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Goo Gone vs. Goof Off: Which Adhesive Remover Is Better?

People often confuse Goo Gone and Goof Off.

Not only do their brand names sound similar, but they both do the same thing: remove sticky adhesive residue.

So which is better? What’s the difference?

In this comparison of Goo Gone vs. Goof Off, you’ll learn how both brands compare in terms of product offerings, performance, safety, usage, cost, and reputation among experts and reviewers.

I’ll also answer the most frequently asked questions about both brands.

By the end, you’ll know which adhesive remover is right for your job.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Goo Gone vs. Goof Off: Comparison Chart

The key difference between Goo Gone and Goof Off is that Goo Gone is a mild citrus-based solution, and Goof Off is a potent acetone-based formula. Goo Gone is ideal for removing residue from stickers and tape, while Goof Off is better suited for heavy-duty messes like tar, dried paint, and glue.

But there’s much more to know before deciding which to buy. 

Before I dive into the details, here is a quick comparison of Goo Gone vs. Goof Off: 

Goo Gone versus Goof Off Adhesive Remover Sprays
Goo GoneGoof Off
Product OfferingsOriginal Goo Gone, Paint Goo Gone, Home Goo Gone, Professional Goo Gone, Automotive Goo GoneProfessional Goof Off, Heavy Duty Goof Off, Goof Off Degreasers, Specialty Goof Off, Goof Off Rust Stain Removers
IngredientsPetroleum distillates, D-Limonene, aliphatic ether alcohol, orange sweet extract, glycol ether, solvent orange 60Methyl acetate, acetone, xylene, stoddard solvent, methanol, ethylbenzene, benzene, cumene
SafetyToxic substance with hazard warnings.Extremely toxic substance with hazard warnings.
StrengthModerately strong adhesive removal formula but requires time to penetrate adhesives.Extra strength adhesive removal formula that works quickly.
UsesRemoves adhesives from various hard surfaces and fabrics.Removes extra tough adhesives from various hard surfaces and fabrics.
How to UseApply directly on hard surfaces. Dab carpet or upholstery with a cloth.Apply directly on the affected area or use a cloth to apply and blot or rub until the mess is cleaned. Wipe extra residue.
Price$ (view on Amazon)$ (view on Amazon)

Product Offerings

Goo Gone and Goof Off both offer adhesive remover, but they also have an array of products to tackle other household or outdoor cleaning jobs.

Goo Gone features multiple product lines with cleaners to remove light to heavy adhesive or grime. Goo Gone comes as a liquid, spray gel, aerosol, applicator pen, and clean-up wipes.

Goo Gone Adhesive Removers
Goo Gone Adhesive Removers

Goo Gone product lines include (you can view all of these on GooGone.com or Amazon):

  • Original Goo Gone: Products to remove sticky messes from various surfaces.
  • Paint Goo Gone: Products to remove paints spills and splatter, caulk, graffiti, mold, and mildew.
  •  Home Goo Gone: Products to address grease, grime, and other messes for indoor and outdoor household projects. The products clean everything from shower stalls to ovens and outdoor grills.
  • Professional Goo Gone: The most potent formula from Goo Gone, these products can remove tough adhesives and substances like soot and ink. There are formulas to clean surfaces and also your hands.
  • Automotive Goo Gone: Products to keep your car free of sticky messes inside and out, from bumper sticker residue to bird droppings.

Goo Gone also offers products for various jobs, such as removing bandage adhesive from skin and formulas for arts and crafts project cleanup.

Like Goo Gone, Goof Off handles a variety of adhesive removal jobs. However, it offers other products that Goo Gone isn’t well suited for, such as removing rust and automotive oil stains.

Goof Off Adhesive Removers
Goof Off Adhesive Removers

Goof Off products are available in different forms: liquid, spray, aerosol, cleansing wipes, powder, and tablets.

