Residue on Clothing - even after washing and drying! I've saved a handful of my daughter's shirts this way!

**Notice that in the above photo, I was very careful not to touch the flower embellishment with the iron since it would have melted them.
When you remove the iron, act fast and use your finger nail to gently start scraping the goo off.  The goo will actually cool pretty fast and you’ll just have to keep repeating the process of heating/scraping until the goo has been completely scraped off.
How to Remove Sticker Residue on Clothing - even after washing and drying! I've saved a handful of my daughter's shirts this way!
Halfway through the process…
How to Remove Sticker Residue on Clothing - even after washing and drying! I've saved a handful of my daughter's shirts this way!
It probably took me about 10 times going back and forth between heating the area up with the iron and scraping the goo off…but guess what?!
My little girl’s shirt was saved and lived another day to be worn.  😉
How to Remove Sticker Residue on Clothing - even after washing and drying! I've saved a handful of my daughter's shirts this way!
I then recommend throwing the shirt into the wash again…it will help settle the area that you were just scraping and you won’t be able to tell there was ever a sticker there in the first place!Save

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Tess
    May 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    You should pin this then link up with momminitup.com's Wednesday Pin for the Wednesdays! 🙂

    • Reply
      Morgan
      June 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      Oops, I missed out. Maybe this Wednesday! 🙂 Thanks for the heads up!

      • Reply
        Teresa Brown
        March 15, 2016 at 12:25 pm

        Great Idea! May I add to it? My daughter left a 2×4″ sticker on a cardigan sweater so it was a little trickier since it wasn’t a firm fabric. I did your technique and then used packing tape to lift off the sticky residue and it didn’t compromise the knit fabric at all! Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    January 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    This really works – it is amazing!! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kristyn
    April 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I just got through removing a sticker that my son had forgotten to remove from his favorite shirt. It had gone through the dryer and he was so depressed. He will have a nice surprise in the morning!

    • Reply
      Morgan
      May 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Glad I could help save his shirt. 🙂 I only wish my mom would have known this to save my favorite shirt back in the day, lol!

  • Reply
    Jamie
    April 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    What heat setting should the iron be on?

    • Reply
      Morgan
      May 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Jamie, sorry that I’m just seeing your comment now. I had mine set on the cotton setting. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica
    July 20, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Thanks so much for posting this! Super easy and effective!

  • Reply
    Molly Boren
    August 3, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Worked like a charm on my son’s handsomest shirt! My previous strategy had been to put an identical sticker over the baked-on one, but I’ve run out so this was a winner. Thanks!

  • Reply
    K
    December 25, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you! I thought I ruined my sons new shirt I just washed and dried on high!
    I had to pick at it a touch, but it all came off.

    • Reply
      Morgan
      May 16, 2014 at 10:51 am

      I’m so happy that it worked for you and his shirt was saved! 🙂

  • Reply
    sarah brewster-scott
    May 8, 2014 at 3:26 am

    This worked like a dream, i didnt have kitchen towel, toilet paper worked just as well then rubbed with a T towel. Thank you so much

    • Reply
      Morgan
      May 16, 2014 at 10:50 am

      So glad to hear it worked for you! 🙂 It’s saved me a handful of times!

  • Reply
    Vicki
    March 26, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Thank you, I will try this tonight! My grand daughter has ruined several tops with stickers. Doctors and teachers should place the stickers on their hands, not their clothes!!!

  • Reply
    Bob
    January 10, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Worked perfectly–thank you.

  • Reply
    Beth
    July 24, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Brilliant! Thanks. It worked a treat on my daughter’s PE top!

  • Reply
    Sarah C.
    October 9, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    You just saved my daughter’s soccer uniform. A HUGE thanks!

  • Reply
    Curtis from Baton Rouge, LA
    October 26, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Morgan thanks for the Tip! Saved my shirt. I went out to early vote and got a sticker placed on my shirt. Totally forgot about it and my wife scolded me for not taking it off before she washed and dried it. Thanks to you I was able to save my shirt and live another day with loving spouse! Seriously thanks for the wonderful tip!

  • Reply
    Lesley
    November 11, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Thank you so much for this tip! I have managed to save my son’s nursery uniform. I used some sellotape to remove the sticky residue which seems to have worked without damaging the fabric. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Abby
    November 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing. I have 2 shirts with name tag residue on my daughters shirt. I am going to try it out!!

  • Reply
    Shahla Macdonald
    March 23, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I used a hot iron as described and duct tape that I saw suggested elsewhere. I put the duct tape on as soon as I removed the iron- it pulled the left over sticker right up!

  • Reply
    Tracey
    April 16, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Worked beautifully on my nursing scrubs. After warming, I used a small piece of duct tape to remove the remaining adhesive!

  • Reply
    Mary
    April 21, 2017 at 10:57 am

    This just removed washed in adhesive on my favorite professional shirt from a nametag. I couldn’t get it off for a year and couldn’t bear to dispose of it. THANKS!

  • Reply
    PJ
    July 7, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    This process (paper towels, iron, packing tape) just worked great on a 100% polyester Tek Gear/DryTek shirt! I used the iron on the polyester setting and it took several applications of heat and packing tape, but I was concerned about using a very hot iron on polyester. I was recently on a cruise and they gave us stickers for our shore excursion groups. I’d washed this shirt with the sticker on and thought it was a hopeless. THANK YOU FOR THE EASY SOLUTION!

  • Reply
    Amy Newlin
    July 23, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks for the tip! I was able to remove most of the stickum from a cotton shirt with black embroidery. I used 2″ strips of transparent tape to help pull up some of the stuff inside the embroidery and to help remove some of the stickum once it was heated up. It wasn’t a 100% but enough that I can still wear the shirt which is what I wanted. Whatever is left over from the next wash might be even more vulnerable.

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