How To Remove Stickers and Play-Doh From Places They Don’t Belong

My 2-year-old daughter loves stickers. Love may be an understatement. That girl is a walking sticker album. (I’m not exaggerating.) While she has many, many colorful sticker books in which to display her massive collection, she much prefers adhering them to her skin… and her hair… and her clothes… and my furniture. (Basically, anywhere BUT the sticker books.) As you can imagine this often leads to some tense moments—not in the sticking—but in the un-sticking.

While I am happy to report that my daughter has gotten over the trauma of me removing stickers from her hair and skin (obviously, the removal process hasn’t hurt enough to deter her from repeating her ritual), the same can’t be said for my furniture. Early on in this adventure in “Kids and Stickers 101” I made the mistake of thinking I could simply tear the sticker off said furniture piece without causing too much damage. I figured I could use my fingernail as a chisel and that would be that. BIG MISTAKE! But, instead of boring you with my sob story, I will provide you with some tips on how to successfully remove stickers from areas they should not be (countertops, wooden cabinets, carpeting, etc.):

First, try to remove as much of the sticker as possible. Do this gingerly. I made the mistake of attacking it as if it were a band-aid on skin (you know, yank hard and fast and the pain will be over quickly)—yeah, don’t try that. You can remove the rest with a little Ben Gay ointment and a blow dryer set on the low heat setting. This method also works on carpet.

Other products that have been known to remove stickers include WD-40, Oops brand latex paint remover, De-Solve, fingernail polish remover, rubbing alcohol and peanut butter. Simply apply these products to whatever is left of the sticker’s adhesive backing. Reapply and rub until the entire mess is removed.

Now, on to Play-Doh. I am still experimenting with some home remedies, but here’s what I have discovered so far:

Removing Play-Doh From Clothing

Typically, I wait a day until the Play-Doh dries and then I either peel it off of my daughter’s clothing or I scrape it with a knife. However, the other day my daughter “accidentally” stepped on a mound of Play-Doh while wearing footed pajamas. I didn’t catch it until she had ground the Doh into the skid-proof rubber waffling on the bottom of her pj’s feet. My traditional method of removal didn’t work so I resorted to Plan B—I soaked the section of the pajamas with the remaining Play-Doh in a mixture of Oxy-Clean and Shout for 5 minutes and laundered it once in TIDE and once in Dreft. By the second wash the Play-Doh was completely gone.

Removing Play-Doh From The Carpet

I try to avoid having to deal with these types of situations by setting up a Play-Doh workstation on the kitchen table. My daughter is pretty good at keeping the Play-Doh in the designated area, but there have been times when I have had to answer the phone or go to another room, only to return to her running through the carpeted portions of the house flinging Play-Doh. I have been able to get most of the Play-Doh pieces out (if I catch it early enough) by crawling around on my hands and knees and using my fingernails as a scraper. I have heard steam cleaning also works. But, by far the most tried and true method of Play-Doh removal has got to be… a pair of scissors. If you must resort to this method I would suggest cutting as accurately and gingerly as possible—then consider eliminating Play-Doh from your home.

Related Articles:

P.S.–There Are Other Ways To Get Crayon Marks Off Your Walls

Oh, the Wonders of WD-40!

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.