Removing Labels from Plastic Containers

July 13, 2012

Assorted plastic cosmetic bottles.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 Barrett H. from Bowen, Australia

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 390 Posts
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!

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 555 Posts
March 9, 2020

Fill a container with pretty warm water (as hot as you can without it distorting the plastic container of course) and let it sit 5 minutes. This heats up the adhesive on the outside of the container.


Don't get the outside (where the glue is) wet though. Dump out the water (still keeping the outside dry) and generously wipe the gluey spot with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil.

Removing Sticky Adhesive Residue from Plastic - clean container

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March 19, 2021

When I need to get labels off of plastic bottles, I put them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. The labels come right off.

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22 Questions

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November 7, 2009

How do you remove adhesive label from plastic?

By tammie from Fenton, MI


November 8, 20091 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.

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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, 20091 found this helpful

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

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November 10, 20090 found this helpful

Hot water inside the container can be used to remove labels from plastic, metal, or glass. Most labels are heat sensitive, so fill container with very hot water, allow heat to penetrate the label and then begin to slowly peel the label away.


Keep the label dry and it is less likely to tear. Any remaining glue residue can be removed with goo gone.

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November 11, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Tammie, After peeling off the label as best I can, if there is any adhesive left on I use Surgical Spirit to remove the adhesive, I think perhaps you might call it Rubbing Alcohol in the USA (I'm in the UK).

Sometimes I might rinse a just empty jar then when I have my daily bath, the jar soaks along with me; that way lots of stubborn labels remove easily. I hope this helps.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
November 11, 20091 found this helpful

Almost every time GooGone has worked for me ;-)

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November 11, 20091 found this helpful

With some labels the glue will dissolve with hot water. For those that don't, use lighter fluid. It won't hurt the plastic. I use lighter fluid for a million things around the house. Label goo, tar, tree sap, scuff marks, candle was residue. It removes magic marker from many surfaces. I've used it on my car, clothes, floors and walls, glass, plastic, even on myself and I've never had a surface so far that it's hurt.


It evaporates, doesn't have an offensive odor, and it's cheap. Works ten times better than that expense Goo Gone or Goof Off and a lot less expensive. We don't smoke but have lighter fluid everywhere; under Kitchen and bathroom sink, laundry room, garage, even in my office. It's a multipurpose product!

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August 18, 20102 found this helpful

Use a product called oops! you can purchase at any hardware store. It removes paint, tar, lipstick gum, label residue, marker pen ink, glue and crayon. I remover glue left over from plastic container in about 10 seconds.

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January 15, 2006

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


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 Sharon (Guest Post)
January 16, 20060 found this helpful

Have you tried a hairdryer?

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

I have used cooking oil to get labels off things. All you have to do is cover the label real good with cooking oil and let it soak in the label, and then peel it off...

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By Miriam (Guest Post)
January 27, 20060 found this helpful

Let me clarify this request... the product name, etc is not a label (as in paper glued onto the package) it is some kind of plastic which seems heat (?) sealed onto the container. I have had marginal success using packaging tape to strip the product info off yet this is expensive!


Help! These are fabulous containers (laundry detergent, cat litter, etc) for planting flowers, tomotoes, etc yet I don't want to advertise the previous contents! thanks -

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May 15, 2011

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

By Richard D.

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January 4, 2011

How do I get the sticky labels off plastic containers?

By kaky

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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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June 7, 2013

I have tried most everything. It takes forever. Trust me I have used many, many techniques some are better then others, but it still takes a long long time. I am only talking about plastic bottles.

By Mario

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January 12, 2015

I need a quick way to get labels off of a plastic bottle. It is a hand soap bottle.

By KJeffery

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May 27, 2013

I have tried to find almost everything. What is the best way to take labels off plastic bottles, jars, etc.

By Mario F.

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April 30, 2013

What is the best way to get labels off plastic bottles? I have tried almost everything.

By Mike

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November 14, 2012

I'm at a loss to remove a label from a baby wipes container (Pampers brand). It seems to be sealed onto the container. Anyone?


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February 3, 2014

How do you remove glue from a plastic container? I have tried soaking the plastic with liquid soap wrapped around a washcloth. It did not work.

By Sherrie

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May 30, 2013

I am having a difficult time removing labels off plastic jars, etc. I have tried many suggestions. Glass is easy. Some labels on plastic jars are crazy hard to remove.

By Mario F.

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