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How to Get Stickers Off of a Cardboard Box

Emma Rensch

You can remove stickers from hard surfaces such as metal by rubbing the area with oil, scraping it with a hard tool or using caustic chemicals to dissolve the glue. However, removing stickers from a cardboard box is more challenging since you must avoid damaging the box in the process.

Removing stickers allows you to relabel boxes.


Ensure that the razor you use is fitted into a holster for safety.

Often it is essential to remove a sticker from a cardboard box, such as when you wish to eliminate a price tag without marring a gift box. Several techniques exist to eliminate the presence of stickers without worsening the box’s condition.

  1. Dip several cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and place them on top of the sticker you wish to remove. Ensure that the sticker and the cardboard surrounding it are completely saturated. The alcohol will dry quickly without causing discoloration to the cardboard.

  2. Insert the tip of a razor blade beneath the corner of the sticker. Loosen the edge and flick the sticker upward. Grasp the edge with your fingers and gently lift the sticker off. Complete this step while the sticker is still saturated since if it dries it will again be fixed in place.

  3. Fill in any tears in the surface of decorated cardboard with a marker of a similar color. While alcohol should allow the sticker to lift off without tearing the top layer of cardboard, it can sometimes be difficult to achieve total saturation, especially with large stickers. Filling in damaged areas can help you maintain the appearance of the cardboard box after removing the sticker.

  4. Apply cardboard-colored masking tape over top of the sticker if you are trying to salvage a plain box that is not decorated. Tan masking tape is available at most hardware stores in matte or glossy varieties. This option makes the sticker appear to have been removed without risking damaging or weakening the cardboard.