StickerYou Blog

How to Remove Stickers From Metal

February 15, 2023  |  
Guides/Tutorials
How to Remove Stickers From Metal

Metal is a durable surface and can withstand just about any product and sticker-removal method. However, our team at StickerYou has provided some methods that won’t risk damage to your metal surfaces.

These methods on how to remove new custom stickers will get your metal surface ready for new stickers, decals, and adhesive labels in no time!

Tips When Removing Stickers From Metal

  1. First, try plastic scrapers to prevent damage on the metal surface, and then try a harder, sharper scraper. Some metals can withstand a sharp edge without getting damaged.
  2. Some metals can withstand the application of abrasive materials and products without becoming damaged, but be sure to test a small area first before using abrasive materials and products on the whole area.
  3. Some metal surfaces require a finishing product or varnish. Be sure to apply this to leave a smooth, shiny surface.

These tips should make it simple for you to remove stickers from any metal surface like fridges, without hassle.

Equipment and Materials Needed

Let’s start with gathering the equipment and materials that you need. The list here will cover items for all the best methods for removing stickers from metal, which we’ll discuss below.

Equipment

  • Hairdryer
  • Thin plastic scraper or credit card
  • Spray bottle
  • Small bowl or bucket

Materials

  • Coconut oil or baby oil
  • Cotton balls
  • Baking soda
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Hot water
  • WD-40 solution
  • Vegetable oil or other cooking oils
  • Paper towel or soft cloth
  • Sponge

How to Remove Stickers From Metal: Best Methods

Now that you’ve gathered everything you need, let’s get started with our step-by-step guide for removing stickers from metal.

Removing Stickers From Metal With Baby Oil and Heat

Step 1: Apply Coconut Oil to the Sticker Surface

Take a cotton ball and apply coconut oil, or even cooking oil or baby oil, to the custom vinyl sticker surface. Rub the soaked cotton ball in a circular motion over the sticker area for a couple of seconds. Make sure the sticker is completely saturated with the oil.

The oil should help the adhesive soften, making it easy for you to peel it off after applying heat. If you’re working with a paper sticker, then the coconut oil will help dissolve the paper and remove the sticker entirely.

Step 2: Heat the Sticker

Using a hairdryer on medium heat, heat the sticker covered in baby oil. Simply point the nozzle directly toward the sticker and hold the position for a minute. This will loosen the sticker adhesive enough to make it easy to peel or scrape off later.

Step 3: Peel Off the Sticker

When the adhesive has softened, you should be able to peel it off with your fingers or use a scraping tool or plastic card to scratch the sticker off gently. Do not scrape too heavily to prevent damaging the metal surface. We recommend following the direction of the metal grains so you don’t end up scratching the material.

Step 4: Wipe Away the Residue

Once the sticker is off, use a paper towel to wipe off the solution. If the surface is still oily, you can clean it using a mixture of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Dip a soft cloth in the warm soapy water and wipe the metal surface gently. Dry the area with a soft cloth. To restore the metal’s shine, you can opt to buff the surface.

How to remove stickers from metal with baby oil.

Removing Stickers From Metal With Oil and Baking Soda

Step 1: Mix the Baking Soda with Coconut Oil

Mix a spoonful of baking soda with coconut oil in a small container until it forms a paste. The combined ingredients will help soften and lift the sticker residue.

Step 2: Apply the Mix to the Sticker Area

Apply the paste liberally to the sticker area and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Wait until the edges of the sticker start to curl up as the adhesive reacts to the mixture. This is when you know the sticker is starting to loosen up and you can begin peeling or scraping!

Step 3: Gently Scrape Away the Sticker

Using an old credit card or a scraping tool, gently scrape away the sticker, being careful not to scratch the metal surface. It should come off easily. If it doesn’t, reapply the baking soda and oil solution and soak for a little longer.

Step 4: Wipe the Area

Once you remove the sticker, wipe the area with a damp cloth and check that all the sticker residue has been removed before drying with a cloth or rag. If there is leftover adhesive, use a cloth soaked in warm water and dishwashing liquid to dab the residue. Then, scrape the adhesive away with a credit card or scraping tool.

Removing Stickers From Metal With DIY Soapy Water Spray

Step 1: Mix Hot Water and Dish Soap

Pour hot water and a few drops of dish soap into the spray bottle. Shake thoroughly until it’s nice and foamy. This liquid solution is less harsh than the other methods, making it safe to use for more delicate or cherished metal surfaces.

Step 2: Spray on the Sticker Area

Generously spray the soap and water mixture on the sticker area and leave it to soak for a couple of minutes. Make sure the entire sticker is saturated.

Step 3: Scrape the Sticker Gently

When you see the sticker starting to loosen or curl at the edges, use a plastic scraper or razor blade to scrape the sticker gently. Hold the scraping tool at an angle and start in the corners. Do this carefully and follow the grain of the metal to avoid scratching the surface.

Step 4: Wipe the Surface

Once you remove the sticker, wipe the surface with soapy water and dry thoroughly with a towel or rag. Should there be adhesive residue left over, spray the area with the mixture again and scrape the adhesive off with your scraping tool.

