We’ve all faced it. That frustrating moment of trying to scrub off some sticky, gluey mess. Maybe a child decided to decorate their window with stickers or you used a little too much glue on a repair project. Maybe there’s that one tree that drops sap all over the car or the paint you used to refresh some furniture splattered more than you thought it would. Whatever the cause, those messes can seem like they need a chisel and hammer to get rid of.
Most of us are busy and don’t have the time nor the energy to work at a gooey mess all day. It’s these exact situations that require a little extra help. Using cleaners and products can work wonders on minimizing the amount of effort needed for these difficult messes, but knowing what cleaners and products to use can be tricky to figure out.
Two of the best products for sticky and stubborn cleaning problems are Goo Gone and Goof Off, but knowing which one is the better choice depends largely on what kind of gooey spills and residue you’re trying to tackle. If you use the wrong one, you may end up with another problem on your hands, potentially a bigger one at that.
Understanding some of the key differences and how these two cleaners compare to each other will help you know which one is the right one for your needs.
Different surfaces, spills, and residues will matter. It may seem that these two products are almost the same. They have similar names and a similar purpose, but they are actually very different from one another and work in different ways. It’s important to know which is best for your particular mess before you make a decision on which one to use.
Created a few years earlier is a similar product that is also very different. At first glance, both Goo Gone and Goof Off seem like they’re interchangeable, but this is not the case. While Goo Gone uses a citrus base, Goof Off isn’t pulling any punches. This product is stronger and will do an excellent job of deteriorating the sticky and gluey residues and spills you have to deal with.
Acetone is an incredibly strong solvent that is used in all different types of products, like Goof Off. This cleaning product is effective and will tackle many sticky problems easily. Acetone is so effective that it’s often used in the industrial world. It evaporates quickly and doesn’t cause any lingering fumes, and it mixes well with water and many other liquids to make useful cleaning agents, like Goof Off.
From wine stains to spilled paint, you can take care of many difficult messes with Goof Off. It’s so good at getting rid of problem spills and impossible residues that the company that makes Goof Off boasts it takes care of the mess the first time. Acetone has been used in the textile industry for cleaning wool and silks, and is the acting ingredient in fingernail polish remover since it does such a great job of breaking down the polish. Goof Off is designed to be usable on any nonporous surfaces, though it should be noted that this doesn’t mean any hard surface. You may not want to use it on your marble countertops, for example, as marble is actually porous and it may cause discoloration and dull the finish.
Just like with Goo Gone, and we’d like to point out almost every other cleaner on the market, you don’t want to inhale Goof Off too much and you’ll want to avoid using it in small places with poor air circulation. It can also cause skin irritation and has been in the spotlight for having caused health problems in those who did not know how to properly use it or didn’t take the warnings seriously.
The first thing you should do when using Goof Off is to remember there are more health risks with this product than there are with Goo Gone. Therefore, it’s important that you put on certain safety gear first, like gloves, eye goggles, or a mask. These things are especially important if you need to work in a smaller space.
The way you would want to use Goof Off is very similar to the way you would use Goo Gone. You’ll want the cleaning solution to soak into the gooey mess for a few minutes and then wipe it off. If it doesn’t wipe off easily then let it sit a little longer, although Goof Off is very strong and will likely not take as long as Goo Gone to degrade the adhesives, break down the goo, or loosen the connection between surface and mess.
Goof Off may be sounding like the better option of the two. After all, it’s the stronger one and that’s always a good thing. However, it’s caustic nature and the fact that it can damage some surfaces, not just because they’re porous but because it’s caustic, makes us wary of using it too much.
As the harsher of the two cleaning products, it only makes sense that Goof Off would have more surfaces that it can’t clean without ruining.
Goof Off is made to be used on practically any nonporous surface. This sounds great, but remember that some hard surfaces are still porous and using Goof Off can ruin them forever.
This also means that Goof Off won’t help you with fabric and carpets. However, if you purchase the Goof Off made for carpets you’ll be fine. The only problem is you’re not using the original formula and it may not be as effective.
The standard Goof Off comes in four sizes, allowing you to choose a smaller size if you don’t need it often or a larger size if you go through the stuff faster than you can blink.
They’re made for home use products are just as accommodating with their sizing options as their regular ones, if not more so. These are made to be safer for in home use, and you can buy them by the gallon or by going with no more than 4 ounces. Because Goof Off is focused more on industrial or work related messes, having something available can make all the difference.
