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Removing Glue from Bottles

topic posted Sat, October 7, 2006 - 8:03 PM by  Xeena
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I'm still trying to make my own spice storage. I've decided to use empty bottles that spices were sold in (obtained from my friend who owns a cafe and buys the bottles of spices all the time and would usually just throw the empty bottles out but is now giving them to me). I I am removing the labels and then will design my own labels with the name of the spice in English, Spanish, and Chinese (I'm American living in Mexico with a Chinese boyfriend).

My issue is that the bottles have a lot of glue residue that the label was stuck on with (not like in the US where they use a line of glue on each side but about 5 lines around the whole circumference of the bottle). What's the best way to remove the glue from the glass bottle? I tried soaking in hot water and dish detergent but it didn't help much.
posted by:
Xeena
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  • Re: Removing Glue from Bottles

    Sun, October 8, 2006 - 8:58 AM
    When I used to work at Barnes & Noble, we used lighter fluid to dissolve the goo left over from stickers and price tags without damaging the book covers.

    Now, it depends on the label. I often find that a touch of olive or peanut oil makes the adhesive easy to come off. When that doesn't work, I try vinegar. If none of it works, I break out the lighter fluid.
  • Re: Removing Glue from Bottles

    Sun, October 8, 2006 - 2:29 PM
    There are two basic types of glue that they use in labels: water-based, and oil-based. Usually on glass, they use the water-based. And, on plastic, they use the oil-based.

    This means that you should be able to get yours off with water. With this type of glue, you might have to soak them in a basin or sinkful of water overnight. Then, use your fingers or the dull edge of a butter knife to get the rest off.

    If that absolutely doesn't work, you might have an oil-based glue. Which means that you'll need to do the same procedure, only with oil instead of water. Standard veggie oil will work just fine. You just put a bit of oil in the bottom of a bowl large enough for the bottle to lie flat, and smear the oil all over the label. Let soak overnight. Try to remove with fingertips and/or dull knife edge again.

    One of these techniques should work!


    namaste,
    alex
    phoenix, az
  • Re: Removing Glue from Bottles

    Mon, October 9, 2006 - 9:53 PM
    So far have gotten labels off easily by soaking overnight in soapy water.

    Tried brillo today but no luck. Tried nail polish remover with acetone -- no luck. Tried some canola oil (I don't have olive right now) but no luck. Am thinking of heating in the microwave.

    A friend told me to just slap a label on top and it wasn't worth the work. She just doesn't understand; I'm glad you gals do.

    I only wish we had Goo be Gone. Ok, maybe I shouldn't be cynical and should look at Walmart for it. Occassionally I am surprised but often I find availability of products in Mexico is like the US in the 70s. You can't even get those little zippers on ziplock bags.
    • Re: Removing Glue from Bottles

      Tue, October 10, 2006 - 9:08 AM
      It's just Goo Gone (no "be"), and it is widely available, though maybe just not at Walmart. I know that corner grocery & drug stores and general hardware stores (like Ace) all carry it. It's such a great item to have handy that even if you don't find it in time for this project, pick it up the next time you see it for future use.

      Here's a link to the Walgreens site listing for Goo Gone, in case you have one in your neighborhood:
      www.walgreens.com/search/se...esults.jsp

      But if soaking overnight in soapy water is getting them off and you have the time to let them soak, fantastic!
      :)
  • Re: Removing Glue from Bottles

    Tue, October 10, 2006 - 8:32 AM
    Try using 10w40 oil.the stuff you use to take sqeaks out works wonders and you can get it at WalMart in Mexico
    • Re: Removing Glue from Bottles

      Tue, October 10, 2006 - 10:21 PM
      Hmm, I like the WD40 idea because I just luv that stuff anyway! And I haven't bought any down here yet.

      So actually after soaking the bottles for 24 hours in canola oil and massaging the oil on the bottles multiple times throughout the day, the glue is gone! What the heck was that stuff? It didn't come off easy! But it seemed that the oil softened it and eventually removed it. But the bottles themselves appear slightly mottled as if the glue ate into the glass a bit -- freaky stuff! And a little extreme to use on a bottle of herbs si?

      It was worth the hard work because I learned something new and have a sense of accomplishment. No, I will not slap a label over top; I will start out with a pristine bottle and label it however big/small I want it to be and it will be pretty dammit!

      Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to look for Glue Gone too because it sounds cool and who knows when I might need it?

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