How to remove stickers from metal with soapy water.

Removing Stickers From Metal With WD-40 Lubricant

Step 1: Peel Off as Much as Possible

Before you start spraying the sticker with the WD-40 lubricant solution, try to peel off as much of the sticker as you can. You can use a credit card or scraping tool to help. Do this gently and slowly and remove the sticker in layers to avoid damaging the metal surface.

Step 2: Spray the Sticker with WD-40 Lubricant

If there’s nothing more you can scrape or peel off, it’s time to leave the rest of the work to your can of WD-40. Spray WD-40 lubricant directly onto the sticker, making sure it’s completely covered with the solution.

If you don’t have access to WD-40 or prefer to use a different product, you can also opt for another brand of water-displacing lubricant.

Here’s a pro tip: Before spraying the lubricant onto the sticker, try warming the metal with a hairdryer on medium heat first. This can help the adhesive loosen up more quickly. Simply point the nozzle directly onto the sticker and let it heat up for a couple of minutes.

Step 3: Let It Sit

Give the WD-40 solution some time to work its magic on the adhesive. Let the lubricant sit for a couple of minutes, just enough for it to loosen the glue. After such time, you’ll find it easier to peel or scrape the sticker off.

Step 4: Scrape Off Gently

When the WD-40 lubricant has been sitting for some time, grab your scraping tool or credit card and begin lifting the edges of the sticker. Gently scrape all the way through until the whole sticker is removed from the surface.

Step 5: Wipe with a Cloth or Sponge

Wipe the area with a soft cloth or sponge to get rid of the sticker remains and adhesive residue. If particles are still stuck on the metal surface, you can also use a mixture of mild soap and water to help remove them.

Step 6: Dry Completely

After the surface is completely clean, use a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe the area dry. To restore its shine, gently buff the metal surface with your cloth.

Removing Stickers From Metal With Vegetable Oil

Step 1: Peel Off What You Can

To start, use your fingers to peel off as much of the sticker as you can. You can also use a plastic scraping tool or credit card to help you remove parts of the sticker.

This is an important step, especially if you’re working with a vinyl or metallic sticker. Peeling away the top layer will allow the vegetable oil to reach the backing and loosen the adhesive.

If you’re working with a paper sticker, you can proceed to step 2 since the paper is porous and can easily be soaked in oil.

Step 2: Apply Vegetable Oil

Next, apply a few drops of vegetable oil onto the sticker. Make sure it’s completely saturated, but don’t add too much or you’ll end up with a greasy mess. In lieu of vegetable oil, you can also use other cooking oils, including olive, safflower, and corn oil.

Step 3: Let It Sit

Let the oil sit on the surface for a couple of hours. This will give it enough time to work its magic and loosen the adhesive. To help the adhesive release its hold on the metal faster, you can also opt to heat the sticker with a hair dryer.

While it’s completely saturated, point a hairdryer set to medium heat directly on the sticker. Avoid using high heat so you don’t end up damaging the metal.

Step 4: Wipe or Scrape Off

After letting the oil sit for a couple of hours, it’s time to scrape the sticker off. Mix two cups of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a small bowl. Dip a soft cloth into the mixture and use it to dab the sticker lightly

Grab your scraping tool or credit card and begin scraping the adhesive off the surface. Once you’ve removed the sticker completely, use your soft cloth to wipe away the residue.

Step 5: Clean the Metal

After your metal surface is completely free of sticker and adhesive residue, clean it with a dry, soft cloth. You can use your mixture of soapy water to remove leftover vegetable oil.

Step 6: Dry Completely

Dry the metal surface by wiping it with a paper towel or soft cloth. To restore the metal’s original shine, gently buff the surface. If preferred, you can apply a metal polish to give it a glossy finish.

Conclusion

Removing stickers from metal is pretty straightforward. The only challenge is being careful enough not to scratch or damage the metal surface. Oil and heat are your best friends here, allowing you to loosen up the adhesive enough to make the sticker peel off easily.

Now that you know how to remove stickers from metal, you can restore the integrity of your appliances or cooking tools.

How to Remove Stickers From Metal: FAQs

How do you take stickers off of metal?

The best way to remove stickers from metal surfaces is with the use of oil. Soak the area with coconut oil, vegetable oil, baby oil, etc., for a couple of hours. When the oil lifts the adhesive, you should be able to peel or scrape the sticker off easily. To help the adhesive release faster, heat the sticker with a hairdryer set to medium heat.

How do you get stickers off metal without scratching it?

To prevent scratching the metal, avoid using abrasive tools to remove stickers. Instead, use a plastic scraper or an old credit card to help lift the sticker from the surface. Follow the grain of the metal when scraping. To make it easier to scrape without resistance, apply heat or soak the sticker in oil first.

Does WD 40 remove stickers from metal?

WD-40 is a highly effective lubricant solution that can remove tough adhesive from metal. To use it, spray the WD-40 solution onto the sticker and let it sit for a couple of minutes. After some time, peel the sticker off or use a plastic scraper. Clean any remaining adhesive residue with a soft cloth.