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That plastic sleeve is just there for shipping so the handle does not get scratched. If it's been on for 2 years, it'll be difficult to remove and the adhesive will not want to come off, but that is supposed to be removed. Remove it and then use soap and water and try to get the residue off. It'll come off but it takes time. You don't want to use something to abrasive or it can scratch the stainless steel.
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