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Getting label glue off glass?

topic posted Mon, January 9, 2006 - 11:19 PM by  Unsubscribed
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I have glass baby bottles that I need to remove the label glue from in some non-toxic manner, as they will be used for a baby.
Rubbing alcohol & cooking oil did not work.

Ideas??

Thanks!
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  • Unsu...
     
    The hardware stores sell some stuff like "Goo-Off" and the like that really do work, and a bottle of the stuff is cheap.

    As for being non-toxic, I don't think you would want to ingest it, but if you clean the surface thoroughly afterwards, should be alright.
  • Holy cow! Lighter fluid!?!?!?

    All you have to do is soak them in water in a washtub or sink overnight. Depending on their size, all that's important is that the entire bottle is covered in water. The label and glue should rub right off. No chemicals or harsh scratchy stuff is needed at all!


    namaste,
    alex
    • Forgot to mention that I've used this method on all kinds of bottles and jars -- wine, mayonaise, ketchup, salad dressing, tea and drinks, beer, syrup, etc. I haven't met one yet that this didn't work on.

      But, if you do find one (for example, a plastic bottle or item), use vegetable oil. You can either pour a fair amount on a paper towel and just rub at it until it all comes off, or you can soak it in some veggie oil, just like the water method.


      namaste,
      alex
      • If it's curved, this might not work, but try a razor blade. That's what I've always used to get glue or paint off new windows, and it works like a charm.
        • I used the mentioned "goo gone" stuff before, worked for me ...but when I ran out, in desperation tried some "orange cleaner" and boy that was even better....it's some orange oil, all natural and works like a charm, even got the hard to get off mirror-adhesive off the wall without damaging it.
          • I don't know about the orange cleaner, but "Goo Gone" contains chemicals in it. If you wish to have the least impact on the environment (i.e., NO chemicals), just use water. You don't have to buy anything, and you don't have to pour or wash nasty chemicals down the drain and, eventually, into the groundwater.

            There are two basic types of glue used on labels: water-based and oil-based. The vast majority of those on glass bottles and jars is water-based. Hence, just soak them in water. However, those water-based glues don't adhere too well to plastic bottles and other products. So, they use oil-based glues on those. Just remember this: water cleans water, and oil cleans oil. Simple vegetable oil is non-damaging to the environment (just don't pour it down the drain), is amazingly cheap, and works as well as -- or better than -- anything else.

            To test this theory of "oil cleans oil," we got back in our car after eating at a restaurant and noticed that someone had put chewed-up gum on our windshield. We couldn't figure out how to get it off. Then I remembered, "oil cleans oil." Well, I had some lip balm that was made from oils and used that. It worked like a charm! That's why using peanut butter to get gum out of kids' hair works -- oil cleans oil!

            So, for any label adhesive, all you need are water and vegetable oil! :D


            namaste,
            alex
            • Unsu...
               
              Yet, the original question stated that oil and water had not worked.

              There are trade offs. I'd rather use a very small amount of Goo Gone type products than waste a whole bunch of water or cooking oil to remove stubborn goo.

              That being said, all other things being equal, natural is better.
              • You're half-right. She originally said that alcohol and cooking oil hadn't worked. She didn't mention water. Also, simply saying that something didn't work, without mentioning HOW they were used, doesn't completely eliminate it from the possibilities.


                <i>"I'd rather use a very small amount of Goo Gone type products than waste a whole bunch of water or cooking oil to remove stubborn goo."</i>

                See, I'm so concerned with being natural, that I won't even buy the "Goo Gone," in the first place. There's a wonderful book that I found 5-6 years ago, called, "Better Basics For the Home," by Annie Berthold-Bond. She's also got a terrific website, at www.care2.com/. She discovered that she is extremely chemical-sensitive, and was forced to find ways to do everything in her daily life without chemicals. Great resource!


                namaste,
                alex
                • Unsu...
                   
                  Some chemical products are very toxic; other products with long chemically sounding names are in fact natural and/or very safe for people and the environment.

                  I am not chemically sensitive, whatever that is.

                  Here in Texas, water is a scarce resource. If a drop of a cleaner or solvent will clean something more effectively than a couple gallons of water, then I think it may be a fair trade off, especially if the cleaner or solvent is not particularly toxic. Of course, if it took a lot of resources or damaged resources to make that drop of cleaner, then there is no gain. But it is not like we get our water without consuming resources, either.

