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Removing Labels from Plastic Containers

Category Cleaning

You have a perfect reusable container if you can easily get that label off. This is a guide about removing labels from plastic containers.

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Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 9 found this helpful
July 13, 2012

Use a hair dryer. Move it over label for a few minutes on warm, then turn dryer off. Start to peel from one corner. It should peel easily. If there is any residue left, use a cotton bud with a little eucalyptus oil. That will dissolve it. Wash in soapy water to clear any smell of the oil.

By Lyn from Bowen, Australia

Comment Was this helpful? 9

By 11 found this helpful
January 19, 2011

I make a lot of presents using jars that have those darn sticky labels on them. Then I found this, it works wonderfully!

Lightweight, non-reactive, unbreakable, and usually airtight plastic containers are perfect for storing dried herbs and other treasures. Reusing them reduces waste and environmental impact much more effectively than labor - and chemistry-intensive industrial recycling. The only hitch is those stupid labels. Most glues don't stick to plastic, so the ones used to stick labels on it have to be practically bulletproof. Unlike glass containers, plastic ones can't be de-labeled by soaking in hot water. Scrubbing scratches up the plastic, and even then it only removes the paper. Tacky glue remains to stick to hands and attract dirt. But, removing labels from plastic containers is deceptively easy once you know how. For success every time, without scratched containers or residual glue, follow this simple procedure:

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Apply a thick coat of cooking oil to the label in question. Allow it to soak in, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Try to peel the label off. If it comes readily, proceed to the next step. If it doesn't, repeat steps 1 and 2. (Many labels require two applications; some take several.) After the label has been peeled off, some sticky, partly dissolved glue will remain. To remove it, coat the area with oil a final time and allow it to sit overnight. Wipe off the oil and dissolved glue, then wash the container in hot, soapy water. No trace of label or glue will remain.

Although this is not the book in which you'd expect to find information about removing labels, it does in fact have one of the best set of directions for solving this very commonly frustrating challenge. It is also one of my favorite books, because of tidbits just such as this.

Source: Adapted from The Neighborhood Forager, by Robert K. Henderson and Annie B. Bond

By JodiT from Aurora,CO

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June 22, 20170 found this helpful

When removing the label glue from plastic bowls remember to make sure that the product you use is safe to use on plastic. This is a guide about removing label glue from plastic bowls.

Green plastic bowls.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
November 7, 2009

How do you remove adhesive label from plastic?

By Tammie from Fenton, MI

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Answer Was this helpful? Yes
November 8, 20090 found this helpful

The way I remove labels is to apply oil,I use olive oil, to the label and let it soak. The oil will soften the label so you can peel it off. Also the oil doesn't harm the substrate.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 9, 20090 found this helpful

WD-40 works very well.Just spray a little on a rag and wipe.Let it soak for a minute and the glue will disolve.Then clean the WD-40 with any all purpose cleaner.

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November 9, 20090 found this helpful

I use a hair dryer, it works great for removing the glued stickers or labels. aim your hair dryer at label and start slowly pulling it away from what ever it's stuck to. Watch your fingers because the air gets hot! Voila! It's off in about a minute!

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November 10, 20090 found this helpful

Spray a tiny bit of no stick cooking spray on it or, W/D 40 type solution.

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May 15, 20110 found this helpful

How does one remove the sticky residue left after removing labels from plastic jars?

By Richard D.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 4, 2011

How do I get the sticky labels off plastic containers?

By Kaky

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By 0 found this helpful
July 6, 2017

How do I remove the plastic label off of the rectangular prismatic Temptations brand cat food boxes? It is a plastic label like on the newer Stater Brothers water bottles.

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January 15, 20060 found this helpful

How do you remove the labels from laundry detergent and kitty litter jugs? Some of them seem to be sealed on. - M

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January 16, 20060 found this helpful

Try GooGone. It's awesome on stuff like that. Also if you have some lighter fluid handy it works well on non-flamable areas.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 16, 20060 found this helpful

Have you tried a hairdryer?

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