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How To Clean Stickers and Adhesive from Glass

Shower glass can be a very attractive feature in the bathroom. Stickers and other adhesive residue can detract from their appearance, whether placed there by the manufacturer or by a wee decorator. We have tested various cleaning materials and have some recommended methods for this issue.  Most household glass is fairly resistant to cleaning chemicals and to scratching. However, shower glass may be treated with materials that make it more susceptible to damage while cleaning. These instructions are created to minimize risk of damage to shower glass. Recently installed shower door glass is a regulated type of safety glass, but features such as protective vinyl coating, textures and decorative appliqués can vary and may affect your decision on how to deal with the stain. Test all cleaning solutions and application techniques in an inconspicuous  location before using them in a wider area.

Use a clean sponge to apply hot water to the sticker/adhesive stain. Press the sponge on the sticker, to help the hot water soak away the paper of the sticker and help loosen some of the adhesive residue. If it is a plastic sticker, try to pull it away if necessary using a razor to try to loosen an edge enough to be able to grab on to it.

There are two options for the remaining adhesive residue. PEC-12 is a commercially available product that is extremely effective and is packaged in a convenient spray bottle. Although on the pricey side, it is available in small amounts. Non-abrasive "PEC pads" are also available. These items can be purchased at photography supply stores and some art stores. Spray the PEC-12 directly on the PEC pad, and then apply the pad to the adhesive residue with a light rubbing motion. Finish with a light overall cleaning of first sponging with a lightly sudsy solution of mild dish liquid and water, and then wiping the area with crumpled newspaper dampened with rubbing alcohol.

For a non-chemical alternative, dampen the corner of a clean rag with cooking oil and rub that rag directly on the adhesive residue. Again it is recommended to finish with a light overall cleaning of first sponging with a lightly sudsy solution of mild dish liquid and water, and then wipe the area with crumpled newspaper dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Untreated Window Glass

Other types of untreated glass can withstand stronger chemical adhesive removers. Always test a chemical on a piece of inconspicuous glass before attempting to clean the window. Work from the mildest to strongest chemicals to remove adhesives. Start with water, then alcohol, nail polish and then mineral spirits. One of these should be effective at removing adhesives from untreated glass.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.

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