For those who do a lot of work on their vehicles or run a business dealing with, repairing, or putting together cars, you may have to deal with a lot of oil stain. Luckily, Goof Off makes a product for this tricky situation. You can get one of two options. They carry a spray bottle as well as a regular bottle.
Super glue is called super because there’s usually nothing that can separate it once it’s dried. When you drip some of this super adhesive substance or if you’ve used too much and it’s run over, Goof Off has your back. They make a formula specifically for super glue. Not only will it work on super glue, but it will also work on epoxy and gorilla glue, making it the ultimate glue remover.
Earlier, we used an example of getting paint on the floor and not noticing until it had dried. This happens to more of us than we wish to admit and it must have happened to the people at Goof Off because they made a product for getting up those paint on the carpet messes. Not everyone has carpeting in their home, though.
Many of us have wood floors and find them beautiful options for our homes. For those with hardwood floors, there is a cleaner for that as well. It’s made to be safe for hardwood flooring so you can easily get up those spots of dried paint. For other painting jobs that don’t go on walls, there’s an overspray option. Accidental overkill with a clearcoat or basecoat can make quite the mess, so having an option to clean this up is a great idea.
We can’t forget to mention the rust removing products that Goof Off has available for purchase either. Rust is a problem that many people face. If you live somewhere particularly humid then you know it can be difficult to keep rust at bay and hold onto your metal items. Rust will also attack in the bathroom, leaving that reddish brown color in the toilet and making an unsightly mess.
Goof Off makes rust fighting tablets to put in your toilet to keep this from becoming a problem. They also have the rust removing product in a spray bottle and a gallon jug, and another jug for rust soak to deal with the items that are covered or in pretty bad shape.
All these different products make life easier and give people the options they need to get in there and clean those stubborn and tricky messes.
Goo Gone has been around since the 1980s and has become a staple in many households for its wide variety of uses. It handles some of those more difficult jobs while remaining gentle enough for almost any surface. We at Cleaning King find it a great way to speed up the cleaning process and reduce the effort needed to get rid of these stubborn issues. I think we can all agree that whenever you can make cleaning easier, the better your day is going to be.
Goo Gone relies on the enzymes that are in concentrated citrus which is a natural and effective way to dissolve sticky substances. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are able to break down the gooey messes and weaken them to the point that you can easily wipe them away. Goo gone does have some other chemical ingredients to help make it work even better, such as petroleum naphtha which is commonly used as a cleaning solvent.
Because of Goo Gone’s more naturally based main ingredient, you don’t have to worry as much about the surfaces you’re using it on as it’s almost safe for everything. It can be applied to cars, upholstery, wooden surfaces, and sealed stone to name some. Anything from dried paint to your child’s goo can be taken care of with Goo Gone. There’s also a citrus smell when you use it that makes it a bit more pleasant.
Despite the more pleasant smell than many of the other cleaners out there, you won’t want to intentionally inhale too many fumes. Because of the citrus base, skin and respiratory irritation can affect some people, and those who may have citrus allergies should be especially careful. Those enzymes that do such a great job of breaking down the gluey and sticky messes might work on your skin and cause irritation. Some of the other ingredients may also cause some respiratory irritation if you inhale too much. There are also certain surfaces you will want to avoid using it, namely silk, unpainted or sealed surfaces that may absorb the product and cause problems, leather, and anything made from rubber.
It’s always a good idea to try a little Goo Gone on a small area of the item you need to clean to make sure there won’t be any adverse effects.
While it is fine on most surfaces, you never know if it might dull a finish or change the color of something when left on for a prolonged time. Most of the sticky messes you’ll need Goo Gone for will require that you put the solution on the irritating sticky part and leave it there for a few minutes.
Some things will only need a minute or two, while others will need five minutes or more to get the full effects of the cleaning product. You can do this easily by placing a disposable paper towel that’s been soaked in Goo Gone on the sticky issue. The towel will prevent any dripping or runoff that simply spraying the product would result in.
After it’s had a reasonable amount of time to soak through and work on the gluey, gooey mess, dissolving its hold on the surface you’re cleaning, you can wipe away the residue and move on with your life. While there are many Goo Gone options available, it’s good to note that if you’re just going to keep it on hand for any normal messiness that may come about, getting the regular product is probably is a good idea as it’s the most inclusive option.
