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Ways to Remove Stickers From Laptops


Can you take stickers off a laptop?

Yes, you can! You may want to reconsider if it’s a warranty seal, license key, or serial number sticker, as losing those can make it difficult to get your laptop or its bundled software serviced in many situations. You may also want to avoid removing stickers if the laptop is in mint condition and you plan to sell it.

If you’ve decided that you indeed want to take stickers off your laptop, be sure to avoid using methods that involve harsh solvents, abrasives, or excessive heat that could discolor or warp the surface.


How to Remove Stickers From Your Laptop

Laptops are one of the most sticker-covered items many people own. In addition to the stickers that come from the manufacturer (such as warranty seals, serial number stickers, activation code stickers), many of us put our own stickers on laptops as a way to personalize them. Quite a few people like the look of laptops covered completely in vinyl stickers. If you’ve ever tried sticker printing for promotions, you might find that laptops tend to be the item many people stick their promotional stickers.

However, while stickers are easy to apply, they aren’t always so easy to remove. This can be a problem when you’re attempting to resell a laptop or if an old sticker gets shredded then gets all gummy and dirty. Fortunately, there are several ways you can remove stickers from a laptop. There are a few categories of methods for sticker removal, and some methods may be covered under more than one category. You can find broad categories of laptop sticker removal methods below.

Warning: Using these methods risks voiding your warranty or damaging your laptop. Please power down and unplug your laptop and remove your batteries if possible to prevent damaging your computer.


1.) Abrasives

You can apply mild abrasives such as magic erasers, toothpaste, Scotch Brite pads or baking soda paste directly to stickers to remove them by wearing them away. You can also rub a slightly damp microfiber cloth on uncoated stickers to wear them off and remove them.

However, we encourage caution in using these methods as using too strong an abrasive and excessive rubbing will damage the underlying surface, especially if your laptop casing is made of plastic. Abrasives can also scuff the surface of metal cased laptops. If you have to use an abrasive remover, use the mildest one you can find.

2.) Oil-based substances

Applying mineral oil, olive oil, tea tree oil, petroleum jelly, lotion, and other similar substances to stickers can moisturize the stock and help loosen the adhesives, making them easier to peel or scrape off.

Simply apply a very small amount of oil with a clean rag directly on the sticker, and letting it soak up the substance. Take care to avoid any holes and gaps in your laptop. This method works best on uncoated stickers and those with paper stocks. This takes more time on waterproof stickers, or those with a plastic coating, as the oil will only be able to get under the edges. In these cases, you can leave enough oil on the sticker for a few minutes to allow it to work under the sticker. Simply peel or scrape off the sticker with a plastic card or scraping tool after a couple of minutes.

After you remove the sticker, be sure to immediately wipe the treated area with a clean piece of cloth to remove remaining bits of adhesive and oil, as prolonged exposure to these substances may discolor or damage the surface. You can also wipe down your laptop with a slightly damp rag to clean the casing.

3.) Solvents

Substances such as lighter fluid, mineral spirits, WD-40 and Goo Gone (all oil-based substances as well) can dissolve the adhesives on stickers, making them easy to scrape or peel off. Non-oil-based solvents such as acetone, rubbing alcohol, Windex, and vinegar and water can also effectively loosen up stickers on your laptop.

Taking care to avoid seams or holes in your laptop, apply your solvent to a clean piece of cloth and wet the sticker around the edges. Give the solvent a couple of minutes to act on the sticker then carefully peel it off. After you peel off the sticker, follow through by wiping off the surface with a clean piece of lint-free cloth to remove any remaining bits of solvent and adhesive. You can then finish with a slightly damp rag to clean off the surface. This step is important as leaving solvents on your laptop can cause plastics to degrade prematurely.

