Goo Gone VS Goof Off – Adhesive Removers – Natural VS Chemical

When dealing with tough adhesives, like tree sap on your car, vinyl and paper stickers, scuff marks, kid’s stickers on your painted walls and so on, these two products are advertized as real saviors. In most cases, that’s true but still there are some clauses. We’ll explore pros and cons of each so you will be able to decide which one suits you best – see in our Goo Gone VS Goof Off review.

Let’s start with Goo Gone Adhesive Remover – one of several products in the Goo Gone line, specifically designed to clean away a mess.

Goo Gone – Overview

Goo Gone is a gel spray formula, designed to remain on the spot as it dissolves adhesives, and makes them being easily wiped away. It is available in common and pro formulas, but unless you are trying to remove things like heavy tile adhesive, the pro formula will probably be an overkill. it is also good to remove & replace moldy shower caulk, for vinyl decals, for cars (paint on cars) and wood floors at the same time.

Pros and Cons

  • Natural Citrus Extract
  • Effective on most surfaces
  • Non-Abrasive
  • Non-Caustic
  • Can cause breathing problems and skin irritation
  • Not suited for all surfaces

Pros Explained

Natural citrus extracts. like Goo Gone, draw their cleaning power from nature, making the cleaners a safer alternative to chemical ones Goo Gone’s active ingredient is D-Limonene, a concentrated citrus fruit extract. D-Limonene is an extract found in the peels of various citrus fruits, specifically lemons, oranges, and grapefruits.

Goo Gone is effective on most surfaces as long as they are finished or sealed. These include finished wood floors, painted walls, glass and dishware, windows, most car surfaces, almost any metal surface, finished concrete, and so on.


It is a non-abrasive cleanser which means you can trust it to leave no fine scratches neither to cloud the surfaces it is used on.

It’s also non-caustic. Unlike products which use chemical agents that can cause damage, Goo Gone can be trusted to do no harm. This is especially important for your car, where painted surfaces can be easily dulled and damaged.

Cons Explained

This is not always the case but for some, it can cause breathing problems. The Goo Gone manufacturer advises taking care not to breathe in the fumes of the product since it can result in breathing difficulties.

They also advise not allowing the product to be in contact with the skin for extended periods since citrus acid is shown to cause skin irritations and potential allergic reactions.

Weiman manufactures Goo Gone and recommends it not to be used on some surfaces. They include materials like silk, leather and suede, all types of rubber products, unsealed or unpainted surfaces like stone and drywall, and simulated stainless steel.

It’s also recommended testing the product on a small and inconspicuous part of each project, especially if there are doubts about the type of surface to be cleaned.

Goof Off – Overview

Goof Off is also a gel spray, designed to remain on the spot as the adhesive is dissolved. The result is a Gooey mass which can be wiped away without a trace. It works on most adhesives, including the residue left by all sorts of tapes and sticker. It is primarily recommended for hard and non-porous surfaces.

Pros and Cons

  • Professional Strength
  • Works on all non-porous surfaces
  • Non-Abrasive
  • Harmful Chemicals
  • Caustic

Pros Explained

Goof Off is labeled as a professional-strength product that is best used for particularly heavy works. It’s also Good with less difficult tasks, like cleaning the residue from tapes and for removing all types of stickers.

Goof Off is formulated to be used on any non-porous surface. Among them are most hard surfaces like autos, painted walls, sealed concrete, glassware, and windows. It’s also a Good choice for teachers who need to erase crayon or ink from school desks.

Goof Off is a non-abrasive product so any surface which might be easily scratched by other products can be cleaned with Goof  Off without risk.

Cons Explained

Goof Off is formulated with harmful chemicals that cause health problems unless it is used properly. Based on third-party testing, this product can cause skin irritation. It can cause serious eye irritation.

The vapors may effect breathing as well. Care must be taken by disposing of cleaning rags after use, and any clothing used needs to be laundered carefully before using it again.

