Saturday, October 28, 2017

Easy Way To Remove Labels From Plastic

I have been saving this jar forever.  The kids talked one of their grandmothers into buying cheeseballs and apparently cheeseballs only come in these insanely huge plastic barrels.  I have no desire to acquire another insanely huge plastic barrel full of cheeseballs.  Although I can imagine presenting a large barrel of cheeseballs to Trick or Treaters and telling them to grab a handful.  I can also imagine trying to clean raw egg off the side of my house later.  So I've been hanging on to this one all this time, since besides having the capacity to hold an ungodly amount of cheeseballs, it could also easily fit a human head or a small carcass.   

Now back when I was a kid, we had reasonable sized containers of cheeseballs. If you're wondering whatever happened to Planters Cheez Balls, you are not alone.  

The reason I've been dragging my feet about using this container was the big label.  I really dislike removing labels from plastic, they generally refuse to nicely peel off.  Glass containers are so wonderful by comparison.  Soak in a little hot water, peel off label, razor blade any remnants off, use a little oil (I like coconut oil, it makes my hands soft) on the remaining glue residue. 

On the other hand unless you have magical powers you aren't going to be able to razor blade plastic without scratching it.  Some plastic containers can't even handle a hot water soak without warping.   Even if they can take the heat, usually only the top layer of the label comes off  leaving behind all the adhesive still stuck to the bottle.  I think Goo Gone takes less elbow grease than natural oils when working with plastic, but I hate working with that stuff it's pretty harsh.  

Well I had an epiphany last week. This is not the quickest process, but very little effort is needed. I'm sure instead of letting things sit overnight, a few hours would do.  It was just convenient to do right before going to bed.  I soaked a rag in hot water and placed it over the label and let it sit overnight.  The next day I rubbed that top layer of label off and rubbed oil into the remaining adhesive.  Then I let that soak in overnight.  I rubbed off that remaining layer.  I used a little more oil to get any last bit of adhesive off and then wiped it down real good and cleaned it up with water and vinegar. 

Even though it took a couple of days, I spent very little time physically removing the label.  This was so simple I could kick myself for not thinking of it sooner.  I have used the same method since with some smaller containers I was avoiding and it works like a charm every time.  I fear plastic bottles no more.

1 comment:

  1. That's probably a good solution to all the difficult to remove labels. I never tried oil before but have always use rubbing alcohol to remove adhesive. But the benefit of soft hands makes me want to give it a try.