Label removal techniques

pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)December 16, 2009

Many years ago I used to do refunding and have soaked many labels off of bottles, but it sure seems as if the labels are more difficult to get off now. This has not been brought up to my knowledge on I missed it. Any quick solution to this?

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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

What kind of bottles? Do you have to remove the labels? If for some reason you have to remove labels, Goo Gone will remove almost anything.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 9:15PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

You mean I don't have to remove any labels from any jugs? Whoopee! I forgot about Goo Gone..

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 10:12PM
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Mother Nature is a wonderful label remover! I've never taken the labels off my milk/water jugs and the sun gets in just fine. But since I do try to reuse my jugs(now, didn't always)I can tell you that the labels are almost always peeled off by planting time when I am putting them away for next year.

And try to remember that good old mom nature will wear the sticky stuff off to ANY outside label (except ones made on duct tape), so put at least plant ID tag INSIDE with your seeds (or mark the very bottom of the jug)

Good luck,

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 10:45PM
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I never take off the labels. You get plenty of light in there, they block a little light but not any enough to matter.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 11:41PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Do you tape your jugs with duck tape? To me, it makes more sense..that way it won't get caught by strong winds..You can always pull the duct tape off and apply new strips if needed. I was concerned the sun wouldn't be able to get in for the label. How long have you been WS? What are some of the flowers you have started through WS?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 11:44PM
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I've been winter sowing since the winter of 04/05 and have never taken any labels off the milk jugs. As Nancy said, Mom Nature will help immensely with removing them or getting them close to being gone. I can usually get a few seasons out of a jug too, depends on how long they sit in the hot sun come summer before they get planted out and put to storage. Hot summer sun is what makes them brittle and such.

I used to put a small piece of duct tape on each side (not completely closing), but now I use a paper punch and punch a hole on the top piece and one on the bottom piece and twist tie together. I do this on the opposite side of the hinge/handle. No need to completely cover seam between top and bottom. The seam is a good place to get moisture into container, etc.

The majority (95%) of the perennials in my flower beds are from winter sowing!!!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 8:33AM
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gardencrazy(6 Southern Ohio)

It probably don't make any difference but when I set my jugs out I always turn the label side to the north. I just figured that at least it wouldnt be blocking any sunlight coming into that jug if it is on the northern side. But it probably blocks the jug next to it instead. haha

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 10:28AM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

If you want the labels off for whatever reason, here's an easy way I use when using milk jugs for luminaries.

Make sure the label is thoroughly dry. Add some hot water to the jug and tilt it so it is against the label....just the layer of plastic is in between. The heat will soften the label glue and you can peel off the label easily. Usually, I wait about 3o seconds and the glue is softened just the right amount. Times may vary based on your hot water temp and glue used by the jug maker. Makes for a very neat looking milk jug but not one that is really any better for winter sowing.

This works for labels on most clear plastic bakery containers, too. Again, be sure the label is not wet or damp, or it will just pull apart.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 11:07PM
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Never remove labels either. My jugs go out on a platform on the north side of the house and I use Sandy's methoid of holding jugs closed with wire tie. jim

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 8:12AM
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gardencrazy(6 Southern Ohio)

Naturegirl what do your luminaries look like? That sounds like a good project? Do you have pic's?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 8:38AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Should I ever want to remove a label I would first try heat.

Up-thread naturegirl_2007 mentions hot water. I think I would start by testing a hair dryer first.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 12:32PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

Gardencrazy, I rinse the empty jug with hot water, pull of the label while the water is inside, dump out the water, and immediately poke a knife point into the softened round indentation on the side of the jug. Then starting at the knife cut, I cut around the indented circle with a scissors. The plastic is still warm and very easy to cut then. (Don't know if jugs throughout the nation have the circles on them, if not, just cut a hole big enough to reach through) Toss about an inch of sand or soil into the bottom to keep the jug from blowing around and to protect the base from burning. Set a votive candle inside. Light and enjoy. Oh, and take the cover off or sometimes they overheat and begin to melt.

We set out over 150 at a nearby nature center. Evening visitors followed the lights on a ten minute walk to a small cabin with a storyteller. It was a beautiful walk through a snowy pine forest on a crisp evening. I'll be putting a few out by my home on Christmas Eve. It is a neighborhood tradition. Many people went to the milk jugs after a few years of rain "melted" our paper bag luminaries or/and put out the candles. I'll try to get a photo next week when we have them lining the driveway.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 11:08PM
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