this thing's incredible

Did You Know There’s Goo Gone for Skin?

Photo: Andria Kennedy

I’ve always felt awkward changing in a locker room, but I never thought adhesive residue would become the source of my embarrassment.

Ever since I had my final oophorectomy in 2021, my estrogen patches have left dark circles of clothing fuzz trapped in glue across my abdomen, proclaiming a medical condition for all to see. Slapping a beige sticker the size of a softball on my lower belly was humiliating enough, but at the YMCA where I swim laps, I once found myself fielding questions on my symptoms from a group of older women. They were sweet, but after that, I started wrapping myself in a towel to get dressed.

The thing is, estrogen patches are designed to stay in place. And nothing would budge their gummy remnants (the less said about my attempt with the pumice stone, the better). I went through every suggestion on the internet: dish soap, nail-polish remover, vinegar, olive oil, rubbing alcohol, even peanut butter and toothpaste. But the adhesive stayed stubbornly intact, or my sensitive skin reacted with a rash, dryness, or irritation. I was ready to resign my stomach to looking like a version of Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Then a further Google search resulted in Goo Gone for Skin. I knew about the orange bottle, but I’d never encountered the blue one before. After having slathered Jif on my belly, though, I figured anything was worth a try. The first time I used it, I expected failure, but as I rubbed the cotton ball splashed with Goo Gone over a dark circle, it lifted away. The amount was tiny — little more than a quick squeeze — and I only needed a light touch, no digging or scraping. The liquid felt cool on my skin, even on the still-sore sections from previous removal attempts. And I didn’t mind the light scent of citrus (nor did my allergies, which is saying something). A quick swipe with a damp towel to follow up, and my stomach looked normal again, with no lingering lint or tackiness.

Goo Gone doesn’t contain alcohol, so there’s no drying effect, and I haven’t experienced any reaction otherwise. And while I don’t need to apply it daily, the brand promises that it’s safe for everyday use. I have, however, started using it to take bandages off after blood draws, and it has managed to lift a variety of adhesives away from the delicate skin of the inner elbow. A saturated cotton pad along the edges does the trick — all I need to do is slowly peel the tape back as the liquid seeps in. And while this Goo Gone is designed for skin, it retains the same power as the orange bottle — I may have recently used it to remove sticker residue from a suitcase handle.

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Did You Know There’s Goo Gone for Skin?