Goo Gone will likely leave a bit of an oily residue when you use it. Don’t worry about this as it’s easy enough to take it off with a great grease cutting soap like Dawn.
Luckily, the makers of Goo Gone have actually listed surfaces that you should never use Goo Gone on. Surfaces like silk, leather, and suede are all examples of this.
Also in the category of what you should never use your Goo Gone on are Faux stainless steel, unsealed stone or wood, drywall, and rubber. It’s important to remember that these surfaces shouldn’t have contact with Goo Gone as it will ruin them, likely permanently.
Many people are familiar with the regular bottle that you can pour into a spray bottle or pour onto a cloth or disposable towel, but you can also buy a spray bottle of Goo Gone. Something we at Cleaning King find even more convenient and exciting is that you can buy Goo Gone wipes too.
With the wipes, you don’t need to worry about ruining one of your towels and there won’t be any issues with paper towel lint messing up your cleaning job. There’s even a pen version of this great product to make it easy to take with you. Goo Gone has taken it even further and made specially formulated versions for different types of messes.
If your primary problem is dried up paint or if you hate scrubbing away at that crusty grill, you can now purchase a version of Goo Gone made specifically for those things. Here are some more specific products they have that may be the perfect cleaning solution for your specific mess.
Nothing is more annoying than when you’ve just finished painting a room and it looks great until you see that spot where you accidentally touched the paint roller to the one spot of the floor that wasn’t covered and you didn’t notice until it was already dried. To remove latex paint they have both a spray and wipes making it as easy as possible to take care of those messes.
Let’s says that your bathroom calk hasn’t been redone in far too long and needs to be removed. The caulk removing spray will help you get that touch and stretchy material off.
Graffiti can be one of those things that take forever to wash away. Spray paint doesn’t just create a layer that you can peel off whenever you want to and you don’t have all day to sit there scraping the layers of the tagged wall. Goo Gone makes a spray for graffiti cleanup too.
Even more helpful is the spray they have for mildew and mold removal. Maybe one side of your garage is shaded and stays too damp, causing mildew to grow. Maybe your basement bathroom hasn’t had a good clean in a while and now there’s a mold on the tiles. Whatever the reason or placement of the mildew and mold, you can use the Goo Gone made for cleaning that up.
Kitchens often have a lot of grease that makes it a challenge to keep clean. The Goo Gone sprays for greasy kitchen messes and crusty grills will help you tackle that problem. There’s also a tile and grout cleaner to make things even better.
For those who use Goo Gone at work often, there is the heavy duty and pro-powered line up of Goo Gone products. You can get a massive sized container to refill the smaller bottles you have or you can use the pro-powered aerosol spray, spreading a smoother and more even layer of Goo Gone than what the pump sprayer can. You might also find the heavy duty wipes useful and there’s even a hand cleaner for those who get oily or sticky.
It seems they’ve thought of everything to make cleaning easier and more enjoyable. They even have a product designed to get that irritating adhesive bandage glue off your skin.
During our research we noted that a lot of people are keen to know about Goof Off compared to Acetone. As far as stripping paint from metal goes, in our experience the efficacy of both products is quite similar. The trade-off however is that pure acetone is a far more harsh chemical, which has an intense odor and can be harmful to skin or animals. If you have some acetone laying around and want to save a few bucks, go for it – but be careful! Otherwise in our experience it’s best to go with Goof Off
Both of these cleaning products are great in their own way. They’re both effective and easy to use, and although they have many differences, they are still quite similar. There will be many times that you want to put a sticker on something for one reason or another. There will be times when you need to glue something together or when you spill and splatter some paint.
There will be moments that a child squishes their play goo into the carpet or someone takes your parking place and you’re forced to park under the sappy tree. Whatever mess you’re dealing with, choosing the right product to clean it up is important to knowing your surfaces will be safe and the cleaning process will be easier and quicker.
We’ve gone through and compared the differences between these two products. We’ve looked at how they’re similar and which one does its thing better. We’ve evaluated what their strengths were and their weaknesses and we’ve comprised it all here for you to see for yourself how they stack up, but if we were to pick a winner it would be Goo Gone.
