How To Remove Labels

By Online Labels
Whether you're repurposing a store-bought container or one of your custom designed labels has served its purpose, here's what you need to know to remove a label without ruining the surface.

To remove a label painlessly, choose the removal process that best matches the object's surface. The type of surface it's applied to can make a huge impact on what method you should use and the difference between a clean removal and a more challenging one. Wondering how to remove sticker residue when the label peeled off but left its sticky adhesive behind? These methods work for in-tact labels, as well as partially removed ones.

Tip: Always perform the following methods on a test area first. Try finding a spot that won't easily be seen. If some residue stays behind or the material gets warped, it'll stay hidden. Repeat the process on the remainder of the label once you received the desired result.

Removing Labels from Glass and Metal

Glass and metal are among the most common surfaces used for labeling. If you've already attempted to peel the label off, you may be left with sticky spots on the surface of your object. The best method for removing labels from glass or metal surfaces is listed below.

Submerge Your Object

This is one of the easier methods of removal and works especially well with wine, beer, and water bottle labels.

Fill your sink or container with warm-to-hot water.

Soaking a plastic tub with soap and water.

Place your item in it to soak. If you're using this method to remove a label from an empty bottle, it may help to also fill the bottle with warm water.

Mix in a half scoop of OxiClean® or dish detergent for extra strength.

Let the item soak. Different labels and adhesive strengths will require various soaking times, so check them periodically. You may even need to let it soak overnight.

Placing the bottle in warm water and soap.

Peel one corner of the label and the rest should follow cleanly.

Peeling label off of a bottle.

Use a wet sponge to scrub any residual residue from the surface.

Scrubbing down the bottle with soap.

Dry off your object and enjoy.

Bottle with label removed.

Tip: If your object is small enough, you can use a 2-liter bottle with the top cut off as a bowl.

Removing Labels from Plastic

Standard labels can be difficult to adhere to plastic, requiring manufacturers to utilize a stronger alternative. The result for the consumer is a long-lasting label that can be stubborn to remove. The two most effective options for removing plastic labels from objects like medicine bottles or food containers are listed below.

Option 1 - Applying Nail Polish Remover or Rubbing Alcohol

Apply a generous amount of nail polish remover to a cotton ball, cloth or paper towel.

Soaking cloth with nail polish remover.

Apply the cloth and let sit until you can see the remover soaking in. Scrub if necessary.

Applying cloth with remover to container.

Peel off the label.

Peeling the label off of the plastic container.

Use a sponge to scrub any residue left on the surface.

Scrubbing residue off of plastic container.

Dry off your object and enjoy.

Option 2 - Blow Dry the Adhesive

Run the hair dryer on warm over the label in 1-minute intervals. The heat should loosen the adhesive.

Using a blow dryer to apply heat to a label.

Continue moving the hair dryer over the label until it peels off completely.

Peeling label from a plastic cup.

Use a wet sponge to scrub any residual residue from the surface.

Scrubbing residue off of plastic cup.

Dry off your object and enjoy.

Removing Labels from Ceramics and Porcelain

Most companies use paper labels on ceramics and porcelain, which can make removal difficult. Paper labels tend to tear and can leave you with lots of little pieces in your hands and the majority of the label still on your object. Luckily, we have a solution to the pesky label remnants.

Warm white vinegar in the microwave or on the stove. Do not bring to a boil.

Placing bowl in the microwave.

Submerge your item in the warm liquid, if size permits. If not, soak a cloth in the liquid and drape it over the item.

Submerging label in vinegar.

Let the white vinegar soak into the label for 15-30 minutes.

Remove your item from the white vinegar or remove the vinegar-soaked cloth and begin to peel one corner of the label. The rest should follow.

Peeling off the label from ceramic mug.

Use a wet sponge to scrub any residual residue from the surface.

Scrubbing the residue off of the mug.

Dry off your object and enjoy.

Skip the Hassle Next Time Around

If you're planning to relabel and repurpose your newly blank jars and wine bottles as decoration, organizers, or fun party favors, try our removable labels. Made with removable adhesive, you can apply them to most surfaces and remove or reposition them with ease, and without leaving any residue.