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I tried this holiday hack to easily remove price stickers — and it actually works

Price stickers, gum, wax, you name it — this adhesive remover works on anything.
TODAY Illustrations / Katie Jackson
/ Source: TODAY

'Tis the season of giving! 'Tis also the season of wrapping presents. It's fun picking out rolls of decorative paper and stocking up on enough Scotch tape to see me through Christmas 2025. What's not fun is trying to peel price stickers off all my purchases. The sticky struggle is so real it can sometimes feel like a lose-lose situation.

Basically, I don't know what's more embarrassing: leaving the price on a present or leaving a gross, gooey-scratched-out mess in its place. Enter my new holiday problem-solving hack: Goo Gone.

Goo Gone Adhesive Remover (Pack of 2)

I was first introduced to Goo Gone as a child. My mom always had a bottle of it in the laundry room because my siblings and I were always getting gum stuck on our clothes. It seems I haven't grown out of the habit since, recently, I got gum stuck on the back of one of my cycling jerseys. First, I tried washing the jersey with two high-quality laundry detergents. Still, the gum stayed put. Then I tried the age-old trick of putting the jersey in the freezer before attempting to pick off the dried pieces of chewing candy. That wasn't successful either.

It's a bestselling formula on Amazon

Before giving up on my jersey completely, I decided to follow in my mother's footsteps and buy my own bottle of Goo Gone. The original 8-ounce bottle is Amazon's bestseller in Craft Adhesive Removers and goes for only $8. (To replace the jersey, I'd have to spend $80.) It also has an impressive 4.6-star average rating from nearly 16,000 reviews.

I opted for the spray gel formula, which offers the same goo-removing abilities but in a spray version that allows the product to cling to vertical surfaces. In color and consistency, it reminds me of an orange-colored Windex. It smells strongly of orange the way Pine Sol smells strongly of lemon.

How it works

The Goo Gone spray gel is safe to use on many surfaces, including clothing, plastic, finished wood, cars and carpet. According to the product description, it works on pretty much everything sticky. Think: gum, glue, paint, tape residue, tree sap, candle wax and more.

TODAY Illustrations / Katie Jackson

Because it's orange and kind of greasy, it's important to do a spot test before going to town on a sticky spot. The instructions say to wash clothing treated with Goo Gone separately the first time you launder them after using. Obviously, the instructions change slightly depending on the surface. For price stickers on candles in glass holders, I simply spray the Goo Gone over the sticker, let it sit for 2-3 minutes and then wipe it off with a paper towel or peel it off with my fingers. The sticker often comes off in one whole piece!

For my cycling jersey, which is 93% polyester and 7% elastane, I simply applied one spray of Goo Gone to the gummy part. Then I blotted the area with a paper towel and picked at the gum residue with my fingers. It came off in seconds! Finally, I laundered the jersey and let it air dry. Did I notice a color change in the fabric? Nope! It looked good as new.

There have even been special Goo Gone formulas made to work on skin and hair. I get IVs for bi-monthly chemotherapy, and I wish my nurses used the Goo Gone bandage remover on me in the hospital. The worst part of my three-hour-long treatments are when they rip off the IV tape and bandages. This "sting-free" formula is only $11 and has a 4.5-star average rating from nearly 3,700 reviews.

While you can't go wrong with this adhesive-removing formula — most products in the Goo Gone family are bestsellers in their respective categories — there's plenty more top-rated hacks out there to help you get through the holiday season.

Wrap Buddies Tabletop Gift Wrapping Tool

Little Elf Gift Wrap Cutter

What I love about it

I love that Goo Gone does exactly what it says it does. The best part is that I no longer have to worry about breaking my nails while trying to scratch off price stickers, which is a big concern of mine during the holiday shopping season. I buy a lot of gifts at T.J. Maxx because everything's so cheap, but I hate how tacky the bright red discount stickers look. They're also super tacky in terms of stickiness. However, with Goo Gone, they come off as easy as I imagine them going on.

I can't say I love the strong scent, but it usually goes away if I wipe it with mild soap and water. I'm also not crazy about the grease factor (which I only really experience when I use it on surfaces I can't rinse afterward). For example, on cardboard boxes it can leave behind grease marks like you get after eating potato chips. Still, it's a small price to pay for a product that actually works.

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