How to Get Sticky Residue Off Wood


Crafts might be fun for your kids, but getting rid of the gluey, sticky mess they leave behind is no fun for anyone else. If your formerly gleaming wooden tabletop has lost its luster to sticky residue, don’t panic – there are plenty of ways you can remove the residue and restore it to its former glory. Before we look at some of the best removal methods, a quick word of caution. Wood furniture is often treated with some kind of surface finish, not all of which reacts kindly to some of the products typically used to remove sticky residue. Before you start splashing any chemicals around, be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the wood. If nothing adverse happens, carry on with the rest of the removal. If you notice any discoloration, cross that particular method of the list and move on to the next one. With that said, here’s what you need to know about how to remove sticky residue off wood.

The Oil Removal Method

Oils are a great, cheap way of removing sticky residue from wood. It doesn’t really matter what kind of oil you use, but mineral oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, and baby oil are some of the most readily available types that will soak into the sticky adhesive and make clean up a breeze. The process is simple enough: simple soak a paper towel with your choice of oil and lay the towel over the residue. Leave it to do its business for 5 minutes or so before removing the towel and wiping away any excess with a fresh cloth.

The Furniture Polish Removal Method

Furniture polish does more than simply give your wooden furniture a lustrous glow. To get rid of sticky residue, spray a generous amount of polish over the affected area before buffing it with a clean cloth. It might take a few attempts, but with a few applications, that sticky residue should soon be thing of the past.

The Heat Removal Method

As notes, one of the best tools to loosen sticky residue is a hairdryer. Simply aim the nozzle of the dryer at the affected area and watch the hot air loosen the residue’s grip on the wood. Be sure to keep the heat setting on a low heat setting to avoid damaging the wood.

The Nail Polish Remover Removal Method

If you’ve got a bottle of acetone or nail polish remover to hand, put it to good use by using it to remove that sticky residue from your wooden furniture. Douse a cotton ball in the fluid then rub it over the residue using a circular motion. Once it’s absorbed, wipe up the residue with a dry cloth before giving the wood a quick swipe with a damp cloth to get rid of any remaining trace of nail polish remover. Before you attempt this method, make sure to test it on a small patch of wood first in case of any adverse reaction.

The Goo Gone Removal Method

If removing sticky residue from wooden surfaces in your house is an ongoing battle, it might be worth investing in a bottle of Goo Gone, an exceptionally handy product that will make the job of lifting glue or sticky residue from wood a breeze, if not a downright pleasure. To use, simply spray the Goo Gone over the residue and leave for between five and ten minutes, depending on how fast the adhesive has bonded to the wood. Once it’s had time to work its magic, wipe the area with a clean cloth before giving it a quicky clean with soapy water.

The Rubbing Alcohol Removal Method

As points out, rubbing alcohol is a highly effective home remedy that can be used for a wide variety of stains and marks. To use it to remove sticky residue from wood, soak a cotton ball in the alcohol and gently rub it into the stain in a circular motion. Once done, wipe the affected area with a clean cloth. If any residue still remains, repeat the process. Finish up by cleaning the wood with warm, soapy water to remove any lingering traces of alcohol.

The Dish Soap Removal Method

Dish soap isn’t just for cleaning pots and pans. To remove sticky residue from wood, dampen the affected area with water before applying a couple of drops of dish soap. Work the dish soap into the residue using a circular motion. Finish by removing the residue with a paper towel and washing the table with a damp cloth to remove any remaining soap.

The Petroleum Jelly Removal Method

Who knew that old pot of vaseline picking up lint in your bathroom cabinet could be put to use in so many different ways? Simply dollop a generous amount over the sticky area then leave to sit overnight. The following morning, give it a wipe with a clean cloth and the residue should be gone.

The Orange Peel Removal Method

This next suggestion might sound a little left-field, but you’ll be surprised at just how well it works. If you’re dealing with just a small area of residue, rub the affected area with an orange peel then let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. If the residue doesn’t lift the first time around, repeat the process until all traces are gone.

The White Vinegar Removal Method

White vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner that will make light work out of removing sticky residue from wood. Lay a paper towel soaked in vinegar over the affected area and leave for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the towel and use a damp cloth to clean. As not all types of wooden surfaces get along with vinegar, play it safe by doing a patch test first.

The WD-40 Removal Method

As highlights, the uses of WD-40 are numerous. Use it to remove sticky residue from wood by applying it with a clean rag to the affected area. Rub it into the residue using a circular motion before wiping it away with a clean dry cloth. If any residue remains after the initial application, repeat the process until you’re satisfied.

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