4.) Heat guns and hair dryers

This is perhaps the neatest way to remove stickers from your laptop. Be sure to use the lowest setting and point your hair dryer or heat gun directly at the sticker you wish to remove for 30-45 seconds at a time. If your hair dryer or heat gun puts out an uncomfortable amount of heat even at the lowest setting, reduce the amount of time for each pass, as too much heat can damage your laptop. After a couple of passes, you should be able to peel almost any sticker off easily and with no shredding or residue. If the sticker remains stuck, try to get under the edge with a fingernail, plastic scraper or credit card and try to lift part of the sticker off. Once you’re able to lift part of it, the rest of the sticker should be easy to remove by hand.


How do you get stickers off a Macbook?

Apple recommends against using solvents to clean their products or remove stickers. They also recommend against using any liquids, paper towels, or abrasive materials.

That being said you can use a slightly damp non-abrasive cloth to gently wet stickers, allowing you to peel them off with your fingernails or the edge of a credit card or similar flat plastic tool more easily. Just use water and be sure to avoid any opening when you do this, as liquid damage is not covered under Apple product warranty or AppleCare Protection plans. Once you get the sticker off, you can gently rub off any remaining residue with a dry lint-free cloth.

These Apple-approved methods, however, won’t necessarily work so well in practice, especially if you have several stickers stuck to the back of your laptop. In these case, you can use any of the methods we recommend for removing stickers from laptops.

To be on the safe side, you can use any of a number of popular products intended specifically for removing stickers and sticker residue. Some popular products include Goo Gone and liquid sticker remover. Be sure to avoid applying or spraying liquids directly, as you can easily get it inside crevices, possibly damaging your computer. Always apply these substances to a clean lint-free cloth, taking care not to oversaturate it. Give these substances time to work then gently scrape the stickers and residue off, or use a clean, dry lint-free rag to remove all remaining traces. Take your time and don’t apply excessive force to avoid stressing your Macbook’s casing.


What removes sticky residue?

There are endless debates about which products are best at removing sticky residue. While some advocate for solvents such as isopropyl alcohol, others will advocate organic tea tree oil. Still, others advocate using nothing but a clean rag and elbow grease.

The truth is, many substances and methods will work to remove sticky residue left behind by stickers. The main issue is whether or not these will damage the surface underneath. The list below is just some of the many items and methods people swear by:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Hairspray
  • Baby oil (mineral oil)
  • Vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Windex
  • Baking soda paste
  • Lighter fluid
  • Kerosene
  • WD-40
  • Duct tape
  • Goof Off goop remover
  • Paint thinner
  • Rubber cement thinner
  • Rubber erasers
  • Peanut butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil
  • Margarine
  • Cooking spray
  • Scraping it off with a razor blade
  • Mayonnaise
  • Goo Gone
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
  • Furniture polish
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Perfume
  • Aftershave
  • PVC pipe cleaner
  • Heating the goo with a hair dryer then wiping off (firmly) with a damp cloth.

In all cases, it couldn’t hurt to clean the surfaces with a lint-free cloth before you attempt any of these methods.


How do you get stickers off of glass?

We recommend using a hair dryer or a heat gun at the lowest setting. Point it at the sticker for only 30-45 seconds at a time. Reduce the time further if your heating device doesn’t allow you set a low enough temperature. Generally, you want it hot, but not hot enough to injure your skin. After a few passes, you should be able to easily peel off the sticker with your fingernails or the edge of a plastic card or scraper.

If you must use a solvent apply a non-oil based substance like vinegar or alcohol to a clean rag and dab it directly on the sticker, taking care to let it soak around the edges. Avoid oil-based substances as they may leave hard-to-remove streaks on the glass. Windex and similar glass cleaners are also ideal for this application. They have the added benefit of cleaning the glass surfaces as well. In all instances, you can use a plastic scraper to help assist the removal process.


Have a laptop and want to put your own stickers on them? Do you want stickers to give away to friends, family, and customers for them to put on their laptops? Visit our sticker printing page to and make it happen today.


photo credit: dapito flower power via photopin (license)