Goof Off products include (these are available on GoofOffProducts.com or Amazon):

  • Professional Strength Goof Off: The strongest of the brand’s adhesive removal formulas, it addresses stains and sticky messes on multiple surfaces from wood to glass.
  • Heavy Duty Goof Off: The powerful formula is designed to remove adhesive, asphalt, tree sap, and nail polish.
  • Goof Off Degreasers: Product to remove dirt and grease from fabrics, carpet, upholstery, and multiple hard surfaces.
  • Specialty Goof Off: A range of products that address different jobs, including latex and oil-based paint removal, spray paint removal, and automotive messes.
  • Goof Off Rust Stain Removers: Products that remove rust and iron stains in bathrooms. It also addresses exterior rust problems on walls, driveways, lawn furniture, and fences.

There are two main differences between Goo Gone and Goof Off regarding product offerings. First, Goo Gone offers no solution for rust stains. Second, Goof Off products are geared for heavy-duty professional use in work settings, while Goo Gone is more of a household product for everyday messes.

Ingredients

Goo Gone and Goof Off are not plant-based or non-toxic products. They use powerful chemicals to remove sticky or hard-to-clean messes.

Of the two, Goo Gone formula is less potent, but both contain ingredients with multiple health and environmental warnings.

For example, exposure to the chemicals in both brands can cause skin irritation and respiratory distress. Additionally, the chemicals are a fire hazard and must not be used near sparks or open flames.

We’ll cover the safety concerns in-depth in the next section. For now, let’s examine the ingredients for both brands, starting with Goo Gone Original:

  • Petroleum distillates, hydrotreated light: A mix of chemicals that work together to remove grease, tar, and wax.
  • D-Limonene: A citrus fruit oil that gives the product a fragrance and acts as a degumming and cleansing agent that can break down stains, grease, and tar.
  • Aliphatic ether alcohol: The ingredient acts as a cleanser to treat hard surfaces.
  • Orange sweet extract: An essential oil known for fighting fungus and bacteria, degreasing, breaking down layers of grime, and removing soap scum. It also offers a fragrance.
  • Glycol ether: A solvent that acts as a cleansing agent.
  • Solvent orange 60: A type of dye that gives the product its trademark yellow color.

Next, let’s look at Goof Off Professional:

  • Methyl acetate: A harsh solvent that breaks down organic materials.
  • Acetone: A solvent that dissolves substances, such as paint and varnish.
  • Xylene: A volatile ingredient that can remove glue, caulk, putty, and other adhesives. It can also degrade grease.
  • Stoddard solvent: A type of mineral spirit that breaks down paint, ink, wax, and grease.
  • Methanol: A surfactant that is also known as methyl alcohol. It works by lowering surface tension between elements to separate stuck-on products from a surface.
  • Ethylbenzene: A solvent that removes stains and cleans tough messes.
  • Benzene: A harsh chemical that acts as a lubricant, paint thinner, and heavy-duty cleaner.
  • Cumene: A type of petroleum that acts as a paint, lacquer, and enamel thinner.

Clearly, Goof Off ingredients are harsher than Goo Gone. In fact, Goo Gone contains some natural elements, such as essential oil. Even so, both are toxic.

If you are wondering about harmful ingredients in these or any other household products, EWG.org is a great resource. The Environmental Working Group or EWG is a nonprofit committed to informing the public on the impact of cleaning products on human and environmental health. 

In the next section, we’ll offer an in-depth explanation of EWG findings for some Goo Gone and Goof Off products.

Safety

As mentioned earlier, Goo Gone and Goof Off are toxic products with multiple warnings about safety. If you plan to use these products, be aware of the health and safety concerns.

Throughout this section, you’ll see grade references. They come from the EWG grading system that grades from A to F based on the toxicity of a product. Learn about the four-question scoring system EWG uses to grade cleaning products to help you make choices about other products in your home.

