Asked on Feb 09, 2014

How to remove labels from terracotta pots?

by Carol
Does anyone have a way to remove glued labels such as price tags from terracotta pots that doesn't dis-color the pot? I've tried goo gone but it leaves the pot where the sticker was a different color than the rest of the pot.
Thanks. Everyone here has such creative ideas. I love the site.
  29 answers
  • Kim L Kim L on Feb 10, 2014
    Have you ever tried baking soda with a tad of water?? I haven't done it myself, but all my clay pots are the outside large ones and I really don't care..........if not the baking soda, perhaps wind a length of tape around your fingers with the sticky side out, peel off as much of the label that you can, then start dabbing at what's left with the tape wrapped around your fingers!.
    • See 2 previous
    • Tony Gianninoto Tony Gianninoto on Oct 18, 2017

      My wife and I have added another remedy to

      this issue- rolled up masking tape to remove the glue. All the listed suggestions help but none of them are 100%.

  • Rubbing alcohol. Or did you try soaking them in water? I have removed both ways on different pots. Good luck
    • Carol Carol on Feb 10, 2014
      @The Garden Frog with C Renee Both the alcohol and the water remove the paper part of the label, but the glue always seems to not come off completely. It would be nice if the labels were put on the inside instead of the outside of the pots. Thanks for the suggestion.
  • I just used rubbing alcohol the other day to remove labels from New frames. I work on sticker and then I work on glue. The alcohol gets rid of glue for me. Hope this works fit you
  • Karen Karen on Feb 11, 2014
    I always use Goo-Gone to get labels well on glass and terra cotta - I've had no discoloration.
  • Sherry Harrell Sherry Harrell on Feb 11, 2014
    dawn dish detergent. Just rub on with a tiny bit of water.
  • Jeanne888 Jeanne888 on Feb 11, 2014
    If all else fails, you could try spraying the whole pot with a clear sealer to even out the color. Or paint it.
  • Carol Carol on Feb 11, 2014
    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. I will definitely try some of them! :)
    • See 1 previous
    • Sharon Stephenson Palmer Sharon Stephenson Palmer on Mar 27, 2017

      I gently use a razor blade scraper. Wet label and gently work the blade under the label. I have done it dry too.

  • Yvette Spicer Yvette Spicer on Mar 21, 2017

    I'm sitting here right now with the same issue ... glue stuck to the terra cotta pot and a piece of tape ... very, very, very slow process ... tried the soaking, took off most of the paper, but the glue is still there ... I will try the rubbing alcohol, but I can't do the Goo Gone because it's oily! I'm doing projects to sell and different colored spots would look horrendous!

  • Kay Kay on Mar 22, 2017

    I have used Blue Tack to remove glue. Take a piece and roll it over an over till it has removed all of the glue. You could try Metho also. Again the idear is to soften the glue underneath. Scotch Sticky Tape also. Place the tape over the glue rub down the length of tape then quickly pull off. You may need to do this several times. Kay Adelaide Australia

  • Amd9240056 Amd9240056 on Mar 22, 2017

    Nail polish remover

  • San15691578 San15691578 on Mar 22, 2017

    Use a hair dryer! Heat the tag, and then slowly peel it away. Works great for all kinds of things with tags - but don't use on things that will melt!

    • Mani Mani on Mar 26, 2017

      That's what I have done for years. I did not see your post until after I had given my recommendation.

  • Barbara Allgeyer Smith Barbara Allgeyer Smith on Mar 23, 2017

    A little baking soda and water in a bowl sit the label side in the bowl, wait about 5 min. wipes right off glue and all.

  • Shirley Heikkinen Shirley Heikkinen on Mar 23, 2017

    I use scotch tape to take of stubborn glue from labels, but can't recall if I've used it on clay pots.

  • Shannon Shannon on Mar 26, 2017

    A product called Goo Gone is fantastic for this. nasty odour. Works great.

    • Laura Bruckner Laura Bruckner on Jun 26, 2017

      Goo Gone has an incredibly strong odor, and lingers for hours if not days. We have to use it sometimes but always make sure we throw the rag we used away. Both the husband and I hate the smell. Have you found a Goo Gone that doesn't smell?