While Goof Off is the stronger solvent of the two, Goo Gone is our suggested choice for most households because Goo Gone is a bit less challenging to deal with and safer to handle. We like that they use some natural ingredients and that they’ll work for such a variety of surfaces that surpasses the amount of surface Goof Off can clean without causing damage.
We’ll admit that Goof Off will work on more messes, but most households won’t need more than what Goo Gone can take care of. For us, the risk of damaging a surface with a caustic cleaner is a risk we would rather not take. The natural base and strength of the Goo Gone are more than enough for us and for most people.
Can I use goof off or goo gone on my tires?
Neither should go near your tires. Both Goof Off and Goo Gone are products that can damage rubber items, and if you were to clean your tire you could increase your risk of getting a flat or worse. While you can use both on the vehicle itself, it should also be noted that prolonged exposure to either Goof Off or Goo Gone can also damage your car’s finish.
Because Goo Gone is the gentler of the two cleaning solution options, it’s no surprise that there are more surfaces you can clean with Goo Gone. Carpet, glass, upholstery, clothing, wood, plastic, ceramic, granite, and tile are some of the surfaces that shouldn’t have any issues. However, you should always spot check any new cleaning product you use to make sure it’s okay.
Goof Off is made to work on any nonporous surface, but be warned. When used on surfaces with a shine to them Goof Off may dull the shine if left on too long. You should also be aware that some hard surfaces are still porous and you need to be sure you’re not applying Goof Off to one of these porous hard surfaces because it will soak in and leave a blemish or damage the outer layers.
Goof Off is capable of stripping the paint on your walls if put against them too long, so this is another area to be concerned about. If you need to clean up some crayon or marker markings on your child’s wall, you may want to use Goo Gone for this to be certain you don’t cause any damage.
One area where Goof Off shines is with tree sap. That tree above your parking place that drips sap onto your car is no doubt a frustrating and time consuming hassle, but Goof Off does wonders for removing sap.
Any multipurpose cleaner should do the trick in cleaning away the residue left by Goo Gone. Something like Dawn dish soap should work excellently due to its ability to cut through oil. This is a great way to clean up dish soap that is safe on the vast majority of surprises.
Goof Off will sometimes leave an oily layer on the surface you cleaned it with. If you find this oily residue doesn’t want to budge, you can use a lacquer thinner to clean the oily layer away. Using a lacquer thinner will strip the oils away. Of course, you won’t want to use this on your skin. Many people find that dish soap work wonderfully to get rid of the oily Goof Off residue.
They are both safe if used correctly. You need to make sure that you follow the instructions perfectly so you don’t find yourself inhaling too many fumes or getting a rash on your skin. Like most cleaning products, you should be wearing the right protective gear such as a glove and a mask. If something happens like you spill some on the clothing you’re wearing, don’t wait to change, but do so right away to avoid skin irritation.
Not at all. Goo Gone uses a blend of natural citrus concentrate and petroleum naphtha to create a strong, but primarily safe solvent for gluey substances. Goof Off is an Acetone based solvent that uses the strength of this ingredient to dissolve the sticky mess.
De-Solv-It works wonders on stickers, crayons, cosmetics, oil-based paint, tar, tree sap, chewing gum, candle wax, grease, and so much more from clothing, upholstery, automobiles, cupboards, floors, and more! It also eliminates unpleasant odors by filling your house, office, or room with a refreshing citrus scent.
This upholstery cleaner successfully removes permanent residues from any surface, it’s simple to use, and could be used on metal, wood, glass, and porcelain.
De-Solv-It is safe for skin & hair as the stain removal solution contains essential oils, aloe & vitamins.
Goo Gone effortlessly removes up stains, oily and sticky messes around your entire home. From gum to grease, fabric to fiberglass, you can rely on Goo Gone to safely remove almost any problem and restore your surfaces to their original condition. The citrus-based formula is safe on most hard surfaces. Goo Gone eliminates stickers, wax, marker, and crayon residue, as well as glue, glitter, window decals, tar, gum, labels, and more.
While Goo Gone is more effective in removing glue stains and dry slime from carpet, De-Solv-It has a harder time removing dried glue stains.
When confronted with gummy, greasy, sticky, and gooey issues having a product like Goo Gone is extremely essential to tackle it. This innovative product promises the removal of surface adhesives, including chewing gums, decals, and residue tape, stickers, and more.
