Home DIY 10 Easy Ways to Remove Stickers and Labels from Plastic Containers 

10 Easy Ways to Remove Stickers and Labels from Plastic Containers 

By Sophia W. Martin
1.8K views 2 mins read

Do you find yourself wrestling with a plastic container, desperately trying to peel off a sticker that seems to have taken root?

I, personally, know there are some stickers and label tags that don’t want to say goodbye to their beloved container. And in the end, after trying your best, you are left with the adhesive residue.

But no worries, as there are lots of easy homemade solutions for removing these stickers from plastic containers.

I will share with you 10 easy ways to remove stickers and labels from plastic containers.

So, keep scrolling to discover solutions one after another shared for you.

Key Takeaways
Everyday items like peanut butter, vegetable oil, and rubbing alcohol can effectively remove stickers and labels from plastic containers.
Also, you can apply heat from hair dryers or use a razor blade to remove the damn sticker. But be cautious.
There are also instant chemical solutions like Goo Gone, Uni-Solve, etc. for quick removal.

Common Challenges of Removing Stickers and Labels 

Before going into the details, here are some common challenges you might face when removing a sticker from plastic containers:

  • Sticky Residue: After peeling off a sticker, you’re often left with a sticky mess that’s hard to get rid of.
  • Tearing: Sometimes, stickers tear when you try to remove them, leaving behind bits and pieces that are tricky to clean up.
  • Tough Adhesive: The glue used on stickers can be really strong, making them stubborn to remove.
  • Surface Damage: If you’re not careful, you could end up scratching or marking the plastic while trying to remove the sticker.
  • Time-Consuming: Removing stickers can be a slow process, especially if you have a lot to get through.
  • Delicate Plastic: Some plastics are fragile and can be easily damaged by certain removal methods.

To tackle these challenges, it’s important to use the right tools and techniques. So, let’s jump into the next part to discover the secrets of removing tags, labels, and stickers from plastic containers.

Removing Stickers and Labels from Plastic Containers

Here are the top 10 and most effective ways to get rid of paper stickers and labels from plastic containers:

1. Use Cooking Oil To Remove Stickers

To remove stickers, apply the cooking vegetable oil to the sticker or label, allowing it to soak in. The oil helps break down the adhesive.

Once soaked, use a paper towel to wipe away the sticker easily, ensuring a smooth removal process. You can also use olive oil as an alternative to cooking oil.

2. Remove Stickers and Labels with Washing Soda

Start your sticker-removing journey with a splash of washing soda.

how to remove sticky labels from plastic without scratching
Remove Stickers and Labels with Washing Soda

Mix a tablespoon of washing soda with hot water and create a paste. Then, apply the hot, soapy water to the sticker or label. Let it sit for a while, and then scrub it with a soft cloth, rag, or sponge. 

The washing soda helps dissolve the adhesive, making it easier to wipe away like it’s nothing but a distant memory.

3. Remove Sticker Residue with Peanut Butter

Spread a thin layer of peanut butter over the sticker or label and let it sit for about 15 minutes.

how to remove labels from plastic bottles without damaging them
Remove Sticker Residue with Peanut Butter

The oils in the peanut butter work as an adhesive breaker. And, it will help you peel off the sticker quickly. You can wipe away the residue with a cloth as well.

4. Use A White Vinegar Soak To Remove Labels

Use a paper towel to soak the plastic container in a white vinegar solution, ensuring the label is fully covered. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes to ensure the vinegar penetrates the adhesive.

how to remove labels from plastic bottles for recycling
White Vinegar Soak To Remove Labels

Afterward, use a cotton ball or damp cloth to easily peel away the label. Your container will shine with a label-free glow.

5. Remove Labels from Containers With Lemon Essential Oil

A few drops of lemon essential oil on the sticker or label is enough to do the trick. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the adhesive thoroughly.

Then, gently peel away the sticker using a paper towel to reveal a residue-free surface and a citrusy, fresh aroma!

6. Use Mayonnaise to Get Rid Of the Sticker

Apply some mayonnaise over the sticker and let it soak up the sticker for 10 to 15 minutes. Then use a dry cloth or rag to wipe off the sticker. That’s it. 

The oil within the mayonnaise will break down the sticker’s adhesive and thus make it easier to remove. You might have to repeat the process for thick stickers or if it doesn’t completely remove the sticker the first time.

7. Remove Stickers with a Hair Dryer

Grab your hair dryer, give that sticker a warm breeze for like a minute, and watch it surrender—softening the adhesive. 
Peel off the sticker slowly. Afterward, use a rag to wipe away the remaining residue. Yes, it’s easier and quicker.

