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Removing Prescription Bottle Labels

Category Reusing
A collection of labeled prescription bottles
Prescription bottles are handy to use for storing small items but it is desirable to remove the labels first. This is a page about removing prescription bottle labels.
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June 23, 2008

After many times of trying to remove labels from empty pill bottles to remove my identity from them before discarding them, I hit on a new way tonight. I was standing at my kitchen sink, next to the microwave. I filled my empty pill bottle with water, sat it in the microwave, heated the water in the micro for a few seconds or minutes. I removed the bottle from the microwave, dumped the water out and just like that the label peeled right off that bottle. No more struggling with labels for me.

By Arlene from Lancaster, PA

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Comments

June 24, 20082 found this helpful
Top Comment

No electricity version:

Vegetable oil or baby oil works to remove the stickiness, without wasting electricity. Peel off what you can and then wipe or spray on the oil, let it soak in for 15 mins or so, then peel.

All medication bottles are recyclable too. They are either #1 or #2 plastic and can be recycled anywhere, even your recycle box from your trash service.

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June 24, 20082 found this helpful
Top Comment

A hairdryer works great, too! That's what I use to get the labels off prescription bottles.

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I also use it for getting price stickers off packages and books.

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Anonymous
October 14, 20163 found this helpful
Top Comment

WD40 removes them quickly with no adhesive residue left on the bottle

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December 7, 20161 found this helpful
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Thanks for your suggestion. Works great. Do not over heat, no more than 20 seconds for two bottles. Be careful, very hot.

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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.

January 21, 2009

How do I remove glue from the prescription bottles?

Ann from Poplarville, MS

Answers

January 21, 20091 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try some Goo Gone!

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By Tracy (Guest Post)
January 22, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can also use your blowdryer to heat up the label, peel and clean the goop with some dishsoap.

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By antique person (Guest Post)
January 22, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I soak them in hot tap water and a strong solution of pine sol. By the time the water cools you can pick it off starting at one corner and using your finger nails.

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January 22, 20090 found this helpful
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I've never used peanut butter, but I've heard from several sources that it does work. I have used Goo Gone and that works really well. But, in a pinch, like when I was out of Goo Gone, I have used WD-40 with success. The only down side is the petroleum type smell. Goo Gone also has a smell but it is much more pleasant...sort of citrusy. Good luck.

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Margaret from Denton, Texas

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By Connie A. (Guest Post)
January 22, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I use a black permanent marker and color it dark to make sure no information shows through before I throw it away. It seems to work okay and is a lot easier than fighting the glue.

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January 22, 20090 found this helpful
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Try hand sanitizer. It works for me. ~Janette~

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By Cheryl (Guest Post)
January 22, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Acetone or finger nail polish remover will remove the glue from your prescription bottles

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January 23, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

White vinegar always works for me for removing glue from old stickers, etc. Try it!

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October 20, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

A can of WD-40 Protective White Lithium Grease Then to remove grease some choke and carb cleaner then rinse with water. there are more steps but it is easier. To remove label fill with water put in microwave for about a min and it peels right off.

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April 15, 2009

I want to donate my prescription medicine bottles to the Humane Society. Can anyone tell me how to get the labels off when they are really stuck?

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By Lorraine from St. Louis

Answers

April 15, 20091 found this helpful
Best Answer

Soak them in warm soapy water for about ten minutes and they shoud come right off! Another way is to use some type of cooking oil on a cloth and rub until they're gone.

Goo Gone or Goo Off is supposed to be great for removing sticky stuff, but I haven't tried it.

Good Luck!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
April 21, 20092 found this helpful
Best Answer

I use a hair dryer to warm the labels and then they just peel off nicely! Veterinarians also take clean prescription bottles. I divide ours up between the vets in town (My hubby has had a liver transplant so we go through bunches).

Grandma Jan and Kato the Wonder Dog

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April 22, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try lighter fluid. It works for taking labels off magazines, stamps off envelopes, etc. It evaporates in a few seconds and leaves no residue behind. Or on the plastic pill bottles, vegetable oil might work, also.

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Harlean from Arkansas

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January 18, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

The best way to remove labels from medicine bottles:
1. Heat water up to boiling (tea kettle works best)
2. Pour the water in the bottles once hot.
3. Put cap back on medicine bottle.
4. Wait One minute or until the label will come up by scratching corner with finger nail
5. Pull label off and re-stick to sheet of paper to shred.

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September 12, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

1. Immerse vial in small bowl or cup of water.
2. Microwave for 2 minutes.
3. Peel label off with fingernail.
4. Remove residual glue with "Goo Gone" or similar product.

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August 18, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

I also go through a lot, and donate them to Medicine Bottles for Malawi, and the coolest, easiest, no-peel way I've found to get them off is by spraying them with Goo-Gone, wrap in a paper towel, wait overnight, then when you take the paper towel off, the entire label comes with it! No residue left! Just don't do what my mother-in-law did: Used a Sharpie to cross out everything and then gave them to me to do the Goo-Gone. I was covered in Sharpie.

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June 3, 2018

I have a huge garbage bag of prescription bottles that I need to remove the labels. Is there a fast way to remove labels when there is a high quantity?

Answers

June 3, 20181 found this helpful
Best Answer

For onsies twosies, I use my thumb nail and start at the corner and they usually peel off easily from the orange bottles. From the orange or white bottles (which are always stickier) my late dad used to use wd40...spray on a light mist on the label...be sure to do this outside in a shady, well ventilated spot, then let then sit for a few hours and then toss in a bucket of plain cold water and most would slide right off.

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He used a flat screw drive to get rid of any residue.

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June 4, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'd soak them in a huge tub of hot soapy water. Most of it will come off. If there's extra residue, rub a mixture of equal parts baking soda and melted coconut oil on them and it will come off.

www.thriftyfun.com/Homemade-Goo-Gone-2.html

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June 5, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

I use "GOO GONE" for every thing I want to take a label off, it really works fast and easy. I use an old wash cloth to rub the label off and then just rinse the wash cloth out and re-use.

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March 7, 2015

Can you remove direction labels from a medicine bottle after you are finished with the meds?

By M. Blocker

Answers

March 8, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

When I want labels to be removed I soak them in warm water until I can pull them off. If only part of the label comes off, I repeat the soaking. Use Goo Gone to get any glue residue off. Good luck!

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March 8, 2013

I want to reuse plastic jars, prescription, Pepcid bottles. I need to remove the existing label, clean, sterilize, and print new labels for Milk-Bone Brand MaroSnacks.
How do I remove the label? It kind of peels off by fingernail. Is there an easier way.

By M. C. from Phoenix, AZ

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