How to Remove Sticky Residue Naturally

Cuddles and Chaos | removing sticky residue with coconut oil

Hello, my name is Jen and I have a coconut oil problem. I currently have three (large) jars of it that I use for everything from cooking to moisturizing to degunkifying. Yes, I just made that last word up. But I like it, so it stays.

While I hope to have a whole post for you next week on all of the reasons you should love coconut oil as much as I do, today I’m just going to focus on degunkifying. Or, you know, getting rid of the gunk. Let me back up.

I’m cheap. We’ve established that. I also like things that are eco-friendly. Major bonus points for anything that combines the two. So when I accidentally bought an extra tin of hot chocolate for gift giving this holiday season, first I drank it all (because, of course) and then I decided the tin must be repurposed. It’s the perfect size to house cotton balls in my bathroom.

I got to work removing the label from the tin. I ran it under hot water to loosen the glue and scrubbed away with a little dish soap. But no matter how much scrubbing I did I couldn’t remove some serious spots of gunk.

That’s when the coconut oil left on the counter from making popcorn for the girls caught my eye. Light bulb!

Cuddles and Chaos | removing sticky residue with coconut oilAs you can see, my tin was looking kind of sub par. While it could certainly do the job I wanted it to do, I didn’t want to have to look at that mess. I had visions of a sparkly clean tin that looked like I bought it specifically for storage purposes.

So I dug into my trusty jar of coconut oil, warmed it in my hands a bit so it would melt (it’s cold here in the northeast) and rubbed away at the stubborn spots.

Now, depending on the strength of the glue that was used, this could be a nice and simple undertaking or it could take a little effort. For me, it took a little effort. I rubbed and rubbed and then rinsed it off to find a couple of little spots that were still all gluey.

So I took some more oil, focused on those spots, rinsed again and was a seriously happy camper.

Cuddles and Chaos | removing labels with coconut oilThe next time I need to remove sticky residue, I think I’ll also mix in a little baking soda. I use it as a gentle abrasive in all of my green cleaning recipes, so I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this immediately. It probably would have saved me some scrubbing.

Are you on the coconut oil bandwagon? What’s your favorite way to use it?

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  1. Oops :)…I buy the big tubs from Costco and use coconut oil for everything from moisturizer to baking to popping popcorn. However, I have never used it for getting sticky residue off, I’ll have to try it next time!

  2. That’s an AWESOME tip!!! I always have problems with removing labels and getting the glue off- will definitely try this next time!! 🙂

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