7 Solutions for Sticky Situations

Are you battling a blob of sticky stuff? Try these tips:

  1. Those old bathtub decals stick like—well, like glue ought to but often doesn't. Soak the decal with WD-40 and leave it over night. Scrape it off with a credit card. If that doesn't do the trick, spray with oven cleaner, leave briefly, then rinse. Saturate any residue with WD-40 and use a credit card to scrape it off.

  2. To remove labels from plastic bottles but leave them intact for couponing, soak the bottles in hot water for about 20 minutes, then let them dry thoroughly (about 5 to 10 minutes) until clear cellophane tape will stick to the label. Cover the label completely with tape, leaving an edge to pull.

  3. To prevent the cap of a tube of contact cement from sticking onto the tube, rub a bit of petroleum jelly around the grooves.

  4. If there's an especially deep chip in a ceramic knickknack, you can repair it with white glue. Apply a bit, let it dry, then repeat. Keep adding layers until the hole is filled. You can touch up the area with enamel model paint. Or use a marking pen, then cover the spot with clear nail polish.

  5. Positioning contact paper just exactly where you want it can be tricky. If you set it down for even a moment, you have to struggle to get it up—unless you try this technique. Soap a wet sponge a little bit, then rub it lightly on the sticky side of the contact paper. The paper will slide until you get it in the right position, and then it will stick with no problem.

  6. When you're ready to strip away old contact paper, make the job easier by using a hair dryer. Set it to medium and direct the heat at the spot from six to eight inches away, waving the dryer back and forth. If there's any glue left behind, use rubber cement thinner or WD-40. Or lift up a corner and mist a bit of water in the area, pull, and mist again as needed. (The hotter the water, the better this works).

  7. Here's a problem that many a mother has run into: bubblegum tangled in her child's hair. Reach for the salad oil or peanut butter, not for the scissors. Work a bit into the gum to soften and loosen it, and you'll get it out. (You can also use peanut butter on clothes and furniture. After you work in a bit and remove the gum, use a rag to rinse the area).
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