How do I fix this tea box?


This tea box was exposed to unknown fluids that are now sticky stains. I've tried scrubbing it with a dish sponge but that ruined the surface even more. I intend to use it for storing tea so I want to use non-toxic materials. Any ideas?

q how do i fix this tea box
  15 answers
  • on Sep 27, 2020

    What is the box made of? It’s hard to tell in the photo. Is it cardboard? Metal?

  • Annie Annie on Sep 27, 2020

    Have you tried GooBeGone? That may work on removing the sticky stain

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Sep 27, 2020

    if the box is metal you could use a small amount of WD40 on it to rub off the sticky stuff you could also use a small drop of Dawn liquid dishwashing soap and rub gently to remove the residue

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Sep 27, 2020

    Have you tried to remove the sticky with dish soap (Blue Dawn) and warm water, be careful to not saturate if it is wood. You don't want to pop out the grain. Or Goo Gone to lift the sticky residue?

    This looks like wood or metal, but can't be certain from the looks from the photo. If cardboard, it is probably a lost cause.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Sep 27, 2020

    Hello. Is it a wooden, ceramic or a metallic box? Knowing this might influence the adhesive removing solutions we wish to offer....if the box is porous.

    My favorite sticky residue remover is lighter fluid, but I would only use this on a metal or sealed ceramic box.

    • Keira Keira on Sep 28, 2020

      It's a wooden box with some sort of coating that falls off very easily. The white stain on the right is the result of scrubbing with Frosch detergent. So cleaning it isn't the only problem, I also want to make the color even. Thanks for your reply!

  • Have you tried blotting it with a white vinegar and a soft cloth? That may work!

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Sep 27, 2020

    You could try using lemon essential oil

  • Cindy Cindy on Sep 27, 2020

    Hi Keira. You could use WD-40 to remove the sticky stains. That's what car dealers use to remove adhesive on car windows from price tags. I have also used it with good results. My son repaired a rip in his car seat and put Duct Tape on it. Years later he tried to remove the tape. The tape came off but It left a sticky residue. He tried a few other products with no good results. He tried WD-40 and finally got it off. Good luck Keira.

  • Keira Keira on Sep 28, 2020

    Thank you all for your replies and for being so helpful. I forgot to mention that the box is made of wood and the brown coating falls off very easily. The white stain on the right is the result of me scrubbing it with dish sponge and detergent. So cleaning isn't the only problem, I also want to make the color even (with whatever type of non-toxic coating). Or if that's not possible, is decoupage an option? How would that work around the Twinings sign and the hinges?

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Sep 28, 2020

    Additional information is very helpful.

    Likely the white area may need to be restained —if it was bleached.

    I wonder if the beeswax polish might clean and protect your box. They make beeswax food wraps now- so I believe it’s completely non-toxic. It might be something to research further. I hope you find the perfect solution to restore your box. Its frustrating cleaning fragile vintage items your inquiry and concern and researched cleaning ideas should have optimal results. Good luck!

  • If it's a sticky substance, you could try peanut butter to remove it. I tried it on wood this weekend and it worked like a charm. Here's a peek.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Sep 29, 2020

    it would be nice to know what is this box made out of ? Can you repaint it ?

  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Sep 30, 2020

    What type of material?

  • Betsy Betsy on Oct 02, 2020

    Hi Keira: Give a magic sponge a shot. Wet it with a bit of WD40. I wouldn't use anything that would scratch it. It's a cute box :)

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 03, 2020

    Hello there,

    Use Dish Wash Soap and hot water to remove the sticky problem.