EWG Safety Ratings
EWG Safety Ratings

Let’s start with Goo Gone.

The EWG gives Goo Gone Original an F, the lowest score.

The ingredient that causes the most concern is petroleum distillates. They are linked to cancer and DNA damage.

Other concerns include:

  • Adverse effects on the endocrine and reproductive system
  • Vision damage and digestion issues
  • Hazard warnings about the product’s flammability, external and internal impact to the body, and proper storage to keep children and pets from harm.

To learn more, check out Goo Gone’s safety data sheet or read the back of the bottle (pictured below) .

Goo Gone Safety Warnings on Bottle
Goo Gone Safety Warnings on Bottle

Next, let’s explore the Goof Off safety concerns.

First, Goof Off carries a warning issued by the State of California that states the product will expose you to ethylbenzene, a known carcinogen, as well as methanol, which is known to cause congenital disabilities or other reproductive harm. You can learn more at P65Warnings.ca.gov.

Next, Goof Off includes several ingredients that are of top concern, but these are the most toxic:

  • Ethylbenzene
  • Butoxydiglycol
  • Petroleum gasses

Like Goo Gone, EWG gave Goof Off an F.

Collectively, there are concerns that these ingredients are linked to cancer, hearing impairment, kidney and urinary issues, and overall negative impact on organs and the body’s systems. There is also concern about it causing respiratory problems, DNA damage, skin irritation, skin allergies, and skin damage.

Check out Goof Off Professional Strength’s safety data sheet or read the warnings on the bottle (pictured below) to learn more.

Goof Off Safety Warnings on Bottle
Goof Off Safety Warnings on Bottle

Since these products contain such harsh chemicals, exercise extreme caution when using them. In short, practice excessive safety.

Only use these products in well-ventilated areas and away from any type of flame. Wear protective gear, such as chemical-resistant gloves and protective eyewear. Use a gas/chemical-resistant respirator if you’re working with these products for long periods.

Also, follow all safety directions on the label as directed. Any deviation could cause direct harm to you or indirect harm to people nearby.

Strength

The consensus among users of both products is that Goo Gone is fantastic for light-duty adhesive removal projects around the house. But Goof Off will deliver better results if you have a sticky, heavy-duty mess.

Goo Gone provides a more gentle cleaning process than Goof Off. In fact, Goof Off has been known to dissolve plastic.

Goof Off Pro Strength Remover 1 Gallon
Goof Off Pro Strength Remover 1 Gallon

It makes sense, given that Goof Off’s ingredients are much stronger than Goo Gone.

It’s always wise to test a small area before going “all-in” with an adhesive removal product. Also, follow the instructions and only use it on surfaces approved by each brand. 

Uses

Goo Gone and Goof Off both feature multiple adhesive removal products. Here are the recommended uses for both brands in terms of adhesive removal.

Let’s start with Goo Gone:

Goo Gone Original: You can use it to remove adhesives, gum, crayon, or glue. You can use it safely on carpet, finished wood, sealed stone, painted surfaces, glass, fabric, metals, plastics, and ceramic or porcelain.

Goo Gone Tape and Sticker Lifter: This product removes tape or stickers. It’s safe on finished wood, glass, metals, plastics, and ceramic or porcelain.

Goo Gone Pro-Power: It’s perfect for removing adhesives, sealants, tree sap, wet paint, glue, grease, grime, asphalt, ink, marker, soot, tar, wax, and oil. You can use it on carpet, finished wood, sealed stone, glass, fabric, metals, tools, and ceramic or porcelain.

Goo Gone Automotive: This formula is ideal for removing bumper stickers, gum, bird droppings, tree sap, spray paint, brake dust, and asphalt. You can apply it to glass, metals, and plastics.

Goo Gone Glue & Tape Remover: You can use it to remove glue, tape, adhesive residue, crayon, or marker. It works on carpet, finished wood, sealed stone, painted surfaces, glass, fabric, metals, plastics, and ceramic or porcelain.

