Stop Goo Fail: Clean Stickers, Tape and Glue Off Glass

By: Laurie L. Dove  | 

Adhesives Without Residue

With all this scrubbing and cursing of gooey residue, it only makes sense to avoid it in the first place. So are there tapes that won't leave adhesive behind on glass surfaces?

Gaffer tape, also known as cloth tape, typically leaves no residue. The product is similar in appearance to duct tape and comes in varying widths and colors. A relatively recent entry into the marketplace is no-residue duct tape. Its manufacturer claims it won't leave any residue behind, as long as you remove the tape within six months of application.


If you'd really like to go the extra mile, make your own sticker glue. You can use this homemade adhesive to make nearly any paper product into a sticker. We especially like it for scrapbooking our children's art projects (let's face it, all those finger-painting papers take a lot of adhesive to add to their portfolios).

Boil three tablespoons water, one packet of unflavored gelatin and one-half teaspoon white corn syrup. Then, make it smell nice with just a dash of extract (we like vanilla or almond). After the mixture cools slightly, brush it on paper and then stick it to the surface of your choice. Of course, you don't have to adhere it right away. Even if you brush the homemade adhesive on and let it dry, you can always remoisten it later. It will be like an envelope, with its adhesive just waiting for a little moisture to become gummy again. Best of all, you can wipe it clean off any surface with some hot water.

This homemade glue works well if you have children who don't like the concept of one-time-use stickers. If you tire of the wailing that reverberates off the rafters after stickers lose their "stick," slather some of this homemade adhesive on and watch the magic unfold. Now if only we could discover a proverbial glue that would help them bond with a new babysitter. That's something we'd never complain about.

Related Articles


  • Bemmels, C. W., "Adhesive Tapes: Handbook of Adhesives." 1962. (Nov. 4, 2010) Robert E. Krieger Publishing Company.
  • Cameo Chemicals. "Denatured Alcohol." (Nov. 5, 2010)
  • Chevron Cars. "How to Make Your Own Stickers." (Nov. 4, 2010)
  • Do It Yourself. "Sticky Label, Tape, Decal, Applique and Adhesive Residue Removal FAQ." (Nov. 5, 2010)
  • Good Housekeeping. "Removing Stickers from Glass." (Nov. 4, 2010)
  • LPS. "Material Safety Data Sheet." (Nov. 4, 2010)
  • Nyberg, Tim. "Duct Tape 101." (Nov. 4, 2010)
  • Nyberg, Tim. "The WD-40 Book." (Nov. 4, 2010)
  • Reader's Digest. "How to Really Use Nail Polish Remover." (Nov. 4, 2010)
  • Science Daily. "New Adhesive for Tape, Label Industry Developed." July 7, 2010. (Nov. 5, 2010)
  • Scotch Duct Tape. "Scotch Tough Duct Tape: No Residue." (Nov. 4, 2010)
  • Thrifty Fun. "Removing Stickers from Windows and Mirrors." (Nov. 4, 2010)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Fast Orange Smooth Lotion Hand Cleaner." (Nov. 4, 2010) 
  • WD-40. "Frequently Asked Questions." (Nov. 4, 2010)
  • World of Molecules. "Heptane Molecular Structure." (Nov. 4, 2010)