  • Mani Mani on Mar 26, 2017

    I actually use my hairdryer at hottest temperature to remove labels from most items. Just blow on hot for several minutes and start peeling as the adhesive heats up. If you are careful there will be no adhesive residual left behind. I have done this on many different types surfaces. Label manufacturers are given specifications on environmental conditions at which the label must survive and not fall off or be removed.

  • Connie Harr Connie Harr on Jul 19, 2017

    I got the sticker but the adhesive remained. Was going to put children's handprints on pot for a gift. The big mark is def an eyesore.

  • Connie Harr Connie Harr on Jul 19, 2017

    Did you ever find something that worked?

  • Antonio New Hastings Antonio New Hastings on Sep 05, 2017

    Look here, the hair dryer is great for a few, but if your like me and you have a hundred fifty of these pots to get the stickers off the best thing is to put them in your car in the summer if possible wrote the windows and let him get real hot in the car and then get in it and then peel them off and sweat

  • Peggy Scowden Smith Peggy Scowden Smith on Oct 11, 2017

    i used a hair dryer to heat the tag then took a razor blade and scraped it, then took 100% acetone on a cotton ball to rub it off. It did work. Now just to paint them and pray the sticker mark doesn't show through.

  • Ginny Ginny on Oct 19, 2017

    There is a product called Goo Gone that might work.

  • Jeanne Kuczyk Jeanne Kuczyk on Nov 02, 2017

    MICROWAVE! I first tried soaking, then alcohol, then vinager along with scraping and scrubbing. So I thought what about the microwave. The pots were in water already so I put them in the microwave for 30 seconds. The labels peeled off and some still had adhesive on them so I used some tape to pull it off or scrubbed with the rough side of a sponge. &:-D

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Nov 02, 2017

    Lighter fluid is an awesome sticker remover.

  • Linda Cooper Linda Cooper on Feb 04, 2018

    I took as much of the label off as I could, then used an old toothbrush and a little bit of Dawn dish soap. came off!

  • Melanie Czoka Melanie Czoka on Feb 04, 2018

    Lemon Oil or Goo Gone :)

  • Hei33685170 Hei33685170 on Jun 27, 2018

    I had 65 small terracotta pots which had a sticker right next to the rim. Because they were for the centerpieces of a wedding reception, the sticker residue was an issue. I tried the detergent and the rubbing alcohol. The little rectangle was still evident. I then moved on to the baking soda in water suggestion and experimented on one pot, putting the sticker side down in a small amount of the mixture. After about 15 minutes, I gently rubbed the spot with my thumb, rinsed and put on the dish drainer. This did the trick and the pot dried clean. I now have five nested pots soaking, sticker side down, in about a half inch of water. It is fast. It is clean (no chemicals, or soap). I rinse them and put them on the dish rack. Voila! I used about a tablespoon in a cup of water and soak for about 15 minutes. Longer soak is fine. Since the terracotta is somewhat porous, the water needs to be replenished. It is also good to have something else to do while you are doing this - unless you have an assembly line of containers of the mixture to move things along.

  • DebbyDiane DebbyDiane on Mar 30, 2019

    I just used very hot water from a tea kettle and submerged the clay pot with a tiny drop of Dawn dish liquid. Let sit 5 minutes and this is what happened. I also took a little rubbing alcohol after to clean it off.

  • Sherry Sherry on Dec 06, 2019

    Soak in water a few minutes. Use fingernail to scrape off label. Soak a couple minutes more. Use dry rag to vigorously rub off label. Easy and no discoloration. Must let dry though before using for crafts.

  • Dmholt4391 Dmholt4391 on Dec 31, 2021

    Lighter fluid.

  • Nmixx Nmixx on Mar 19, 2022

    I was sad to see stick residue after I peeled the sticker off my 49 cent Walmart pot, however, I got the residue all of. I know this is not the most efficent way, but I used very warm running water and used my nails. I included a sponge with soapy water in order to remove it all of the residue and it came off. Sometimes the most simple is the most effective.