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Easy Way to Get Labels Off

Submitted by on Thursday, 23 December 2010One Comment

Trying to remove clamshell packaging can cause rage attacks, and so can trying to get price labels off of housewares. Who hasn’t had trouble removing labels from new glasses, plates, or plastic containers? Getting labels off of plastic is especially hard because the glue needed to stick onto plastic is especially strong.

All the commercial label removers that I have seen are made with solvents that are petroleum-based and very neurotoxic, so making do with simple, natural solutions is well advised.

How to remove labels on plastic:

1. Dab some olive oil (or whatever cooking oil you have handy) onto your finger and rub into the label, saturating it.
2. Set overnight.
3. Peel the label off. If it doesn’t come off easily, saturate with oil again and let set for another half day.
4. Keep repeating the process until all the glue is gone.
5. Wash in hot soapy water.

Note the repetition required for some labels! Still worth the process so that you don’t pollute your home with neurotoxic solvent-based label removers.

For getting labels off of glass, soak the item in hot soapy water for a few hours and see if the label peels off. If not, use the oil technique, above.

By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).

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One Comment »

  • Rhonda Gray says:

    Great Advice. Not only do the solvents pose or should I say cause neurotoxic and environmental damage they can damage certain surfaces. For removing sticky labels from books; lift the edge of the label slightly and use a hair dryer to soften and release the glue. A painter’s single edge razor blade can help lift the label off after the heat is applied.

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