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Occasionally your vintage lingerie nylon or silk is spoiled by unsightly sticker residue, possibly from old price tags or brand tags. Either some of the sticker is still adhering to the delicate fabric, or an ugly mark is left by remaining sticky residue. Removing it from the lingerie can be tricky and can actually lead to more damage if the right care isn't taken. Believe it or not WD-40 can definitely help you get rid of sticky sticker residue from delicate lingerie fabrics like nylon and silk.
The worst thing you could possibly do in these circumstances is to use anything abrasive or sharp to scrape away the sticky residue. Using a knife or even sharp fingernails can cause rubbing on the delicate surface of the nylon and you'd just be swapping one unsightly problem for another one.
Before you do anything else try using just WD-40 on its own on the old label. Spray the whole label area with plenty of WD-40 and set the garment aside for around 10-15 minutes for it to thoroughly soak in. A little squirt of WD-40 on the other side of fabric behind the label might help too. Once you have allowed enough time for the WD-40 to soak in, rub the label gently between your fingers until it comes off. If successful then gently wash out the WD-40 from the fabric and leave to dry.
What if the first method didn't work for you? Then you will need to try a similar but more powerful alternative method. For this you will need some cardboard (old cardboard box will do) 6 or 7 inches square, some baking soda and an old, soft and worn toothbrush. Put your piece of cardboard under the layer of undie fabric that has the sticky label on it, then spray with plenty of WD-40 on both sides of the fabric. Leave to soak in for 10-15 like in the previous method. Once your 10-15 minute soaking period is over cover the entire label area with baking soda before very gently rubbing it in to the affected area. Use a delicate circular motion to 'rub' the baking soda in to the sticky gooey patch. Gently does it - don't rub too hard. Once you have rubbed the baking soda into the whole affected area with the toothbrush then you will need to carefully wipe off any surplus baking powder and add a generous 'splurge' of washing up liquid and continue rubbing it into the area that had the label residue. Once you have done this carefully then take the cardboard out and discard it before putting your vintage lingerie garment into the wash. After washing, if the old label adhesive is still visible then repeat the process.
Other sticker residue removal methods include:
Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by, or supported by WD-40 in any way. In fact, WD-40 are not even aware that I have written this. It just represents my own personal experiences of WD-40 as a great stain removal tool - if used properly and with common sense. Neither I nor Nylon Nostalgia can be held responsible for your own efforts at sticker residue removal using these methods and you do so at your own risk. It works for me and that is all I can say - I hope it works for you too.
Article written by Emma Benitez. BA (Hons) in Fashion and Dress History, incurable vintage aficionado and owner of Nylon Nostalgia.