How to Remove Old Price Labels From Collectibles

I love finding vintage boxed games but often they have ugly price labels covering the box art. For years I thought it was impossible to remove a 30+ year old label.  Though recently I decided to try the infamous  Naphtha method.  This is most often used in the LP Record collecting community.

This works great on glossy paper stocks like record LP covers, most games cases, and other glossy laminated surfaces.  I haven't experimented with non glossy surfaces. I prefer using this method on low value items like my $5 Atari game shown here.  I can not be held responsible if you destroy a valuable item. Try this at your own risk.

Disclaimer: Exercise caution when you are using naphtha.  Work safely with small amounts.  I recommend picking up a pair of rubber gloves and working in a well ventilated area. I can not be held responsible for damages caused to your item or yourself.


1. Naphtha Lighter fluid.(Unlike alcohol or goo-gone, lighter fluid will not remove any color or texture from the glossy /laminated paper surfaces.

2. A sticker peeling tool. I prefer using the actual "label removal tools" found online or office stores

3. Q-tips, Cotton balls or paper towels

Find a clean and clear place to work. I prefer doing this sort of work outside in my garage. Don't work around high heat or flames.

Step 2:
Slowly saturate the label with lighter fluid. Make sure you get the whole sticker thoroughly wet with fluid and let it soak. The fluid will immediately start to evaporate.  To prevent immediate evaporation I prefer to cover the sticker with a plastic bag.  This will allow the fluid to work longer before evaporating.

After 10 minutes of soaking check on the label.  Take your label removal tool and gently pry up a corner.  If the label is stubborn DO NOT force it, add more fluid if label is dry and allow more soak time.  Repeat this step as necessary. It should peel up easily when ready.

This last label was very stubborn and required several applications of fluid.

Especially this small glue dot in the center.  I was certain this would damage the box art but eventually came off :)

Remaining label residue: This is where the Q-Tips or cotton balls come in handy. Rub in a circular motion to remove any stubborn glue or bits of sticker left behind. Add more fluid if needed. Most all stickers I have found come off without this final step.

If you see oily stains or residue from the fluid do not worry. It will evaporate within a few hours. Unlike alcohol or goo-gone, lighter fluid won't remove any color or texture from the paper.

Hope you find this How To guide useful.  If you had success removing labels please post your results in the comments section.


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