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 isha.m
1.3K views 2 mins read
ways to remove stickers and labels from plastic containers

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.

We’ve all been there. The struggle is real, but fear not!

From today onwards, dealing with this hassle will no longer be difficult for you. 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.

True Story: A Journey from Unsticking Labels to Becoming a Small Business Owner

Before we talk any further about the easiest way to deal with removing stickers and all, let me share an exciting story with you!

One day, my sister was watching a DIY craft-making video on YouTube.

The YouTuber created a beautiful masterpiece from a plastic container. She loved the craft item so much that she wanted to try it at home.

The first hurdle was removing the paper tag from our plastic container. Without the right technique, it could be a frustrating task, leaving a sticky residue behind.

My sister experimented with various methods until she discovered the winning combination: a mix of baking soda and cooking oil. With this solution, the sticker peeled off effortlessly. I joined her in the creative process, learning the art of sticker removal and crafting.

Together, we explored new techniques and materials, turning ordinary plastic items into extraordinary works of art. And the final surprise is waiting for you at the end of this article. So, don’t skip a bit.

And let’s jump into the next part to discover the secrets of removing tags, labels, and stickers from different surfaces.

10 Easy Ways to Remove Stickers and Labels from Plastic Containers 

Dealing with stubborn stickers and labels on plastic containers can be a really sticky situation, pun intended.

Not anymore!

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

1. 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 this miracle powder with warm water and create a paste. Then, apply the 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.

2. Remove Sticker Residue with Peanut Butter

Believe it or not, peanut butter is not just a sandwich hero; it’s a sticker superhero too!

how to remove labels from plastic bottles without damaging them
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. 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.

Peanut butter: 1, Sticky labels: 0.

3. Remove Stickers with a Hair Dryer

Surprised? How can a hairdryer help?

Yes! It does.

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. Easy-Peasy!

4. Remove Sticky Residue with a Pencil Eraser

We have all tried this when we were a child, right? It’s really useful not just for mistakes but for sticker mishaps too!

remove labels from containers
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

But yes, you have to keep some patience.

Rub the sticker or label with a clean pencil eraser (like a scraper). Apply gentle pressure. This method is particularly effective for smaller labels or stickers.

5. Use Rubbing Alcohol to Remove Price Tags

Using alcohol is an effective way to remove price tags. 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 the sticker and any remaining adhesive. Labels will be running for cover!

6. Use A Razor Blade To Remove Stickers 

For the bold and precise, wield a razor blade to cut through sticker adversity. Didn’t understand?

Carefully scrape off the sticker with plastic surfaces using a razor blade at an angle of 45 degrees. Be cautious not to scratch the plastic

“Use the blade only when the container is made of thick plastic or glass.”

7. Use A White Vinegar Soak To Remove Labels

A white vinegar soak is the spa day your labels never knew they needed. In fact, the labels will be so surprised, they’ll practically jump off the plastic. 

How to do it?

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

Well, submerge the plastic container in a white vinegar solution, ensuring the label is fully covered. Let it soak for a while to ensure the vinegar penetrates the adhesive. Afterward, use a cotton ball to easily peel away the label. Your container will shine with a label-free glow.

8. Use Vegetable Oil To Remove Stickers

Turn your kitchen into a sticker battleground with vegetable oil.

Apply the 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.

9. 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.

how to remove a label without damaging it
Photo by Jarritos Mexican Soda on Unsplash

Then, gently peel away the sticker using a paper towel to reveal a residue-free surface. Plus, it smells citrusy fresh!

10. Remove Stickers from Containers with Hand Sanitizer

Last but not least, turn your hand sanitizer into a label-removing wizard.

Apply a small amount of hand sanitizer to the sticker or label, ensuring complete coverage. Let it sit for a minute to break down the adhesive. Afterward, gently peel away the sticker and use a paper towel to wipe off any remaining label residue.

Your plastic container will thank you for the sanitary makeover.

Tips for Removing Leftover Adhesive After Peeling Off the Stickers

Want to make sure that no adhesive is left after you’re peeling off stickers? There are some ways to loosen the adhesive.

Let me share how I do it!

Sprinkle baking soda onto 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, dampening a piece of paper and pressing it onto the sticky residue can help lift it away, leaving your plastic container clean and adhesive-free. Always test these methods on a small, discreet area before widespread application.

5 Best Glue Removers You Need to Know

Now you know what homemade products remove glue from plastic. But 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

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 easy ways to remove stickers and labels from plastic containers. So, which method are you itching to try first? Are you excited by the natural power of oils, or is the allure of a hairdryer’s heat calling your name?

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, Right?

Finally, let me share what happened with our craft-making.

Now, we have our own small business for recycling plastics. We transform them into beautiful and functional art pieces, from flower pots to storage boxes.

Soon, friends and neighbors started contributing their plastic containers to support our recycling efforts. Our small-scale recycling business became a community initiative, promoting environmental consciousness and the joy of upcycling. And we couldn’t get any more happier!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I remove adhesive without damaging the plastic bottle?

Trying to use a plastic bottle for making a beautiful flower vase? But the struggling to remove stubborn tags? Nail polish remover, dish soap and water, oil, and baking soda are some of the effective ways to remove adhesive without damaging the plastic bottle.

What dissolves sticky labels?

Use warm, soapy water or vinegar to dissolve sticky labels. Alternatively, try rubbing alcohol or cooking oil for effective removal. I have used the process for many times. They are quick solutions when you don’t have time to get any commercial remover from the market.

Do you have a preferred method for getting rid of stickers or adhesives?

Yes, for the quickest solution, you can use commercial glue removers. I have named some of the adhesive removers like Cubitron, Got2B, CRC, etc. You can also find them on Amazon.

How to remove sticky labels from plastic without scratching?

If you use a scraper to remove stubborn labels, they may be removed easily. But there are chances, it can leave scratches on the surface. On that note, use liquid solutions like vegetable oil, peanut butter, or washing soda to remove the sticky labels from plastic without scratching.

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