Homemade Goo Gone




Introduction: Homemade Goo Gone

About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

Goo Gone is one of those products I almost always have on hand. I worked selling used books for years and years and I don't think I'll ever be able to stand having stickers on anything ever again. I spent so much of my life peeling them off it feels wrong to leave them on now.

But as much as I love removing stickers, I hate using the Goo Gone. It smells pretty atrocious and it's notoriously tough to get rid of the greasy feeling it leaves behind.

This homemade Goo Gone gets the job done, is much less messy to use, and is super easy to wash off! Pretty excited to not have to buy the stinky stuff anymore :D

Step 1: Ingredients

The coconut oil version:

  • 1 part baking soda
  • 1 part melted coconut oil (I used refined coconut oil here)
  • sweet orange oil (optional)

The vegetable oil/mineral oil/etc. version:

  • 2 parts baking soda
  • 1 part oil
  • sweet orange oil (optional)

You essentially just need enough soda to make a paste so it clings to the item and doesn't run down. The baking soda also acts as an abrasive to help remove residue.

Coconut oil is the easiest way to get the paste consistency right, but it's also possible with oils that are liquid at room temperature. Just keep adding baking soda until it's right. :)

Sweet orange essential oil is a great addition. It will scent it nicely - like Goo Gone without that weird petroleum smell.

Step 2: Mix It Together

Mix together the baking soda and oil until it's nicely combined. I used a little less than 1/2 cup of each. The baking soda will be pretty resistant, but it'll come together in a minute or so.

Mix in the sweet orange essential oil last if you're using it - I used just a few drops for my batch.

The mixture will be very runny at first, but as the coconut oil begins to harden it will form a paste.

Make sure to store it at room temperature to keep the coconut oil from going rock hard. :)

Step 3: Apply the Goo Gone

For best results, peel away as much of the top layer of the label as you can. I've included photos of the bottles I cleaned so you can see how they looked before!

Apply a thick layer to the whole area and let sit for a few minutes. I found it worked best to massage it in and warm up the oil a little. You should be able to peel away the leftover paper quite easily at this point!

I scrubbed at the adhesive right after applying and it started to come off, so that's pretty impressive. :D

Step 4: Wash It Off

Once the mixture's had a chance to work, wash your container with soap and warm water to remove the extra oil and baking soda and any sticker residue.

For particularly stubborn labels, you might need to apply it twice - but that's sometimes how normal Goo Gone works, too. :P

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72 Discussions


Acute Health Effects:
From MSDS:Inhalation: Not
considered a hazard. Eye Contact: Contact is non-irritating. Skin
Contact: Ordinary contact with normal individuals is not considered
hazardous. Ingestion: If swallowed, may cause a laxative effect. Not
considered hazardous. Medical Conditions Generally Aggravated by
Exposure: Contact may aggravate dermatitis in sensitive individuals.
Chronic Health Effects:
From MSDS:No chronic effects listed.
The ingredients in this product are not identified as carcinogens by NTP, IARC and OSHA.
6 replies

yrralguthrie, please let me know which MSDS (product number) you looked at, because there are many and the ones I looked at contain Hydrotreated light distillates which I assume they originated from petroleum. I've also read that GG is an eye and skin irritant. Please take a look at the Goo-Gone MSDS page here and tell me which one you read. If there is a non-hazardous one, I would like to get it.

I just took it verbatim from one of the sites listing ingredients for GooGone. The carrier in GG is mostly naptha. MSDS sheets are not the holy grail anyway. California lists brass as a carcinogen, which it is not. Enough brass in powdered form might cause cancer in rats. MSDS sheets are self perpetuating. Those that write them don't have a job unless they find harmful materials. Very few of the MSDS sheets are written about materials in their normal or close to normal concentrations. They use extreme completely unused amounts.

Wood furniture is a eye and skin irritant if you rub on it forcefully. Put your swim suit on and have someone drag your butt along a 2x10 from Lowes for a few feet! Too much heat is an eye and skin irritant. Cotton clothes if used excessively. Some wool is naturally a skin irritant. Just because something is an eye and skin irritant is not necessarily bad. One needs to know how it is tested. Maybe they saturated a bandage with GG and taped the arm up with it. I'm quite sure it was at least thought about doing it that way.

In any case a half lemon is a better substitute for GooGone than baking soda. I use baking soda to scrub kitchen ware. Baking soda is useful to scrub, not to dissolve. I'm not going to use it on painted surfaces. Or on any surface I don't want damaged. But the lemon is likely more caustic to the skin than the naptha in GooGone. Lighter fluid is naptha.

Look at the MSDS for chlorine, yet we put it in pools, swim around in it, get it in our mouths and eyes, and literally bathe our bodies in it. Your points are well taken.

There is a difference between a substance not being a carcinogenic and a substance that is not listed (US) or not classifiable (EU). Both those cases are indeterminate.

Petroleum naptha contains volatile distillates, such as benzene, hexane, etc., are not recommended for skin contact. Your body will not have a favorable reaction to any of them.

You should not dismiss the MSDS sheets as being the sole reason for employment for the people who write them. For the most part the writers are technical writers who write the sheets as a small parts of their job (every large company needs guides/manuals/procedurals of one sort or another). Not writing the sheets wouldn't impact them, so they aren't motivated by a need for job security (where the sheets are concerned). I grant that there are companies who produce the sheets for other companies.

Squirt citrus juice in your eyes, it will burn like heck, it is acidic When you read such things you have to analyze why.

Does it work on plastic as well?

Oils work against most common adhesives. "Light" oils work better than viscous oils. I have even used margarine to remove fly paper from a cat. Butter works, too, but I hate to waste it.

3 replies

I am sitting here thinking about how upset the cat was attached to fly paper. I cannot imagine the cat was any happier being all buttered up.

the kitty was freaked out with the paper stuck to him, and a bit sore from losing clumps of hair. Licking the buttery tasting goodness off himself calmed him down quite a bit. He was purring by the time he was all cleaned off.

Lately, I just use el cheapo baking spray. It makes a foamy, moussey fluff that spreads easily and clings to the label--even on a vertical surface. Left on for 30 minutes to an hour, it loosens the adhesive quite well.

I have got to get another jar of coconut oil. I bought some on a whim a a year ago. I had no idea what to do with it. A couple of months ago, I found a few things to use it for. Now, I just keep finding things that the jar is almost empty.


2 years ago

I discovered that isopropyl alcohol is very good at dissolving the label goo as well.

1 reply

Thanks for this instructable.

I hate to think how much I've spent on magic potions to get sticky label residue off of bottle and jars. I just mixed up a small batch of your DIY Goo Gone which works really well, is cheap and has no nasty ingredients. I'm going to call mine "Goo be gone".


2 years ago

I discovered that isopropyl alcohol is very good at dissolving the label goo as well.

Thank you for saving my day! I was about to fine a complaint with Corning regarding the glue that they used to apply the label to the inside of a pie dish! I could not get the glue off -- until I found this page.