Let Inga Tell You: Not feeling amazing about being stuck with stickers
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Let Inga Tell You: Not feeling amazing about being stuck with stickers

Apr 24, 2023

When you think of all the amazing gains in technology, I can only wonder why one of them isn't inventing stickers that are easy to remove from glassware. I mean, we’ve put a vehicle on Mars. So you wouldn't think the sticker situation would be that big a problem.

Believe me, it is. I’m talking about a company I’ll call Glassware Guys.

Don't get me wrong. Probably 90 percent of the glassware and acrylic ware in my home comes from them. Great selection. Good prices. Attractive. Durable.

Frankly, I haven't bought much beverage ware recently since we’re in the downsizing rather than accumulating mode of our lives. But the acrylic glasses are perfect for taking an adult beverage down to watch the sunset in glass-prohibited areas. Which is pretty much everywhere along the coast, even on cliffs. Our acrylic ware was suffering from chardonnay fatigue.

Fortunately, the type we like was still in stock. But my happiness was short-lived when both the sides and bottoms had stickers on them that appeared to have been baked into the plastic itself.

Now, I’m no virgin where it comes to sticker removal. Over the years, I’ve used hair dryers, nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, Goo Gone, pre-wash spray, Formula 409, baby oil, peanut butter, cornmeal, talcum powder and plain old really hot water.

But these suckers, er, stickers — especially the ones on the bottoms — weren't budging. Especially the sticky residue underneath.

One has to ask: Is there a reason they need to use industrial-strength glue on glass or plastic ware to attach a sticker that has a 100 percent probability of needing to be removed? It's not like these stickers need to stay stuck into the next millennium for purposes of post-apocalyptic identification.

So, I decided to see what the Glassware Guys themselves might recommend. In fact, I was sure that when I searched "How to remove stickers from glassware" on their site, the link would pop right up. But it didn't. So, I decided to try a chat.

Here's a partial transcript of this 30-plus-minute conversation:

Glassware Guys: Tell us in your own words [who else's words were they thinking of?] how we can best help you.

(7:12 p.m.) Inga: I just got my acrylic ware and can't get the stickers off the sides and bottom. Help?

(7:15) Hi, my name is Jeffrey H. [Not the real name.] Thank you for contacting Glassware Guys! I’ll be happy to assist you!

(7:16) Inga: I just received my 15-ounce acrylic glassware and love it but am having trouble removing stickers from both the sides and bottom. Don't want to scratch it.

(7:20) Jeffrey H: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your amazing glassware.


(7:25) Jeffrey H: Oh, I’m sorry about this situation.

(7:27) Jeffrey H: Let me check if I can find useful information for your issue.

(7:27) Inga (getting impatient and surly. Why is each non-helpful reply taking four or five minutes? Is he playing Fortnite between replies?) I can't believe you don't get this question 100 times per day!

(7:28) Jeffrey H: Just to confirm, is for the amazing Acrylic Drinkware, correct? [sic]

(7:28) Inga: YES!!!

(7:34) Jeffrey H: I just sent you an email with all the details we have for this amazing item.

(7:34) [Email has a full description of the acrylic ware, including its construction and dimensions. But nothing about stickers.]

(7:38) Inga: Just got your email with absolutely no information about how to remove stickers. Officially giving up.

(7:39) Jeffrey H: I’m truly and genuine [sic] sorry for this situation.

(7:40) Jeffrey H: If you want to know how to get sticker residue off plastic, wood or glass, rubbing alcohol is an effective solvent that's safe for most surfaces.

(7:40) Inga: That's what I was asking a half-hour ago! And yes, I’ve tried that!

(7:41) Jeffrey H: Thanks for chatting, Inga! If you have more questions, please chat again to pick up where we left off.

(7:45) Inga: Why on God's green earth would I do that??????? Good night! Gaaaahhhh!

It was clear to me that "Jeffrey H." had to be a bot whose developer had failed AI 101. So imagine my surprise to get an email shortly thereafter from Glassware Guys with a smiling photo of Jeffrey H. and a pet. "Jeffrey is proud to be a part of the Glassware Guys family. His goal is to always provide a seamless and excellent experience. How satisfied are you with the service you received from Jeffrey H. today?"

Um, needs a new occupation?

Honestly, if I were Glassware Guys, I’d be selling my own brand of sticker removal prominently on the website. Or I’d be contacting 3M, whose amazing but now-deceased chemist Spencer Silver created the adhesive for Post-it Notes. These folks know glue. Because no one should have to work that hard to remove stickers from glassware or anything else.

Inga's lighthearted looks at life appear regularly in the La Jolla Light. Reach her at [email protected]. ◆