Removing the residue left behind by stickers on a laptop

Yesterday, I was at an event where, during a discussion on developers becoming evangelistic on their various technology choices, another delegate referred to the “stickers and t-shirt” brigade. That made me laugh (and he was joking) as my Surface Pro wears quite a few stickers (though I struggle to find good ones for Microsoft products…) and only the night before I’d been removing one that was dragging down the overall tone.

After removing a large sticker that was starting to look a bit scruffy (using a plastic spatula to try and prise it away in pieces), I was left with a lot of sticky mess. Inspired by a WikiHow article on removing stickers from a laptop, I first used some cooking oil, then some window-cleaning fluid and finally a baby wipe to remove the glue, leaving the surface clean.

These may sound like strange materials for removing stickers but I didn’t want to risk anything stronger as it might damage the paint on the device (which isn’t actually mine – it’s my work PC). The end result is some pristine new real estate for a new batch of stickers (maybe there will be some at the Azure Red Shirt Developer event tomorrow…).

One thought on “Removing the residue left behind by stickers on a laptop


  1. What I’ve found from my “peeling a lot of stickers”…

    First heat the sticker with a heat gun or hair drier. It will “soften” and “freshen” a glue.
    After lifting a corner, peel SLO-O-OW. If I pull too fast, the sticker could tear. However slow pulling allows glue to “stretch” and then peel off the surface.
    After that I use either “GoofOff” or WD40 to clean remainings (and then use rubbing alcohol to remove oil).

    Good luck,

    Mike | Headset Adapter Co. | https://headsetadapter.com

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