Confession time…I have a love/hate relationship with repurposing household containers. (My Top Ten Repurposed Household Containers; Repurpose Glass Jars Into Multi-Purpose Storage Containers.) I LOVE being able to turn ordinary bottles, jars, etc. into other useful objects with a new purpose…..but I HATE getting the labels off of them!
I feel like I have tried every possible method for removing labels. I even blogged about one of them (How To Remove Sticker Goo.) But last week, while researching something unrelated, I stumbled upon a website where collector’s of old beer and wine bottles were discussing how to remove labels. Someone mentioned that you could purchase a product called “Super Grunge Remover” from a homebrew store that would do the job, and I was so excited about the prospect I ALMOST ordered a jar for $5.95.
Luckily, before I did, I noticed someone in the comments mentioned that the main component of Super Grunge Remover was sodium carbonate…..or more commonly known as WASHING SODA!
Not only did I already have washing soda, I had SEVERAL BOXES of it in my laundry room cabinet for making my homemade laundry detergent!
Could it be that all this time I had the answer to years of label-removing torment sitting in my cupboard? I think it goes without saying I had to give this a try! I just happened to have an empty apple cider vinegar bottle that I’d been holding onto because I’m going to try making my own homemade version soon.
I filled my kitchen sink with hot water, poured in about a cup of washing soda (I had no idea how much to use, but in hindsight I could have probably gotten away with half that.)
Then I gently submerged the bottle in the water and left it to soak.
About half an hour later I decided to check on the progress, and lo and behold, when I reached into the water and pulled the bottle out, the label almost slid right off! (It WOULD have slid off if I hadn’t stopped it so I could take a picture!)
I gave the bottle a quick rinse, dried it off, and it looked like NEW! No label remnant or residue whatsoever.
Now, I can’t guarantee the same results on EVERY container with a label, because as you may know from experience, some labels are MUCH harder than others. But after this experience I can’t help but think this treatment would go a LONG WAY towards getting even the toughest labels off. It’s certainly the easiest method I’ve EVER run across!
(If you don’t have any washing soda on hand, check on THIS POST about how to make your own.) :-)