8 Steps for Removing a Shelf Liner

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Written By Oscar

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Even if you have found the best shelf liner for your home, you will have to remove it and replace it at some point in time so why not get through some steps for removing a shelf liner. Shelf liners can only protect the cabinets for so long. After some time, they tend to get dirty or teat apart. This is why you should know how to remove shelf liner.

Some culinary experts say that you should replace the shelf liner every time you clean it. Others say that you should remove it when it gets too dirty to be cleaned or starts tearing.

When to remove the Shelf Liner?

You should remove the shelf liner if it gets too dirty. After some time, the shelf liner will retain some permanent stains. They cannot be washed off so you will have to replace the shelf liner.

Also, dead insects might get stuck in the shelf liner. In this case, you have no other choice than replacing the shelf liner. These insects might end up causing health concerns as your cooking utensils will come in contact with them.

Lastly, you should remove the shelf liner if there are cracks in the material or it is tearing apart. A torn shelf liner is of no good so you should remove it.

How to Remove Shelf Liner from Kitchen Cabinets?

If you have adhesive shelf liners, they will be difficult to remove as they stick to the surface. On the other hand, non-adhesive shelf liners can be easily removed as you just have to take them off.


There are a few things that you need for removing the shelf liner. Make sure you have them on the kitchen counter in your close reach. Otherwise, you will have to walk around, looking for things.

  • Hairdryer
  • A damp cloth and paper towels
  • A putty knife
  • Spray bottle with lukewarm water
  • Adhesive remover
  • Detergent


Before you start removing the shelf liner, you should take out everything from the cabinet. Here are the 8 steps that you need to follow for removing the shelf liner. This method works for plastic and vinyl shelf liners.  

Then, start removing from one corner. Turn on the hairdryer and keep the setting at the highest heat for a minute. If the shelf liner is too thin, reduce the heat setting to prevent melting of the material.

  • Heat one corner of the shelf liner. This will make the adhesion weaker, allowing you to remove the liner easily.
  • Then, take the knife and pry away from one corner. Start pulling slowly. Make sure that your movement is gentle or you will end up ripping the liner randomly.
  • Keep pulling off until you get to a point where the liner would not go back any further due to excessive adhesion.
  • Spray that area with warm water. As the water seeps into the area, it will weaken the adhesion.
  • Pull back the liner again until you reach the end. If it gets hard to put or is too sticky at places, just spray some more warm water.
  • If there are some stubborn spots where water does not work, use the hairdryer. After you have peeled off the shelf liner completely, use the putty knife to scrape off any bits of the liner that are left.
  • Then, soak the paper towel or cloth in adhesive remover and gently clean the cabinet surface.
  • Before you apply a new shelf liner, make sure to clean the shelf liner with detergent to get rid of any microorganisms in the region.

If there are bits of the previous shelf liner on the surface, the new shelf liner will not stick properly. So, it is important that you learn how to remove shelf liner and do it properly.


It is very important to remove the shelf liner in your kitchen or bathroom from time to time and replace it with a new one. In this way, you can guarantee better health and hygiene for yourself and your family. The best part is that you will find all the required supplies at home. Let us know in the comment section how often you remove your cabinets’ shelf liners.

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Buried in his toolshed, pulling an appliance or two apart, is where you’re likely to find Oscar on most days. Ever since his brother introduced him to the world of tinkering and repairing, Oscar has been obsessed with his craft and especially loves taking appliances around the house apart and then putting them back together. He’s definitely the quirkiest among the team, and loves explaining in detail how one appliance is different from the other and how each of them works (after having taken them apart and satisfied his curiosity of course).

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