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Removing Label Adhesive From Clear Plastic Container

 
 
CDobyns
 
Reply Sun 14 Jul, 2013 01:17 pm
It seems like this solution would be self-evident, but maybe not so much. I've got a large, clear plastic container (which contained a dry food product), that is reasonably nice enough that I want to keep it to store stuff in it - but I'd like to remove the original label.

The container came with the requisite front and rear paper label, which was probably applied by some kind of high-speed, automated machinery. I was successful in removing the paper labels, with warm water and soap - and a very nominal amount of scrubbing (more like just rubbing), but the glue adhesive has defied my efforts to remove it. I don't want to use some "harsh abrasives", since I'd like to preserve the transparent quality of the plastic. I've got to believe there's some "secret sauce" ingredient/technique that's already known, that will remove this slightly tacky (sticky) adhesive residue, but without damaging the surface of the plastic. Before I start testing the full-array of liquid products I have available (acetone, paint remover/thinner, Goof-Off, windex, Easy-Off oven spray, Coke, beer, tomato juice, etc.), I just thought I would check with others to see what they've found that works.

(And I was just kidding about some of those liquid products . . . )
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 3,339 • Replies: 5
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roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Jul, 2013 01:41 pm
@CDobyns,
I've found WD-40 to be a nearly universal stuff remover, and nearly always non destructive. It takes a long time to evaporate, so let it soak awhile. Since you already have acetone, I'd give that a shot, too. It's safe enough to use in nail polish remover, but not safe for everything.

The usual precautions apply: test in an inconspicuous place.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jul, 2013 01:41 pm
@CDobyns,
I use Goo Gone. It's worked for me and I've had the one container a long time now, and I use it moderately often, so it was quite worth whatever money it cost me. In fact, I just went and looked and I've used something like 1/10th of the container. (I like to save useful containers too, and some have stronger adhesives than others.) I've only had to use small squirts of it (it comes out fast from the container and you don't need a lot of it).
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jul, 2013 01:45 pm
@ossobuco,
Same with me - I'll say use the usual precautions - but I've never had it hurt anything I've applied it to. It's some kind of citrus based product. The goo gone label tells what you can't use it on; I just looked. Leather was one of the items.

We had another thread on this once, and someone came up with another thing to do, maybe Calamity Jane. I think it was to steam the label.. but that would be hard to do for a big container, unless.. unless.. you happen to have a clothing steamer. I've never tried that, happy with goo gone.
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PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jul, 2013 04:23 pm
I've used Avon's Skin so Soft to remove adhesive labels without scratching the surface.
CDobyns
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Jul, 2013 09:08 pm
@PUNKEY,
Okay. These were all good suggestions. Since I had this container at work, and had a few spare minutes this evening, I looked around for anything handy that might be in a different cleaning category, other than reliable soap and water. Oddly, the first thing I put my hands on that was available (and in sufficient quantity) - seemed to work just fine.

Add to the list of successful adhesive romovers - Purell Hand Sanitizer. There's no big mystery what's going on here, since clearly the active ingredient (surfactant) that loosened the adhesive is the nearly 100 percent alcohol content of this product. I nearly wonder whether with a lemon twist, and served on the rocks whether it might make a palatable cocktail (just kidding). So, some type of alcohol seems to be a solution to removing label adhesive.
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