I've started using the plastic containers for vitamins and mixed nuts and
cheeses from Costco but some labels come off easily while others fall into
a million pieces.
Is there a TRICK to removing the label from these jars?
Maybe a mechanical technique (I try to peal from all edges, sloooooowly,
stopping as soon as I get a tear).
Or better yet, some secret solvent?
Many come off easy after soaking in the sink with med-hot water and a little
soap. Some of the others require goo gone or something like it to remove
the residue. The mixed nut jars are the absolute worst. Maybe they will
read this and modify the glue. -:)
If the warm water and a little soap works you are way ahead by recycling and
not buying storage containers at the BORG. If you factor in the cost of a
solvent, I am not so sure you come out ahead.
I find the peanut butter jars to be the best overall size and easy removal
for storing stuff on the truck. Compared to buying storage containers at
Wally World I eat the peanut butter for a net cost of about 50 cents a jar.
Pretty darn cheap lunch.
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Veg oil, PB, goo-gone, goop hand cleaner. Kinda like stripping
wallpaper- you need to scuff the surface so it can get down into the
paper. I always try a dry peeling first, though. It all depends on how
tight the labeling machine was set that day, how well the glue was
applied, how well the mold release was washed off the bottles, how hot
the container got in transit. Sometimes you get lucky.
Yup - mineral spirits. Soak the labeled container in dishwater first. If
after a bit of rubbing the paper part of the label comes off but there
is still a sticky patch, pour a small amount of mineral spirits (aka
paint thinner) on a paper towel (or rag) and rub the sticky patch until
it's gone. That almost always does the trick.
Nope, what works varys with the glue originally used.
I only use the glass jars myself and some of the labels come
off with a single cycle thru the dishwasher, and some dont.
Yes, you basically need a higher molecular weight solvent like kerosene
for the aggressive glue that doesnt come off in the dishwasher.
There are some commercial solvents that work, but they arent that cheap.
And they arent all suitable for plastic containers either, particularly not
acetone/nail polish remover.
The problem is that the jars I prefer are currently those whose
labels dont come off in a single cycle in the dishwasher.
Its just the glue they chose to use.
I should have added that with the ones that dont come off by themselves,
what can work with some glues is to put them thru the dishwasher and
then open the dishwasher at the end of the hot rinse cycle and help the
label off with some sort of scraper, like a putty knife etc, and then get
the residual glue off with a cheap high molecular weight solvent like
kerosine or turpentine and then give them another cycle to get the
remains of the solvent completely removed.
Corse thats a lot easier with glass containers than with plastic containers.
Some just dont bother about the labels, use them with the labels on.
I use Naptha as an all-purpose solvent when soap and water are not
enough. Works well even on most plastic containers, just clean it off
promptly after removing the labels. As others have said, you need to
break thru the surface barrier of the label to get at the glue, this
is true also when using Naptha.
I know it is a little late to comment on this thread. But, just yesterday,
I had the same problem. I had a nice wide mouth jar that had cashews in it.
I want to use the plastic jar to keep barbeque run in. But I wanted the
label off (I would have used it anyway).
I soaked it in soapy water overnight, and this morning, the paper came off
easily. There was a heavy glue residue left. After spraying that with
WD-40, it came off slick as a whistle. Anyway, that is what worked for me.
Thats very similar to kerosene, but kerosene is a slightly higher molecular
weight, so works better with labels that dont come off in the dishwasher.
Kerosene has a maximum of 16 carbon atoms, naptha has a max of 12 carbon atoms.
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