How to remove a crib sticker without chemicals

Step 1: Wait until your baby learns to stand and has a few sharp teeth.


Step 2: Release your baby into the crib.


Step 3: Watch the warning label disappear.


Sigh. OK, maybe you should take care of this issue before your baby decides to eat the ink, glue, and paper that you spent weeks researching cribs in order to avoid.

Erik and I love our IKEA Sniglar crib. It is inexpensive, pretty, and (most importantly) made of real wood and free of toxic junk.


We bought the crib when I was about five months pregnant and assembled it as soon as the paint in the nursery dried.


I was very discouraged when the warning labels did not peel off the rails easily. We used Lift Off to remove the visible label, and it made the whole room stink of paint thinner. Lift Off is labeled low-VOC, but I have my doubts! We decided to leave the second label intact; it was hidden from view, and I did not want to have that bottle of Lift Off open any more than absolutely necessary. No baby of mine was ever going to be interested in chewing on anything but food (HA!). Plus, what if we needed to review the crib rules at some point? That label might come in handy.


By the time Bea was born, all traces of the Lift Off seemed to have disappeared. I never gave another thought to the labels and, in fact, completely forgot that the second label even existed … until last week. I happened to glance at the rail while retrieving Bea from the crib and was horrified to see half of the label there. Doesn’t this baby know how hard I am working to make sure that she is safe and healthy?!

I googled around for some non-toxic solutions so that I could remove the rest of the label before Bea did it for me. I am here to report that I found the answer.


Step 1: Blow a hairdryer on the label to soften the glue. I worked in sections, peeling off the paper as each section got warm enough.


Bea got in on the action.


Mama, no!! I was saving that for my snack time!!!

Paper gone:


Step 2: Once the paper is removed, coat the remaining adhesive with Baby Butternut Balm. Well, that’s what I used. You could use any oil, I’m sure. I was standing at the crib with a bottle of olive oil and wondering how I was going to avoid dripping it all over the mattress when the lightbulb went off. The BBB is full of all sorts of non-toxic oils and has a solid, spreadable consistency that works well for this application.


Step 3: Wait two hours (or however long nap time lasts) for the oil to soak in, and then buff with a dry cloth. I hoped the taste of the BBB would prevent Bea from licking it all off during her nap! I think it did? I used one of her cotton diaper wipes and some elbow grease to rub the oil-softened glue off the rail.


Step 4: Repeat. The stickiness was much improved but not totally gone after step 3, so I slathered on another layer of BBB. Before Bea’s next nap a few hours later, I used another wipe and more elbow grease to buff the rail again. Success!


The room does not stink, and all traces of the label are gone … though Bea’s beautiful teeth marks remain :-P.

So yeah, not only will Baby Butternut Balm resolve all your rash and dry skin issues; it will also remove glue residue without giving you brain damage. Buy it here, or find out how to make it here! Totally was not intending this to be an advertisement, but hey, if the shoe fits …


3 thoughts on “How to remove a crib sticker without chemicals

  1. Megan Clark says:

    Okay, question! We have this same crib and I’m already seeing staining on the unfinished wood from my kiddo’s grubby little fingers. Have you had this issue? If so, any tips on cleaning the wood, or maybe sealing it ahead of time?!


  2. Sarah says:

    Hi Megan — I haven’t noticed the same issue, but I also try not to look too closely, ha! I’ve actually been using some of the diaper balm to seal/polish other wood furniture in our apartment because I noticed that many natural wood polishes are beeswax-based and have some of the same ingredients anyway. It might saturate the wood so it would be less likely to absorb oil from baby fingers, but I’m not sure since I haven’t tried it. Good luck!


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