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How to Get the Price Stickers off Books


The price stickers on new books usually peel off easily. Sometimes, however, they are stubborn and take some work to remove without damaging the book. If you buy second-hand books from thrift shops or garage sales, you might have more difficulty. Tough glue on an old and delicate book can be challenging to remove safely. In some cases, layers of stickers accumulate on a book that has changed hands a few times. Basic household items remove most stickers cleanly.

Pick a corner of the sticker away with a thumbnail and peel the sticker back slowly. If you can feel the sticker lifting paper from the book, stop and soften the glue before continuing.

Warm the sticker with a hairdryer at a low setting for a minute and try to peel it off. Repeat three or four times, if the sticker doesn't come away immediately. Heat softens many types of glue sufficiently to remove the sticker.

Soak a cotton ball in warm water with a touch of dishwashing liquid. Blot the sticker until it is damp and gently try to lift or scrape the sticker away with your nails. Many glues are water soluble. Pat the area dry with a paper towel immediately afterward, so the moisture doesn't warp the book's cover.

Soak a cotton ball in mineral spirit and dampen the sticker, if neither heat nor water softened the glue, before gently peeling off. Mineral or white spirit is a solvent for most price label glues, and so is lighter fluid.

Tips
  • For strip library stickers, use acetone as the solvent. These stickers have the texture of band-aids and do not come away easily. For library labels on the end pages of a book, lay a damp cloth over the top and carefully warm the cloth with an iron.
  • Consult a local antiques dealer or second-hand bookseller for further advice if you have a very stubborn sticker on a valuable book.
Items you will need
Hairdryer
Cotton balls
Dishwashing liquid
Paper towel
Mineral spirit or lighter fuel
Acetone
Cloth
Iron
About the Author

Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Photo Credits
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