Removing Price Tag Stickers from Books

A friend and fellow bookworm asked on how to remove the price tags without damaging the book's cover on Facebook. As a person who likes to collect (mostly paperback) books, I find price tag stickers quite troublesome to remove. It's even more annoying to find some messy, sticky residue left when you try to carefully pry the sticker off the book. In fact, the end result in my preserving a book's (almost) pristine condition would be not to remove the price tag sticker at all.

Out of curiosity and to somehow help my friend, I did, however, search for tips on the internet and managed to come up with this tutorial during my search. Honestly, I didn't bother with the first two but went straight to try the third one. The instructions in the tutorial is pretty short and it doesn't really give blow-by-blow instructions, but it gives you a pretty good idea on what to do.

In lieu of that, I decided to make this mini-tutorial to removing the price tag sticker from books. The end result may not be perfect, but it does work and it can remove that annoying sticky residue which seems to be the bane whenever we peel off those price tags.


First, you need a nail polish (enamel) remover and some cotton balls. I found this nail polish remover lying around the house so I opted to use this. This contains acetone in it; I haven't exactly tried using an enamel remover which is acetone-free since I don't have one available at the moment but I will try using one in the near future.

I'm not endorsing the brand of the nail polish remover in this picture. I'm just showing that I've actually used a nail polish remover instead of some other alternative.

Before doing anything else, put a scratch/scrap paper between the back of the book where the price tag sticker is and the last page leaf of the book so it can absorb any liquid that may accidentally soak the book leaves. I personally made this mistake when I was so focused on rubbing the sticker tag off that some of the liquid actually got squeezed out of the cotton and soaked the last page leaf of the book. T_T Right now it has a blue smudge (from the cover of the book I think) but the last leaf is somewhat dark/tinted so it's really not that damaging overall.

Apply some nail polish remover on the cotton ball. Not too much; just enough that it feels damp. Start rubbing the damp cotton ball on the price tag sticker at the corners in a circular motion using gentle force. The sticker tag should be wet enough now so that you can start peeling it off.


When most of the sticker tag is peeled off, run your finger/s over the cover of the book and feel if there are any sticky areas. You can clean off any remaining sticky residue on the cover of the book by using the same cotton ball. Or you can use another one if the cotton ball has gone dry. Remember to  use a gentle amount of force when rubbing the book.



And you're done! You might notice that I managed to erase the bar code and the ISBN number a bit. Admittedly, I applied a very generous force as I was rubbing the cotton ball so that resulted to this which is the sole reason why I keep stressing on applying gentle force. It's nice to note, though, that the blue color on the area where a portion of the price tag sticker was stuck on to wasn't damaged. Like I said, this method may not be perfect, but it does work. ^_^

I will try to remove another price tag sticker from another book using an enamel remover without any acetone content next time. Of course, I will update this post and add some pictures as well. 
(^ o ^)

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