Is there a 'magic' solution for dissolving labels on glassware?

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You could do what smart people do ... Go to your local hardware store and get some of that stuff they sell to remove sticky label residue. But I suppose that is too logical.
N.
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Let me save you some time:
Mineral Spirits (also called "paint thinner", "solvent" and "Varsol") will dissolve the glue holding MOST labels on jars. What I do is simply scrape the impermeable surface paper off, and then apply mineral spirits with an eye dropper to the porous paper beneath, put the jar with the wet label in a plastic bag wrapped tightly around the jar (so the mineral spirits doesn't evaporate) and allow the mineral spirits to penetrate through the porous paper and dissolve the glue holding the paper on to the glass. After 5 or 10 minutes, remove the jar and peel the paper off with a razor blade or sharp knife. The paper will come off easily, but you just need something sharp to get under it and lift it off the glass.
On some jars, mineral spirits is very slow to work, and I expect that's because they use a different glue because of the temperature of the stuff originally put in the jars. Jam is jarred when it's hot because it's too viscous to pump when it's cold, and so jam will usually be put in glass jars that can stand the heat better.
In those cases, I use lacquer thinner or acetone. Lacquer thinner is mostly toluene (it's typically 70 to 80 % toluene), so if you find toluene for sale anywhere, you can use that instead of lacquer thinner. Every paint store will sell lacquer thinner.
Acetone is the chemical found most commonly in women's nail polish remover. Acetone is very fast to evaporate, so a similar solvent called "amyl acetate" will often be added to the nail polish remover because amyl acetate evaporates more slowly. Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) is acetone's closest chemical cousin, and it evaporates a little more slowly than acetone, so if acetine works, then MEK should not only work, but work better because of it's slower evaporation rate.
The advantage in using mineral spirits, lacquer thinner and acetone/MEK over dish detergent and cooking oil is that every one of the former will all evaporate completely without leaving any residue, whereas the latter won't evaporate at all. That is, even if cooking oil dissolves the glue holding the label on, you then still need to use something else to remove the cooking oil. The benefit of dish washing detergent is that it can be washed off with water, albeit plenty of water to remove all of it.
So, if it wuz me, I would save a step and just use a solvent that evaporates completely, thereby preventing your having to use something else to remove your label remover.
--
nestork


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Goof Off is a product that works great.
I also just wash in the dishwasher. It loosens them up and they usually fall off on their own.

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On 10/05/2013 01:52, Paul M. Cook wrote:

dish washer. Try placing the item in the freezer for a while, lots of labels then peel of whole and with ease.
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Oren wrote:

What a coincidence, I use the seeds oil I have on hand which is always peanut oil
--
"Un pasto senza vino e' come un giorno senza sole"
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Danny D wrote:

"Goo Gone", or charcoal fluid - lighter fluid.
--

I met a guy today who said he was addicted to brake fluid!
But he says he can stop anytime.
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I've heard of using peanut butter. I use Goof-Off.
--
Barb,
http://www.barbschaller.com , as of April 8, 2013.
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On Fri, 10 May 2013 10:33:03 -0500, Melba's Jammin'

I've not had any problem removing labels from glass, I use a safety razor to scrape off lables same as the stickers from windshields.... it's plastics and other soft items that makes removing labels more difficult... I especially find those stickers on produce difficult.
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On 05/10/2013 11:33 AM, Melba's Jammin' wrote:

If warm water doesn't take them off, a little vegetable oil may dissolve the residue.
nate
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replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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On Fri, 10 May 2013 12:54:55 -0400, Nate Nagel wrote:

The odd thing is that the olive oil fared no better than did water or alcohol, in my preliminary tests over the past 24 hours:

The diluted alcohol fared about the same as the oil:

And the water was about the same as oil & alcohol were:

Only the dish detergent seemed measurably better:

While all four methods easily remove the paper label, all four appear to need additional suggested solvents or petroleum distallates in order to remove the gummy residue coating the entire area under the paper label.

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On Thursday, May 9, 2013 11:32:01 AM UTC-6, Danny D wrote:

Why not use your favorite solvent?...MURIATIC ACID.
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On Fri, 10 May 2013 09:15:11 -0700, Roy wrote:

Funny you should mention pool acid ...

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Just to report back on the hydrochloric acid, it didn't dissolve the paper label any better than did the dish detergent solution.

But I really like how well the gasoline almost instantly removes the gummy glue residue off the plastic bottles:

The results are clear plastic bottles with no labels or glue:

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On Thu, 09 May 2013 17:32:01 +0000, Danny D wrote:
UPDATE:
Nothing really worked better than dish detergent and water for getting the *paper* part of the labels off the plastic Costco vitamin jars... but the gummy glue residue was left:

MAF cleaner dried too quickly, leaving a sticky residue:

Brake cleaner had similar results to the MAF cleaner:

My wife noticed the smell with the engine degreaser:

The alcohol was ineffective at reducing the gummy glue:

The paint thinner turned the glue into a milky residue:

Likewise with the better-smelling WD-40:

Acetone simply made the plastic itself sticky:

And TSP didn't do much more than the dish detergent did:

Within margins of error, I'd have to tentatively conclude that the winner would be whatever smells best to you of these 3:

For example, here's a before-and-after glue-removal comparison:

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On Thu, 09 May 2013 17:32:01 +0000, Danny D wrote:

LESSONS LEARNED:
In summary, the lesson learned is that the paper labels easily fell off the glass bottles after an overnight soak in water and dish detergent.
However, on the plastic vitamin bottles, the paper labels came off only with an overnight soak, where the mix of dish detergent was necessary, and, even so, required a bit of fingernail scrubbing.

The real problem was the pervasive gummy glue, which, only the lower volatility petroleum distillates did a good job on (because the higher-volatility petroleum distillates evaporated too soon).

BTW, the green one at the right was discolored by the acetone; so of all the fluids chosen, acetone is the most deprecated.
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Try Goo Gone; it is made to take sticky labels off things. Squirt some on, wait five minutes, and it should rub off with a paper towel.
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ROUND 2:
My new favorite method of removing the labels and glue from Costco gummy vitamin plastic jars is this process:
a) Soak in a soapy solution of dish detergent (24 hours) b) Scrape off the paper label with my fingernails c) Douse in gasoline for a minute or two d) Wash in laundry detergent or tri-sodium phosphate
Since the gasoline necessitates being outside, here' my starting point today:

Here's what will be soaking overnight:

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On 11/05/2013 1:54 PM, Danny D wrote:

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X-No-Archive: Yes


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Cooking oil will help. Don't actually cook the glass,tho.
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On Sun, 12 May 2013 04:58:58 +0000, PeterD wrote:

Personally, I gave up on the oil idea as I didn't find the vegetable oil anywhere nearly as effective as the petroleum distillates (gasoline was the best) in instantly dissolving the gummy deposits on the plastic gummy vitamin jars.
Here's my latest experiment, concluded this morning:

These are my steps for those plastic vitamin bottle labels: 1. Soak 24 hours in soapy water 2. Scrape paper labels off 3. Rinse in gasoline solvent 4. Dip in the soapy water 5. Rinse with garden hose 6. Air dry in the sun
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