Take the same care with Goof Off, like with any other shop chemicals, like lacquers, turpentine, and paint thinners, to avoid problems. Use protective gear, including goggles, gloves and respirators, and be sure to wash hands well after use.

While Goof Off’s manufacturer hasn’t specifically warned against it, the cleanser is caustic and isn’t suitable to all hard surfaces. For example, marble and stone countertops are surprisingly porous and can be damaged if Goof Off is applied to them.

Also, auto paint might be damaged and surfaces can be left unprotected. If Goof Off is used on these surfaces, immediate waxing of the area would be a Good idea.

Frequently Asked Questions – Goo Gone VS Goof Off

Are Goof Off and Acetone different?

Yes and no. They are both chemical-based and caustic. Neither of them should be used on plastics, for example. Both damage the topcoat of a car or camper’s paint. They are also different in their chemical composition so where Goof Off is non-flammable, acetone does present a fire hazard.

Are there any natural adhesive removers?

Goo Gone, with its D-Limonene base, provides a natural cleaning solution, and it works on just about everything. It does come with some warnings, but at most, all you will need is pair of rubber gloves to stay safe.

Which is better for my camper – Goo Gone or Goof Off?

Both Goo Gone and Goof Off can be used but if you want to clean both in and outside, Goo Gone is the safer choice. It can be used on most surfaces and does not fill the air with potentially toxic fumes. It’s also gentler to exterior paint.

Can I use Goof Off or Goo Gone to clean my tires?

You should use neither one nor another on rubber. The acidity in Goo Gone can be damaging and won’t result in the shine you are probably looking for. Goof Off is even worse with its chemical compounds that can dissolve rubber. Consider a product like Plasti Dip instead and use Goo Gone for just about everything else.

Do either of these products work to remove graffiti?

The answer is yes and no. Goof Off, with its similarity to paint thinners, can be used to clean graffiti but it can damage the painted surface below the graffiti. Up to Goo Gone, they Offer a special product, Goo Gone Graffiti Remover, to deal safely with this task.

Can I use these products to remove scuff marks from my wood floors?

Both can be used to remove scuff marks as long as your wood floors are finished. With Goo Gone, all you need is probably to get the job done. With Goof Off you will probably need to reapply some floor wax over the area.

Which product is best for removing Super Glue?

Goof Off is more likely to work on Super Glue than Goo Gone, which is not recommended for removing any permanent glues. However, simple acetone will likely do the best job.

Can I clean up the duct tape marks on my canvas tarp?

Do not use Goof Off for this. It is only designed for hard surfaces. You can have very Good results with Goo Gone without damaging the material.

How do I clean my 6-year old’s crayon art Off her bedroom walls?

Unless you want to repaint the walls after cleaning, use Goo Gone. It will get the job done without damaging the paint below. Goof Off will do it as well, but with the presence of paint thinning chemicals, you may end up with more mess than what you started with.

Which is better for cleaning my BBQ grill, Goo Gone or Goof Off?

Both work well with grease and being outdoors when there are no concerns about ventilation. There can be some worries about the residue left. Goof Off, with its combination of Ethanol and Benzene, is probably not the best product to use on cooking surfaces. Goo Gone, with its natural citrus base, is probably the better choice.

Which is best for clearing my classroom walls from last year’s posters and art?

The best way to get a fresh start, with the least amount of work, is be to use Goo Gone. Goo Gone is specially formulated to clean things like poster putty, crayon, most types of adhesives, all sorts of tapes, including double-sided tape, and about any kind of soot and dirt, without doing damage. Goof Off does the same but especially on those areas with heavier mess, you are likely going to need to repaint after the clean-up.

Summary – Goo Gone VS Goof Off

Both of these products are Good at what they do, but the approach they take to the job makes a clear favorite. When the job can be done naturally and with less risk it is hard to argue for any other approach. You can use both for a latex paint, glue, plastic or plasti dip remover.

Bob Flexner

I'm Bob Flexner, the DYI enthusiast from New York. I have a diploma in Chemical Engineering, interested in programming. I enjoy hearing from you, share ideas and tips, so I decided to start a blog.

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