Sticky Label Remover

2 Materials
3 Hours

I'm always reusing jars and bottles for some craft or project. Most if not all have sticky labels on them from whatever they had in them originally. These can sometimes be really tricky to remove and in the past I've turned to white spirit or similar awful chemical products to remove them. Now trying to be more eco conscious, I've had to rethink! Here is a simple, planet-friendly way to remove sticky labels!

Here is everything you'll need. A bottle or jar with a label, some coconut oil, bicarbonate of soda and a small pot.

First, put some coconut oil into your pot. How much you needs will vary based on how many or how big the labels are that you want to remove. It needs to be enough to cover the label in a thin layer.

Next, add some bicarbonate of soda to the coconut oil. Roughly the same amount of bicarbonate of soda as coconut oil but specific measurements are not necessary.

Mix the ingredients together until they are well combined and form a smooth paste.

Now you're ready to apply your paste to the label(s). If you want to you can pre soak the jar/bottle in some water before adding the paste. The paste works without this step but it does work more quickly if you pre-soak.

When you're ready, use a spoon to apply a thin layer of paste to the label until it is completely covered.

Time to put your feet up and have a cuppa! Once the label is covered, leave it for the paste to do its work. The longer the better is the general thing I've found for this but minimum 2 hours I have found is needed to be effective.

Rinse the paste off the label and then pick an edge to start removing the label. As you can see it should come away easily and not leave any sticky glue residue.

Once you've got hold of an edge, the label should simply peel off as shown here. Any sticky residue that does get left behind (occasionally this can happen for particularly stubborn or foily labels) should be easy to wipe off with a cloth. On rare occasions you may need to repeat the paste process for very thick or shiny labels.

There you have it! A residue free, label free glass bottle ready to use for crafts!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Margaret G. Travis
    Margaret G. Travis
    on Nov 4, 2020

    I am wondering about whether rinsing the coconut oil going down a sink is a good idea.

    Mixed with the soda and using really hot water for the small amount on the label may not be

    a problem I suppose

    Could wipe it off and dispose of it in the garbage also.

    • Kathy
      3 days ago

      I soak my bottles first, peel off the main label, then use goo be gone from the dollar store. Walmart sells it as well.

  • Laine kennedy
    Laine kennedy
    4 days ago

    have you tried soaking the bottle with the label in water ? mine always come off, doesn’t take long, and i can’t think of something more eco friendly.... tap water!

    • Bonn
      Just now

      Sometimes there is glue residue even if the label comes off. I imagine this mixture will take that off.

  • Donna
    4 days ago

    Will this work on plastic containers?

Join the conversation

2 of 21 comments
  • Mar6610675
    3 days ago

    I always soak my bottles in water to remove the labels I think it’s a lot easier than running any kind of substance down the drain

  • Val
    3 days ago

    I soak in hot water then if there is glue residue I wipe with eucalyptus oil on a cloth.

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