I recently went to an event, and we had to wear name tags. Then, I forgot to remove the name tags before I washed it. When it came out, It had a white stain. I found out that the stain was some sort of adhesive. I did some research, and I found that nail polish remover removed it.

However, @user19 said

Don't use nail polish remover. Bad idea.

  • 1
    You said "ineffective" but asked for "faster". Do you want a method that works better or a method that's faster?
    – hairboat
    Dec 10, 2014 at 0:24
  • Don't use nail polish remover. Bad idea.
    – user19
    Dec 10, 2014 at 17:33
  • What type of fabric is the shirt? This will affect any answers that are given; different cleaning methods could have great or horrible effects on different fabrics. (In addition, any answers should really mention what types of fabrics are NOT suitable for that method.) Dec 18, 2014 at 3:07
  • Also, it might help the question to specify whether the shirt went through an electronic dryer cycle in the wash. That could affect how firmly the stain is attached to the shirt. Dec 18, 2014 at 3:08

4 Answers 4


I understand adhesives you have mentioned here are mild like labels, tapes, Glues & stickers not the harder epoxy resins or wax glue. So I answer here only for mild adhesives.

Mild adhesives can be removed by rubbing the sticky area with your fingers, which has to done first for all methods. Then follow the below methods which is easy for you to remove the residue.

Method 1: Solidify the adhesive by keeping in freezer or rubbing the ice cube. Scrape the solid residue with your nail or any dull edged object, may be other edge of the table knife or spoon.

Method 2: Try applying the petroleum jelly into the adhesive stain and it will loosen the glue. Then remove the petroleum jelly by rubbing the area with detergent soap. Use max hottest water mentioned in your garment care tag for rinsing the area. Use hot water only if it is fat adhesive.

Method 3: Add any mild oil into the adhesive for loosening it. Baby oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil or butter may help. Then rinse the area with detergent soap.

Method 4: Place duct tape on the sticky area, press firmly and peel off slowly.

Method 5: Use nail polish remover on the sticky area. Acetone in the nail polish remover will help the task. Some nail polish may not contain acetone, check it. Wash thoroughly and repeat if needed.

Method 6: Place a paper kerchief or towel on the sticky area, then iron them firmly. You can peel off the residue by scrape.

Method 7: Heat some vinegar and put some few drops in the concerned area. Wash throughly with the cold water. Recommend to test a drop on an inconspicuous spot before treating it.

Method 8: If the adhesive is too greasy, then sprinkle some corn flour on the area. Then Allow it absorb the flour, scrape it.

I have tested few methods and it worked like a charm.


-Quicker you do the workaround, you are likely to get the better result.
-Use cold water always for rinsing.
-test on an inconspicuous section before testing, such as the inside of a sleeve or collar.
-Do not rub too harsh, as it may damage the fabric fibers.


I use warm (via a microwave) white vinegar to help dissolve the adhesive. Apply the warm vinegar with a sponge and let it soak before washing again. (Further reading)


I've used a citrus solvent for this, with good results. I used something like this. Spray it on, rub it in, let it sit for a minute, and scrub it with a wet rag. Repeat if necessary.

Because this type of solvent has the capability of removing some clothing dyes, test a small amount on an inconspicuous spot before treating. On colored clothes, mixing the solvent in lukewarm water before applying it can help.

  • On colored clothes, dissolving the solvent in lukewarm water and then applying it helps.
    – user19
    Dec 10, 2014 at 17:29
  • @InfiniteRecursion A very small amount of lukewarm water, yes. I'll add that in. :)
    – J. Musser
    Dec 10, 2014 at 17:31

Once I removed adhesive with a piece of useless cloth, which I put over the adhesive and press it with hot iron. Then wait a little for the adhesive to become cool and pull the piece of cloth. The idea is the adhesive to stick stronger on the peace of cloth rather than on the shirt. But keep in mind, this method is not working for all types of adhesive!

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