Acetone is a professional cleaning agent that removes grease, dried plant, glue, and other gummy and greasy messes. It is economically priced and easy to clean. It works on various surfaces and can be used in workshops, garages, homes, and workplaces.
Goo Gone is a mixture of citrus extracts and petroleum-based chemicals. It is best for common household messes; citrus-based adhesive removers are great for mild to moderate adhesive residue (e.g., tape, cooking oil, stickers) providing a pleasant citrus scent. On the other hand, Acetone is an organic compound, a stronger adhesive remover than Goo Gone which is ideal for the removal of tough adhesive stains.
While Goo Gone causes minimal damage to the surfaces you use it on, Acetone will melt many paint and plastics on contact.
For removal of adhesive stains and other greasy and sticky messes from your car, Goo Gone is best except for tree sap wherein Acetone works better.
While Goo Gone isn’t all that strong being a fairly average citrus-based cleaner, Acetone is an incredibly strong solvent than Goo Gone and will do an excellent job of deteriorating the sticky, gluey residues and spills you have to deal with.
WD-40 is a lubricant (specifically fish oil) dissolved in a solvent. While it can break down grease and oil to a certain degree, it also adds back some grease. This might be desirable if you are cleaning a hinge, conveyor, or corrosive-prone part, but not if you need it to thoroughly clean.
WD-40 prevents metal surfaces from rust and corrosion, it penetrates components to loosen stuck parts, displaces moisture, and lubricates almost anything. It even removes grease, grime, gunk, and more from most surfaces.
While Goo Gone topical is safe for skin, WD-40 may cause moderate skin irritation and sensitization, prolonged skin contact with WD-40 may cause drying of the skin.
WD-40 softens the remains of the adhesive and leaves far less residue than the Goo Gone.
While WD-40 works wonders for cleaning and protecting your leather, it’s safe to use on most surfaces, Goo Gone is not recommended for use on silk, leather, suede, unsealed wood, polystyrene, or rubber/foam-backed carpets. It can deteriorate these materials.
Unlike Goo Gone, WD40 is a mixture of oil and solvent that can stain the painted walls if left unnoticed for long.
The Goo Gone Automotive is perfect for cleaning car interior, exterior, and rims. It is safe for metals, plastics, and more. It uses the power of citric oils to defer the toughest goos.
Goo Gone Automotive is specially formulated for removing sticky, gooey, gummy messes from cars without causing damage to the surfaces. The non-drip, no-mess automotive formula safely removes tree sap, tar, dirt, bugs, brake dust, bumper stickers, and more.
Goo Gone is a commercial oil-based solvent and cleaner, deemed safe by its manufacturer for use on almost any surface, including your car’s exterior paint.
While Goo Gone has multiple uses both interior and exterior; from wine glass label remover, window sill cleaner, scuff eraser, tar cleaner, adhesive remover, crayon drawing eraser, to glue remover, and many more, Goo Gone Automotive is specifically designed for automobile; it’s great for a variety of cars, boat, and RV clean-up projects.
Goo Gone Automotive uses the power of citrus oils to defeat the toughest gooey from cars without harming the paint. It clings to the surface for no-drip, no-mess clean-up better than Goo Gone.
Goo Gone is great for removing crayon marks, glue, and adhesive, all of which might end up on any kind of surface. While Goo Gone is safe to use on most surfaces, including wood, carpet, glass, fabric, and sealed stone, the manufacturer advised that it should not be used on silk, leather, suede, rubber, unfinished wood, unsealed stone, unpainted wall (drywall), faux stainless steel.
Rapid Remover is a water-soluble, non-toxic adhesive remover that breaks down and removes adhesive glue leftover by decals and vinyl graphics/wraps within sixty seconds! Spray it on, wait for a few seconds and easily wipe away residue adhesive with a plastic squeegee and paper towel. Not only does Rapid Remover work fast, but it works without causing damage to most painted or bare metal surfaces. What might have taken four hours to remove (a messy one at that), can now be done faster with an easy, clean, and non-damaging removal. Gone are the days of using risky and dangerous chemicals that often damaged painted surfaces and had numerous health hazards.
Rapid Remover eliminates most types of glue and adhesive, as well as the sticky residue left by decals and graphics faster than Goo Gone; not only does Rapid remover works faster, it works in thirty to sixty seconds.