8. Use Alcohol to Remove Price Tags

Using alcohol is an effective way to remove price tags. I mean any kind of alcohol you find at home, from hand sanitizers and nail polish remover to the vodka sitting in your liquor cabinet.

First, take a clean cloth/cotton ball and let it soak in alcohol. Now, rub it over the sticker or label until it’s saturated. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before trying to remove the sticker. At the end, simply wipe off the sticker and any remaining adhesive. Labels will be running for cover!

9. Use A Razor Blade To Remove Stickers 

Razor blades are a much quicker method to get off the stickers but it require caution.

Carefully scrape off the sticker with plastic surfaces using a razor blade at an angle of 45 degrees. Then use a soapy rag or cloth to wipe off the spot, especially if the sticker or label persists.

Be cautious not to scratch the plastic, and certainly not your fingers. Alternatively, you can also use a plastic, or metal scraper, pencil eraser, or even a kitchen knife using the same method.

10. Remove Stickers with WD-40

To remove thick and stubborn stickers, I often use WD-40 as a degreaser. It helps to clear off the unwanted stickers. 

Simply spray the product over the sticker and let it consume the sticker for some time. Then use a fresh cloth and rub over the sticker in a circular motion to wipe it away. There won’t even be any residue.

Tips for Removing Leftover Adhesive After Peeling Off the Stickers

Want to make sure that no adhesive or residue is left after you’re peeling off stickers? Let me share how I do it! 

  • Sprinkle baking soda on the area. 
  • Mix a paste with water and gently scrub the residue using a soft cloth or sponge.
  • The mild abrasive nature of baking soda aids in breaking down the adhesive without harming the surface.

Additionally, you can use a wet paper towel and press into the sticky residue. It will help remove the leftover adhesive. Last but not least, always test these methods on a small, discreet area before widespread application.

5 Best Glue Removers You Need to Know

If you want to directly use any glue remover to avoid harming the plastic surface, here are some top glue removers for you:

Goo Gone Original Liquid Adhesive Remover

If there’s one name that stands out in the glue-removing game, it’s Goo Gone.

This little powerhouse is a well-known adhesive remover that effectively removes sticky residues left behind by labels, stickers, tapes, and more. You can simply apply the product and peel the sticker away.


Uni-Solve is a medical-grade adhesive remover commonly used to remove adhesive residue from medical tapes, dressings, and other healthcare-related items. You can gently apply to the sticker, and make the entire label come off without irritating your skin.

A real must-have for those who believe in pain-free parting!

3M Adhesive Remover

Like Goo Gone, 3M is another adhesive remover that is designed to remove sticky residues without causing damage to surfaces. It is suitable for a variety of materials. No matter what items are you recycling to make your DIY project, 3M is your quick solution to remove labels from bottles.

Goof Off

When the going gets tough, Goof Off gets going.

It is an effective versatile solvent that can be used to remove a wide range of adhesives, paints, and stains from different surfaces. You can use it to remove both paper and adhesive at the same time. 

Citristrip Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel

While primarily designed for paint and varnish removal, Citristrip now effectively removes certain adhesives and sticky residues. 

It is mainly known for its citrus-based formula. The remover will leave no residual. You can also use it to peel off the paper labels that seemed quite impossible to remove. Besides, it’s a great way to remove sticky price tags or labels from glass containers or bottles – adding a refreshing twist to your adhesive adventure!

To Wrap Up

There you have it: 10 efficient ways to remove stickers and labels from plastic containers. It’s easier than you’ve thought, right?

I hope you have noted down your preferred way to remove the adamant paper tags or stickers. Who knew removing stickers could be so satisfying?

Finally, remember to be cautious when using chemical products to remove the stickers. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I remove adhesive without damaging the plastic bottle?

Nail polish remover, dish soap, water, oil, and baking soda are some of the effective ways to remove adhesive without damaging the plastic bottle.

Can Windex remove sticker residue?

Yes, Windex does remove sticker residue, but that depends on the type of surface and adhesive. It is generally a glass cleaner and works well on glasses. But it can damage the plastic surface, as it contains Ammonia.

How to remove sticky labels from plastic without scratching?

To remove the sticky labels from plastic without scratching, you can use liquid solutions like vegetable oil, peanut butter, or washing soda.

Can Vaseline remove stickers?

Yes, Vaseline removes stickers but this requires quite some time. You may need to wait overnight after applying a thin layer of Vaseline over the sticker. Then, wipe it away gently and the sticker will come off.

Does hydrogen peroxide remove sticky labels?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide can also be used to remove sticky labels. Let the sticker soak in hydrogen peroxide for several minutes and then wipe off the sticker, including the residue.

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