And here are the uses for Goof Off adhesive removal products:

Goof Off Pro Strength: You can use this product line to remove adhesives, glue, crayon, ink, marker, stickers, decals, asphalt tar, dried latex paint, duct tape, caulk, and tree sap. You can use it safely on metals, glass, brick, concrete, wood, grout, fiberglass, handheld tools, and most automotive surfaces. They also make a version specific for graffiti removal.

Goof Off Graffiti Remover
Goof Off Graffiti Remover

Goof Off Heavy Duty: This is suitable for removing adhesives, crayon, ink, glue, marker, gum, scuff marks, stickers, decals, tar, asphalt, tree sap, and nail polish. The product is safe for use on metals, brick, glass, wood, concrete, grout, vinyl tops, hand tools, fiberglass, most automotive surfaces, and some countertops.

Goof Off Super Glue Remover: Not only does it remove acrylic-based Super Glue, but it also removes epoxy adhesives and Gorilla Glue. You can use it on most hard surfaces, but it should be applied directly to the glue, not the surface.

Goo Gone boasts more adhesive removal formulations than Goof Off. Yet, Goof Off can tackle some jobs on surfaces that Good Gone is not suited for, such as concrete or vinyl.

Check out this page for a complete list of Goo Gone approved surfaces. This page on GoofOffProducts.com recommends the best product by the type of mess.

How to Use

Each product has specific instructions for use, so read the labels thoroughly before using Goo Gone or Goof Off.

If you want to learn how to use Goo Gone and Goof Off for tough adhesive removal projects, you can learn more on the Goo Gone and Goof Off websites.

For example, each Goo Gone product page features a “directions” tab on its product page. And Goof Off features a “how to use” section on its product pages.

Goo Gone Application

In general, you apply Goo Gone Original directly to the adhesive on hard surfaces. It may need to sit for 5-10 minutes.

On carpet or upholstery, apply Goo Gone to a clean cloth and use a blotting method. Always clean the area with mild soap and warm water afterward.

On fabrics, apply the Goo Gone directly to the adhesive or stain. Blot the area with a clean cloth and then launder the item separately with a powerful stain-fighting detergent.

Goof Off Application:

Goof Off Heavy Duty and Goof Off Pro Strength are the two main adhesive removal product lines.

If using it in liquid or aerosol form, apply the product to a cloth and blot or rub lightly until the mess is removed.

If using a trigger or pump sprayer, spray directly on the affected area. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes, then wipe the area with a clean cloth with good absorbency.

Price

Goo Gone and Goof Off are both affordable and comparably priced.

Plus, a little goes a long way. A single bottle should last months or longer unless you’re working on a major adhesive removal project.

Comparing the cost per ounce across both brands will give you the best apples-to-apples comparison. Although some products, such as the spray, tend to be more efficient since you can apply them more evenly.

Refer to the chart below to compare the current prices of Goo Gone and Goof Off’s most popular products.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

What Others Are Saying

So, what are other reviewers and trusted publications saying about Goo Gone and Goof Off? Do they rank on “best of” lists? The following gives you an idea of both brands’ reputations.

BobVila.com named Goo Gone Original as the Best Overall among adhesive removers, calling the yellow liquid “the gold standard for eliminating sticky household messes.” Goo Gone was praised for its ability to address various sticky situations on most hard surfaces.

The Chicago Tribune called Goo Gone Original the Best of the Best, citing how the product refrains from damaging most surfaces while removing stuck on objects like tags, gum, and glue. However, reviewers did not like how long it took for the formula to penetrate the sticky messes for removal.

The Los Angeles Times’ site, Bestcovery, gave Goof Off the top honors in a showdown of top adhesive removers, choosing Goof Off Super Glue Remover as the Best Adhesive Remover Overall. Reviewers liked its strength and quick results. Goo Gone Original Spray Gel Adhesive Remover earned an honorable mention for tackling strong adhesives, providing fast results, and its pleasant citrus smell.

