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




38 thoughts on “How to Remove Sticker Residue from Clothing After Washing

      • Teresa Brown says:

        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!

  1. Kristyn says:

    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!

    • Morgan says:

      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!

  2. Molly Boren says:

    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!

  3. Vicki says:

    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!!!

  4. Curtis from Baton Rouge, LA says:

    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!

  5. Lesley says:

    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!

  6. Shahla Macdonald says:

    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!

  7. Tracey says:

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

  8. Mary says:

    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!

  9. PJ says:

    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!

  10. Amy Newlin says:

    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.

  11. Vika says:

    It works! I didn’t notice small sticker in my New Jersey super king quilt and washed it. Was pretty devastated to see the glue spot! Thanks you! It worked in 2min!i also just used toilet paper lol as it was closer ?

  12. Jessica says:

    OMG. This worked beautifully on a “I voted” sticker on my fiancé’s shirt. I used packaging tape as suggested by another reader and it was so easy!! Thank you, you saved us a $30 shirt!

  13. Donna says:

    Thank you so much!! You saved my favorite dress!! I am a teacher and little people like to give their teachers stickers too and I have forgotten more than once that they were on there before washing.. I wish I had known this before having to throw away a few shirts/dresses.

  14. Bruce says:

    Wow. Son had a shirt from work with sticker-went through the wash. My wife used this trick and it worked perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. MAW says:

    This worked perfectly. I used a nickel to scrape off residue and that made it easier. Thank you, I saved my daughters expensive blazer!

  16. Karin says:

    I was skeptical and was worried this method would just add more sticky from the duct tape, but it worked! My dress is a polyester lace over polyester backing and the adhesive from the My Name Is tag has got to be 3-4 yrs old, I tucked it away and really wanted to wear it for family photos, and tried it. It does take about 5-7 tries to get it all off, but I’m very impressed! Thank you for the tip!

  17. Melissa Hansen says:

    This saved my favorite duster…had a sticker on from church children’s ministry. Hubby wanted to toss it out, I needed to save it for another day (or many years). Thank you!

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