How to Remove Stickers from Books

There are a few different products that remove stickers from, but the best ones are mild and use a mixture of citrus and other oils and solvents. I use Goo Gone, but there’s also an orange product from Awesome that’s cheaper.

To prep the bottle, use a pin to pierce a tiny hole in the seal. Don’t remove the seal. If the seal is removed, use a piece or wire or toothpick to dip into the fluid.

The basic way to remove the sticker is to put three or four drops of adhesive remover on the sticker, and spread it around with a toothpick. Spread it so it extends past the edges of the sticker.

Wait a few minute, and see if the fluid is soaking into the label. If it’s not, you may need to use a knife or needle to scratch the plastic coating on the label.

After around half an hour, the oils should have soaked into the label and saturated it.

If you remove the sticker too soon, you’ll notice that glue residue is still stuck on the book cover. Stop pulling. Press the lifted area down, and leave the book for a couple hours.

You may need to add more drops of label remover if it’s all soaked in.

Once the sticker remover has done it’s work, the sticker should lift off easily, leaving behind no residue.

What’s Happening?

When you coat the label, the fluid first soaks into the paper.

Then, after a while, it starts to go into the glue and soften it. If you lift it too soon, the glue that’s adhered to the book cover hasn’t yet softened, and sticks to the book.

You need to give the label remover time to soak into all the glue. It’s not enough to just get the label oily. You need to wait until the adhesives soak up the remover.

Once all the glue is completely softened, it can be removed from the book, leaving little or no residue.

Removing Leftover Sticker Residue from Book Covers

If you hurried and pulled the sticker off, leaving some residue, you can remove the residue with additional Goo Gone.

The best source is the sticker itself. It may have some oil on the front. Just flip it over and rub the oil onto the glue. This might soften it enough to scrape off the glue.

If that doesn’t work, find a cotton cloth. An old sock is a good rag. Put a few drops of Goo Gone onto the rag, and then rub it over the glue on the book.

The rag should pull up the glue.

It’s better to oil the rag than to put the solvent onto the glue. The cloth grabs at the glue, and pulls it off.

What’s probably happening is that the cloth rubs away the soft glue, and then spreads the solvent onto the harder glue. The solvent takes several seconds to soften the glue, and then the cloth can rub that off, and the process repeats.

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Copyright 2023 and John Kawakami