How to remove sticky labels and glue residue

Remove sticky product labels

How to remove sticky product labels without a trace

One of my pet hates is trying to remove a sticky product label from a brand new object. Very often the manufacturer chooses the most visible or delicate surface of the article to stick the product label.

The product labels which are stuck on with water soluble glue, like some pickle and jam jars, are not too bad as long as you are able to soak the object in warm soapy water. After a while the label will lift off the article and the glue residue can simply be washed off.

 In this video I am specifically talking about the water resistant or resin type glue used to stick on some product labels. These labels do not come off with soaking in water and if we don’t want any scratches on our new product we have to use suitable chemical solvent to dissolve the label glue. I have found that the best solvent for these glues is mineral turpentine. But, disclaimer here, obviously you will need to check that the turpentine will not damage the surface of the object. Check on a small inconspicuous spot that the turpentine will not damage your item. If turpentine does damage the surface then try a lubricating oil like WD40 or even a vegetable cooking oil like olive oil. I have found turpentine to be fine with glass, metal, some plastics and Teflon coating. Be cautious with painted or varnished surfaces or anything that may absorb the oil solvent.

This is my method:

  1. It is best to remove the glazed outer layer of the product label mechanically so that the turpentine has access to attack the glue.

2. Next use a coarse cloth soaked in turpentine (or other oil). If the glue is very dry then it may be necessary to hold the cloth on the glue a minute or so then start wiping the glue off. Once the glue has been removed then the turpentine or other oil residue needs to be removed.

3. Methylated spirits is very effective at removing oils because it is both oil and water soluble so after it has been used remove the oil it can be rinsed off with warm soapy water. Warm soapy water may also be used to remove the turpentine and other oils but this is a bit more time consuming.

If the glue is very dry then cover the resin with a turpentine soaked cloth for a minute before rubbing off the glue.

Soften glue with a turpentine soaked cloth for 1 minute

Here is a video demonstration:

If you enjoyed this please like, share and subscribe and let us know in the comments section below the video, what your favourite method for removing sticky labels is.

Here are some key moments in the video:

00:00 Beginning

00:21 How to remove sticky product labels stuck on with a water based glue

00:54 Solvents to remove resin based glued sticky product labels

01:28 How to avoid damaging your product with the glue solvent

01:38 Oil based solvents used for sticky label removal mineral turpentine, WD40, vegetable oil

02:15 How to remove a sticky product label and glue residue

02:33 How to clean the oil solvent off the product with methylated spirits

03:14 Materials used to remove sticky product labels and glue residue

04:33 Demonstration of how to test if your solvents will cause any damage to the article

05:00 Demonstration of the removal of a sticky product label with mineral turpentine

05:34 Demonstration of cleaning up oil with methylated spirits

06:44 How to remove dried label glue with a turpentine soaked cloth

07:22 Damaged caused by turpentine to a plastic article

08:05 If you found this useful please like, share and subscribe. Comments are most welcome.

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