                  We really need more info on these kinds of choices as consumers. There is nothing we do that does not impact the environment. Even the choice to use all natural substances has an effect - potentially negative - on the environment.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Andy,

                    We live in Phoenix, so completely understand your point about conserving water. For what it's worth, you can reuse any bin of water to soak a bottle, if you're just trying to remove a label. It's just the moisture from the water you're after. Then, the bottle can just be washed with the other dishes.


                    <i>"other products with long chemically sounding names are in fact natural and/or very safe for people and the environment. "</i>

                    Is that true? I just thought that those were chemical variations of what occurs naturally.

                    And, an enormous amount of chemical products on the market are not required to go through long-term studies, to find out if they are, indeed, "safe." I'll still trust basic, natural cleaning products. The only things I use in my house for cleaning are: baking soda, borax, Dr. Bronner's castile soap, vinegar, and natural dish soap (Seventh Generation or Trader Joe's). Oh, and Seventh Generation laundry soap.


                    namaste,
                    alex


                    P.S. Another reason to avoid solvents is that they're (usually) petroleum-based. And, reducing our needs for petroleum is a good thing.

                    And, I understand your point. If indeed it were found to be true that a chemically produced product had less impact on the environment than a natural one, then I wouldn't complain about it. But, I can't see how that could be the case.
                    • Unsu...
                       
                      "I'll still trust basic, natural cleaning products. The only things I use in my house for cleaning are: baking soda, borax, Dr. Bronner's castile soap, vinegar, and natural dish soap (Seventh Generation or Trader Joe's). Oh, and Seventh Generation laundry soap. "

                      All of the above work fine for many purposes and would be my first choice before grabbing some highly perfumed, packaged, advertised product with a list of ingredients whose names I do not understand.

                      And I like Dr. Bronner's products.

                      However, I am not convinced that all the very expensive "natural" soaps and detergents are necessarily any different from some other brands of the more plain soaps and plain detergents you can get at a grocery store. And the super high markup on some of these products sold at healthfood or natural products stores strikes me as a consumer scam.

                      The health food and natural home products industry has even been guilty of some fraud over the years. I don't trust them any more than I would trust General Foods or Proctor and Gamble.

                      For example, just one example, many of the health food brands used to sell expensive "natural ketchup" that was no different from any other ketchup except it used fructose instead of sugar. As if processed fructose is any better for you than sugar. It's worse, in fact. Oh, and they might have used sea salt instead of table salt. Big deal. That's a trival difference in this context. Ketchup is not a health food. To claim that these natural ketchups are more healtful is a fraud, but most of the big players in the health food industry have done this kind of thing, still do this kind of thing, and often.

                      Buyer beware.
                      • Andy,

                        Yeah, I forget that many people think they can or need to buy already prepared "natural" cleaners. They probably still contain some kind of chemicals, anyway. I really should re-label my cleaning method as "simple," instead of "natural." When I can make my own that works well, I have no need to buy someone else's formula. (I even make my own deodorant spray that works better than any other I've ever purchased! And, it only takes a few minutes every other month or so.) But, laundry powder and dish soap, well, it's tough to clean better than those do. I'm sure there are die-hards who use just baking soda or something for their clothes, but I'm not that far gone from society.

                        And, it's quite funny that you talk about "natural" ketchup! I think I've got one for ya -- my mom just sent a batch that she made from home-grown organic tomatoes! {yay!!} But, you're absolutely right that manufacturers seem to enjoy this "natural" trend and they make all nature (hehe, no pun intended!) of things "natural" just for the sale. But, ketchup isn't a health food, so who cares? Regarding foods, though, I crack up at the attempts to make potato chips healthier. :DDD


                        namaste,
                        alex


                        P.S. There are actually some advantages to buying dishwasher, dish, and laundry soaps that are natural -- they really are lighter in chemicals. And, if you read the ingredients, you'll find that many of them don't have phosphates, which is supposed to be positively terrible in the ground water supply. And, the reason that they're so much more expensive is because they're not as huge as the other guys, so they can't share profits from all their international sales. Also, the chemicals that the big companies use -- you didn't think they use them because they're better, did you? It's most likely just that they're cheaper.
              • Unsu...
                 
