creativity · tutorial

How to Remove Sticky Labels

Hello readers!

Have you ever tried to peel a label off of something and this was the result?DSCN0325

We hate when this happens, and it seems that no matter how hard you try there is always some sticky left over. Frustrating! Lucky for you, we have an easy way to get off labels of all kinds with just a couple of things you might have lying around the house.


The supplies you will need are:

  • WD – 40
  • Isopropyl alcohol (we used prep pads, but the stuff in the bottle works exactly the same)
  • Paper towels
  • Something to scrape with – we used a craft spatula but the blunt end of a razor blade works too (if using a razor blade, use caution! You should not be using the actual razor as you might scratch your surface, but you should still exercise extreme caution.)

We had two items we wanted to revamp, so we used them for this tutorial. One is a small Yankee Candle in a glass jar and the other is a package of wax melts in a plastic container.

We wanted to replace the original label with our own decal
We wanted to replace the original label with our own decal

To get started, use your scrapping tool (or fingernail) to get as much of the label off as possible. The Yankee Candle label was a double layer plastic label so that was much harder to get off than the paper wax melt label, even though we couldn’t get all of it in this first step.

This is what our labels looked like after trying to scrape off as much as we could

Next, you want to fold your paper towel in half a couple of times and apply the WD – 40 to it. We used a generous amount, but not so much that it was dripping off the paper towel. You may want to protect your work surface.

Apply WD -40 to the paper towel, not directly to the label

Use the paper towel to saturate the label with WD – 40. You may need to add more WD – 40 to the paper towel to get the whole label completely saturated. After it’s saturated, wait 45-60 seconds and then use your scrapping tool to start lifting up the label. The paper label of the wax melts came up pretty much all in one shot after the WD – 40 was applied. The Yankee Candle was a lot harder and left much more residue on the glass. Residue is okay. Just add more WD – 40 to your paper towel and rub the residue vigorously until it is gone. We went a little lighter rubbing the residue off of the wax melts because we didn’t want to damage the thin plastic.

Our containers after the WD – 40

The next step is to use your alcohol to clean the surfaces. WD – 40 is an oil and you must clean it off of the entire container. Alcohol makes quick work of this. Apply alcohol, wipe dry with a clean paper towel, apply alcohol and wipe dry once more with a clean paper towel.

Oily surfaces are no match for alcohol prep pads

Now you have a clean surface to add your own touch to! Or maybe just a label free Glucagon case 🙂

Our method did not remove the wording on the case, just the label!

We added the word Relax to our label-free Yankee Candle.DSCN0340

We added the phrase I’d stop the world and melt for you to our wax melts.DSCN0351

We think both the candle and the wax melts would be an adorable addition to a gift basket. Maybe a spa gift basket made out of paint stirrers! And, a world with out dirty looking residue from half peeled labels – how wonderful!

The font used in both of our decals is Hickory Jack. It is free for personal use and can be downloaded here.

We hope you try this easy tutorial out sometime. If you do, we’d love to hear about it in the comments! Remember to follow our blog to see more tutorials and great ideas!


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