How To Remove Printed Labels From Plastic?

Labels make things much easier for us on a daily by denoting the correct spices, condiments and more. Because of them, we don’t end up making a salty cup of coffee or a sugary omelet.

However, what if we need to use the sugar container for storing something else? How to remove printed labels from plastic without leaving any residue behind?

We will answer that question here by introducing you to different solutions using easily accessible and household items.

Easy Way To Remove Printed Labels From Plastic?



The organic compound named acetone or propanone is a common chemical used to produce paint removers and nail polisher removers.

So, even though you may not be familiar with its name, you can easily find it in the products you use daily or the items available at a convenience store nearby.

Put on your gloves before proceeding. Once you do have the acetone product in hand, pour a little bit of it on the cloth or cotton ball you are going to use.

Now place this wet part of the cloth or ball directly on the printed label area and keep it there for around 10 seconds. Now the ink should begin to go away.

Then keep wiping off the residual ink in the same direction so that it doesn’t get smeared on the plastic surface.

Submerged In Oil

Submerged In Oil

If you have a lot of time in your hands and can take the label removal process slow, then this can be the solution for you. Find a container that is big and wide enough to put half or whole of the label area in it. Now fill it up with cooking oil so that the entire label can stay submerged in it.

You can use any vegetable oil for this including soybean, canola and olive. Keep the labeled area soaked in it for at least 12 hours. The oil particles should be able to loosen up the label’s adhesive and make it easier for you to pull it off properly, without any residual.

For those without any large enough container or not enough cooking oil, take the oil in a spraying bottle and apply it to the label area instead.

Lacquer Thinner And Rubbing Alcohol

Lacquer Thinner And Rubbing Alcohol

Like the oil, you will need to soak the labeled area in a lacquer thinner this time. However, since it is a much more powerful solution than oil, just keep it submerged for 5-10 minutes instead of hours.

After that, you can use any item with a flat and wide surface to scrape off the residual since the adhesive will not be that strong anymore.

Utilizing this advantage, apply some rubbing alcohol on it too for removing the residuals. This alcohol, whose chemical name is isopropyl alcohol is an expert in eliminating many kinds of unwanted marks including labels. So take a carton of this alcohol formulated with about 90% solution and pour a tiny amount on a rag.

Now start applying it to the adhesive residuals on your item. Keep scrubbing for a minute and the residuals should start to come off easily.



Degreasers are specialized cleaners to get rid of tricky elements like oils, fingerprints and metal fabrication. It can also help you to remove printed labels from plastic.

Take a degreaser like WD-40 and then spray some of it either directly on the labeled area or on a piece of cloth. Keep rubbing this sprayed space with the cloth in a circular motion. If it is not fully removed, use some nail polish remover to get rid of it.

How To Remove The Sticky Label Residuals On Plastic?

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

Remember how Dwight removed gum from Michael’s hair using peanut butter? You can follow the same trick to remove adhesives or residuals from the plastic!

Even though peanut butter is generally used as a delicious condiment to our sandwiches, salads and smoothies, it does a good job of removing unwanted elements too!

Apply it in a thin layer on the area of label or adhesive residuals and leave it like this for a few minutes. In the meantime, prepare a mixture with soap and warm water. Now take a sponge to soak some of the soapy warm water and use it to wipe off the leftover.



Mayonnaise works for removing residuals because it is made from oils. As a result, it can eliminate the leftover almost as effectively as oils.

So just take some and rub it on the last bits of adhesive. Leave this part unattended for about 15 minutes and then use a dry cloth to wipe it off.

If the residue is too stubborn, just repeat this process a few more times.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda

You will need both baking soda and warm water to try out this method. Make a paste by mixing 3 tablespoons of baking soda with only two tablespoons of warm water.

When they reach a consistency you are impressed with, use a cloth to apply it on the residue and rub the area to scrub off the adhesive.

For the stubborn glue that doesn’t come off this way, just place the paste on the area and leave it on for a few minutes. Then wipe off like before to remove the label.

Table Salt

Table Salt

So far you have known only about the ways which soften up the adhesives. This time, let’s try something different!

Take a little bit of table salt and use it on the area so that the glue becomes harder! This way, it will peel off easily when you apply one or more disinfectant wet wipes there.

Final Word

As you can see, all the required items and ingredients mentioned here must already be in your home. All you have to do is bring them out upfront and start following any of the methods we discussed here.

If your friends or acquaintances don’t know how to remove printed labels from plastic like this, now you can guide them to detach the previous labels and make some new ones!

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