6 Ways to Remove Product Stickers & Labels

Get your jars and bottles ready and clean for your new labels with these simple label removal tips!

We’ve all been there. You’ve tried to remove a label from your cute jar, tin or bottle that you are desperate to reuse. You slowly peel away the label only to get stuck with sticky gunk and a half ripped apart label, only to throw the whole thing away in frustration 20 mins later. Or even worse, you’ve just received your new sparkly glass jars from your supplier, only to see that they all have stickers on them, and having to repeat the process hundreds of times. Or trying to remove the vinnies or salvos sticker from the cute jar you scored op shopping over the weekend. We feel your pain, we have been where you are.

candle product labels & custom stickers printing

To help you out – we’ve put together six easy ways to remove those pesky labels and stickers (along with that adhesive!). Make sure you always test a small area of your container before going ahead with the full removal process as some bottles, jars, tins or plastic containers can be damaged by scrubbing, scraping, heat or chemicals.

Nail Polish - cosmetic labels & custom stickers printing

1. Nail Polish (or Rubbing Alcohol in a pinch!)

Nail polish remover (particularly if it contains acetone) is an easy way to remove persistent label or sticker adhesive. But if you are dealing with a delicate product, made of plastic or with colour, it can potentially be too strong. Make sure you test a small area before soaking or applying to your product.

The most efficient method of using Nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol (lighter fluid or even cheap vodka will also work if you are desperate!) is to soak a paper towel, cotton ball or rag in your chosen remover and let it sit on the face of the label for roughly 15 minutes. Once you see the remover has soaked through the label, this means it is ready to be peeled back and removed. You can then use a sponge or other material dipped in alcohol to remove any adhesive left behind on your container.

hair dryer to remove product stickers & packaging labels

2. Hair Dryer

The second label removing hack we have for you is an oldie but a goodie! Using your humble hair dryer, you can loosen the label glue enough to easily remove the label, and then easily remove any leftover glue.

To do this just turn your dryer onto high hear and run it over your label for 30 to 45 seconds to fully melt the label glue. If you have any issues removing the label after this first run, you can continue heating in 30 second intervals until the label is easily removed. If any glue remains, you can use a wet, soapy sponge to easy remove it. This method isn’t recommended for extra strong label adhesives or plastic containers, as the hear may melt the container. It is a great method for removing paper labels from glass jars or bottles.

label removal product to remove product stickers & packaging labels

3. Label removal products

For super tough labels and label residue, particularly on plastic or other tricky containers, you potentially need to resort to sticker specific removal products like goo gone sticker lifter or orange power sticky stuff remover. Following the instructions on the bottle of your chosen product, apply the product with a rag or paper towel and let sit for 15 mins. You then simply peel the label from the corner or use a scraper to remove.

We recommend giving your container a thorough clean with soap and water before reusing them for your product, particularly if you are using them for food or drinks.  

white vinegar to remove product stickers & packaging labels

4. White vinegar

A non-toxic and eco-friendly removal option is white vinegar. As an added bonus, you probably already have some white vinegar in your house, and if you don’t, it is very cost effective.

Simply fill a shallow container (large enough to hold your jars and bottles) with enough white vinegar to cover the entire label face and let them soak for at least 15 minutes (or as long as required). You can also heat up the vinegar in the microwave or even the stove for tough labels (please avoid this option for plastic containers). Once the container has been sufficiently soaked, the labels should easy feel away. If they don’t, simply put them back in the vinegar to soak a little longer.

A bonus tip for paper labels: this method can be a little tricky with paper labels, as they tend to tear into pieces when you try to remove them. Try using a sponge dipped in vinegar to rub the label and remove any excess pieces that may remain behind after soaking. This method is ideal for most glass and metal containers.

water to remove product stickers & packaging labels

5. Water

The most time consuming, but easiest way to remove stickers and labels is just water. Simply fill your sink with hot water (the hotter, the better!) avoiding boiling water to not burn yourself. For super durable labels, you can add a little dish soap, laundry detergent or mix 2 tips and add a little white vinegar.

Let your containers soak for an hour or overnight for super stubborn labels. .

Once you feel the labels have soaked enough, you should be able to easily peel off that pesky label. Use a wet sponge to remove any of that extra glue that may be left behind. This method is best for labels on jars or labels on glass bottles. Just let them soak and let the water do the work in the background!

knife to remove product stickers & packaging labels

6. Razor blades

A last resort for those really stubborn labels or if you have a large amount of containers to remove the labels from, is using a safety razor. Hold the razor at a slight angle, and carefully ease it under the edge of the label and push until the section is removed. Once you have the corner lifted, you should be able to remove the rest of the label by simply peeling it away. Occasionally, this method will make the label come off in sections, in this case, just repeat the same process until the whole label is removed.  We do not recommend using safety razors on containers that easily scratch, like tin or plastic. As always, make sure to test a small area before using this method.

Now that your bottle, jar or tin is lovely and clean, make sure you choose the right new label material, and measure your container correctly to get the perfect fit and make sure your label is applied perfectly! Check out whether removable labels are the right fit for you, alternatively, do your research to make sure you are choosing the correct material!