How can I remove labels from coffee cans so I can upcycle them?

by Mary
  17 answers
  • William William on Jan 08, 2020

    Most metal coffee cans the labels are vinyl and peel off. Plastic coffee cans the labels are printed on with ink dyes and can't be removed but can be painted.

  • Janice Janice on Jan 08, 2020

    Hi Mary, you can remove the strip of "gunk/glue" by scraping it with a piece of metal and then soaking the remaining glue off with goo gone or even a kitchen oil. After that's removed wash well in hot soapy water and then decorate however you wish. Spray paint or decoupage works well. Add a stencil with lettering and you can label each canister to suit what's inside.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 08, 2020

    Is this question for metal or plastic coffee cans? Concerning plastic cans some of those labels are actually applied in the "Blow Mold" machine when the container is formed. The materiel is hot and it somewhat embeds itself into to plastic. You will have to label over it.

    If you don't want the cans to retain their coffee smell trying filling them with water and vanilla and letting them sit overnight.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 08, 2020

    Hi Mary, here is how to get labels off plastic

    Hopefully this works for the metal containers

    ou can use washing soda to remove labels from bottles (or any sticker from something that's safe to submerge in water.) Just fill your sink with warm water and add around 1/2 cup of washing soda. Stir the water a bit, then soak the item in the water for 30 minutes. The sticker or label should slide right off!

  • Hairdryer or heat gun will soften the adhesive and it will lift off.

  • Dee Dee on Jan 08, 2020

    I just soak in Dawn and very hot water. Then you can use a plastic scraper to get the labels off.

  • Tinyshoes Tinyshoes on Jan 08, 2020

    Mary....Try Goo Gone.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Jan 09, 2020

    Soak in hot water with Dawn dish soap. You should be able to wipe right off after being soaked for 10 minutes.

  • Janice Janice on Mar 20, 2021

    After soaking most of the label off in hot soapy water, I often use baking soda/Dawn dishwashing liquid made into a paste. Rub onto the sticky leftover glue residue then rinse well with very hot water.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 03, 2023

    Soak them!

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 11, 2023

    If they are plastic, chances are the label is into the plastic by a heating process, I would cover them with paint and seal them with polyurethane. If metal, then soak them in hot water and dish detergent.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 23, 2023

    I purchased from small plastic scapers from Amazon that are great for removing stickers. Then rub a bit of cooking oil on the surface if there's any left over residue. After that, wipe with soapy water (I like using blue Dawn).

  • I use peanut butter to remove sticky residue left behind on items from price tags and labels.

  • Dee Dee on May 06, 2024

    You can use Goof Off or WD 40 on metal cans. Plastic cans do not have removable labels. But Chalk paint will work on them

  • Betsy Betsy on May 06, 2024

    Hi Mary: WD40 is great for removing labels. Pull off as much as you can and then spray on the WD40 and let it sit for about a minute and scrape off.

  • Deb K Deb K on May 07, 2024

    Hi Mary hope this helps you. For both plastic and metal you can use acetone and a cotton ball, take your cotton ball, and douse it with 100% acetone nail polish remover. In a circular motion, work it over the print on the container. It will take a few seconds to get going, but it will start to come off. Keep working, applying pressure and working your way around.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 08, 2024

    Soak them off!