Thrifter, a product review site, named Goo Gone Original as its Top Pick for Best Value, calling it “the brand in adhesive remover.” The reviewers praised its versatility on various surfaces and liked that it came in pourable liquid and spray form. Goof Off Heavy Duty Remover earned the title of Best Household Versatility for its ability to power through tough adhesives and stains.

FAQs About Goo Gone and Goof Off

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Goo Gone and Goof Off.

Can I use Goo Gone and Goof Off on wood surfaces?

Yes, but it depends on the product. You can use most Goo Gone adhesive removal products on finished wood, except for Goo Gone Automotive. You can use all Goof Off adhesive removers on wood. Just be sure to do a spot test first.

Does Goo Gone and Goof Off remove varnish?

Goo Gone is not designed to remove varnish and is safe to use on finished wood. Goof Off is acetone-based and may damage the varnish. For best results, always do a spot test.

Does Goo Gone and Goof Off work on concrete?

Goo Gone works on concrete sealed within the past year. Goof Off adhesive removers work on any concrete.

Can I use Goo Gone and Goof Off on carpet?

Yes. Both brands have products that are specific to carpet cleaning scenarios. These include Goo Gone Original, Goo Gone Pro-Power, Goo Gone Glue & Tape Remover, and Goof Off Paint Remover for Carpet.

Will Goo Gone and Goof Off remove adhesives from fabric or upholstery?

You can use Goo Gone Original, Goo Gone Pro-Power, and Goo Gone Glue & Tape Remover for fabric and upholstery. Goof Off Heavy Duty is safe on fabrics, but the website doesn’t specifically mention upholstery.

Are Goo Gone and Goof Off toxic?

Yes. Both brands have toxic ingredients and must be used as directed and with safety precautions.

Are Goo Gone and Goof Off flammable?

Yes, Goo Gone and Goof Off are flammable. Never use them near any type of flame or spark.

Can you use Goo Gone and Goof Off on your skin?

You can’t use any Goof Off product on your skin. Goo Gone features skin-safe products, including Goo Gone Hand Cleaner and Goo Gone Bandage & Adhesive Remover.

How do you remove Goo Gone and Goof Off residue after removing the adhesive?

If possible, launder the items. If not, use warm water and soap to wash the area thoroughly. Then, rinse and pat dry.

Bottom Line: Should You Choose Goo Gone or Goof Off?

Now that you know more about Goo Gone and Goof Off adhesive removers, it’s time to decide which one is best for your current project.

The answer will largely depend on what you need to remove, but let’s quickly recap the key differences between Goo Gone and Goof Off.

  • Goo Gone is a milder formula than Goof Off. And while both use harsh chemicals, Goo Gone uses fewer ingredients and isn’t as potent as Goof Off. That said, Goof Off’s more potent formula means it can handle stubborn adhesive messes.
  • Goo Gone offers more products than Goof Off. But Goof Off is the only brand that provides rust stain remover.
  • Goof Off emits a more pungent smell than Goo Gone. Goo Gone features a mild citrus scent.
  • Goo Gone is a frequent headliner in “best adhesive remover’ lists.

Bottom line — if you need an effective yet gentle formula to remove adhesive and sticky messes around the house, Goo Gone is your best bet. If you have a tough household job or need adhesive remover for pro-level jobs in the workplace, Goof Off’s more potent formula is a better option.

Since these products are relatively inexpensive, I recommend trying Goo Gone first. If you need more strength, then try Goof Off.

Before using either product, test in an inconspicuous area to ensure the surface you’re cleaning can handle the solution. And use the product as intended, wear safety gear, and make sure the area is well-ventilated.

Learn more about Goo Gone and Goof Off at the links below:

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s been studying consumer buying behavior for 10+ years and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn or via email.

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