How to Remove Contact Paper Residue

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Residue
Residue (Image: Quinn Dombrowski)

Contact paper is very useful in covering books so that they don't get ripped or drawn on. Contact paper can also be used to protect photographs. When handling contact paper, you will immediately notice how sticky it is. If you are not careful, it will stick to itself. The adhesive can leave a residue on your table, clothes or anything else that it gets stuck to while you are working with it.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton cloth
  • Paper towel
  • Iron
  • Scouring pad
  • Dish soap
  • Goo Gone
  • Old rag
  • Lighter fluid
  • Un-du

Place a drizzle of dish soap directly on the residue. Let it sit for 2 minutes. Use a scouring pad to scrub the residue off. This method works great if the contact paper stuck to a table or other hard surface.

Place a paper towel over the contact paper residue. Plug in your iron and then put a piece of cotton cloth over top of the paper towel. Iron over the spot for 5 seconds. When you lift up the paper towel, the residue will be on it instead of your clothing or tabletop.

Purchase a tube of Goo Gone (see Resources). Pour the Goo Gone over the residue and work in with an old rag. This product is strong and will get rid of any sticky substance.

Pour some lighter fluid over the contact paper residue. Let it sit for 10 minutes, and then rub the spot clean with a dry rag. This method is great for tabletops and even clothing. It is not good for use on books.

Buy Un-du (see Resources). Un-du removes any type of sticky adhesive including contact paper residue. Pour the Un-du on the contact paper residue and then use the scraper that comes with the product. It is safe to use on tabletops, and the Un-du works on contact.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you get the residue on your clothing, you can freeze your clothing and then scrape off the residue with a knife.
  • Lighter fluid is flammable. Don't light a match or use around anything that could cause a fire.
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