                I collect '80s arcade games. When I pick up a "new" game out in the boonies in someone's barn or basement, the marquee and monitor artwork is plastic or glass and often has a bunch of old licensing stickers on it. These have been on for 15+ years and are totally stuck. I need to remove the stickers without using anything abbrasive. When I need to do it quickly, I use WD-40 and lighter fluid, let it soak in for an hour or two.

                But what works best with minimal scrubbing for stubborn stickers and is also non-toxic is peanut butter. Yes, peanut butter. You spread it thick all over the sticker and leave it for a day or two for the oils to soak all the way through. Sometimes I wait longer. And then you can usually just pull it right off and use a rag to rub off any remaining sticker glue.
                • Dan,

                  I'm quite curious about this, now. If, as you think, it IS just the oils, do you think veggie oil would do the trick, too? If the issue is to keep it in contact with the sticker, and not run off, I suppose you could lightly soak a paper towel and cover it overnight.


                  namaste,
                  alex
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     
                    "I'm quite curious about this, now. If, as you think, it IS just the oils, do you think veggie oil would do the trick, too? If the issue is to keep it in contact with the sticker, and not run off, I suppose you could lightly soak a paper towel and cover it overnight."

                    My guess is any veggie oil would work. What's important is having enough on the sticker to fully saturate it, leaving it long enough (I usually wait longer than 24 hours, more like 3 days, especially for vinyl and metallic stickers), and having direct contact. For me an oil soaked paper towel wouldn't stick on a vertical surface, it would be clumsy, and it would create garbage. Peanut butter works great, so I have no need to try other options.
            • what is this nonsense about no chemicals? I don't like the toxic crap in most house-hold cleaners, but I'm also tired of people talking about how all 'chemicals' are bad. WATER is a chemical. my sweat/blood/tears? made of chemicals. The compost we make at the food co-op I work at? made of chemicals. Chemicals are arrangements of atoms, not horrible scary things that come out of factory smoke stacks.
              ok. /rant. but yeah, please think about using things like nasty toxins that will end up down the drain! A little research on sodium lauryl sulfates (in foamy things like toothpaste and soaps) will make you want fuzzy teeth forever...

              On that note, I tried soaking some bottles in water a while ago, and had to scrub for ages to get the glue off... maybe because I was using warm/hot water? I'll try cold sometime....

              --me
              • Unsu...
                 
                Uh uh. All chemicals are bad and will kill you so that a giant corporation can make huge profits. There are no chemicals in natural products. People who say otherwise are Nazi scientists bought and paid for by giant corporations. There are people who can prove this but the corporations had them killed. You must be one of them.
              • When most people refer to "chemicals," they're referring to those that are man-made. And, there are many people who are getting sick -- VERY sick -- from the vast numbers of MAN-MADE chemicals in everything around them.

                Many of these same MAN-MADE chemicals do terrible things to the groundwater and animals that live in the water. And, others are known neurotoxins, but get to stay on the market, anyway (can anyone say, "Scotch Guard"?). Many of the MAN-MADE chemicals coming out are not tested for long-term problems. Also, they are not any better than the tried-and-true methods. But, they can't make money if they don't make something new.

                And, I use Tom's of Maine toothpaste, which does contain sodium lauryl sulfate. But, their website has a fact sheet on this ingredient, which seems to say that any rumors about its dangers are unsubstantiated. Check this out: www.tomsofmaine.com/toms/ifs/sls.asp

                I would be greatly interested in reading any links or resources you can provide on its dangers.


                namaste,
                alex
                • Unsu...
                   
                  Alex,

                  You know I wasn't making fun of you. I make fun of the extremists on either side of this debate.

                  I do wonder what the basis is of your statement that lots of products are out there on the market that are not tested for long term effects. I cannot imagine in the current legal environment that the larger manufacturers with deep pockets for paying civil judgments put products out there without looking into safety. That is not to say they are all good guys or that there won't be debate on these chemicals, but a company that puts a product on the market with no safety testing is risking bankruptcy should it later be proven that the product causes illness or injury.

                  The problem with this issue is "long term problems." Some chemicals are known to cause long term problems. Other chemical compounds or substances are merely alleged to cause long term problems, but without any reliable scientific evidence to back it up. Some people will develop cancer and claim some product caused it, but they can't prove it, the case gets dismissed and then Mother Jones or Sixty Minutes will get ahold of the story and do a scare job on the public. It gets very emotional and misinformational.

                  If you want to err on the side of caution and eschew all these products, that is your business and because it is a less wasteful, more simple and more self sufficient lifestyle, I applaud you for that reason if none other.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    "If you want to err on the side of caution and eschew all these products, that is your business and because it is a less wasteful, more simple and more self sufficient lifestyle, I applaud you for that reason if none other."


                    You know? It started out as wanting to avoid the unnecessary chemicals in the cleaners. I was pregnant and didn't want my child to risk poisoning himself just because I needed a different cleaner for the toilet. I wanted a clean house, without the chemical headaches and smell.

                    Then, as I got more comfortable mixing up cleaning recipes, I realized that it's just easier to only have a few ingredients from which to make (amost) any cleaner I need. No need to buy a bunch of things all for different things. And, for the most part, I'm greatly reducing my negative impact on the environment. :D


                    namaste,
                    alex
              • <Chemicals are arrangements of atoms, not horrible scary things that come out of factory smoke stacks. >

                usually the people doing the ranting are talking about synthetic / manufactured chemical compounds, not naturally occurring ones.

                but yeah, theres plenty of bad things occurring naturally, and plenty of benign ones coming out of labs.

                still, any good lab chemist with a conscience will tell you that chemical compounds that do have not been around for a long time are best approached with a dose of caution, as we can not be sure how they will behave in our bodies / air / waterways / soil, or how they will interact with other chemicals in the environment.
        • Oh, yeah! Absolutely! I've gotten new picture frames as gifts for people, but had to spend a half-hour or so, getting the sticker off the glass! I just squirt water on it, and slowly scrape it with the blade, always working in a diagonal fashion. That is, starting at a corner.


          namaste,
          alex
  • Unsu...
     
    baby powder the glue and roll it off with your thumb

    • Unsu...
       
      Since y'all are so curious...

      I smeared on cooking oil and rubbed with a cooking oil soaked paper towel, if I kept at it it would have worked I think, but with a 11 day old baby I have very little time/energy, thus the query. Same issue with the rubbing alcohol.

      Also I soaked the bottles and removed the label paper already, the glue would not scrub off though.

      I think when I have both hands at my disposal I will try peanut butter or I thought maybe orange essential oil. Even though I would wash well, I still don't want chems on baby bottles.

      Thanks all, Ill tell ya what works.
      • Unsu...
         
        If all that fails, try lighter fluid just once. Throw the bottle away afterwards if you want afterwards, but it washes off ok. That super stick gummy stuff dissolves perfectly with lighter fluid.

        But if you want to be scared, see the dangers of lighter fluid here:

        www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplu.../002833.htm

        Let me type in what the label of this bottle here says:

        RONSONONOL
        LIGHTER FUEL
        EXCELLENT FOR
        REMOVING LABELS, TAR,
        GREASE & OIL STAINS
        CONTAINS NAPHTHA
        ...
        CAUTION: FLAMMABLE MIXTURE ... DO NOT DISTRIBUTE TO MINORS
  • Unsu...
     
    I prefer a solution of 0.05 parts lead arsenate, 80 parts 20% technical hydrochloric acid, and the balance of paragoric.

    I have no idea whether it does anything for labels, but it seems to keep the noise from the neighbors down.
    • Unsu...
       
      Actually for cleaning glass nothing beats Hydroflouric acid.
      • Unsu...
         
        Yah baby gimmie an HF vapor bath.
        We had a lab tech who used old gloves while using HF. There were pinholes in one of the fingers. He was really fortunate that the work he was doing required that he be in and out of the hood or he'd have likely left the gloves on and kept working.
        After that, we considered an electro polisher more seriously. Most felt we could build our own. The lab manager (an idiot) decided that new gloves was cheaper.
  • Good ol' peanut butter. After you get the label off, rub peanut butter on the glue and it should come off. You might have to do it a few times.
    • I simply soak the jars overnight in a 10% solution of washing soda and warm water before washing them as normal. Washing soda is one of those old school laundry products manufactured to be used in addition to laundry detergent and is totally safe. This method cuts out all the scrubbing and picking at the paper labels.

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