How to Remove Labels Fr Empty Prescription Bottles

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    25 Discussions

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    timstructables

    3 days ago

    OK, I've tried just about everything without success. Hot water did not help. WD40 only half-worked but required multiple soakings and leavin each soak overnight.- the adhesive they use here seems impervious to just about everything.

    Then I saw the suggestion for using a heat gun. Since I had one handy I figured I'd give it a try. It worked extremely well! The first thing I noticed was that the label began to turn black - not from charring but it seemed the label was thermally sensitive - i.e. the labels are being printed on a thermal printer.

    The next thing I noticed was that to avoid burning yourself, it it best to use gloves and lay the bottle on its side on a work surface - so you can gently roll the bottle as you heat the label. You want the label evenly black - but be careful not to melt the bottle. If you've never used a heat gun before, take your time and go slow - shut the gun off between removing each label and watch where you set the gun down. Keep small children away while you are working with a heat gun. Last rule, and this should really go without saying but just in case... do not have any flammable liquids or substances in the area where you are working. Somewhere between not enough heat and so much it melts the bottle, you'll find you can turn the label completely black but not melt the plastic.

    I used a blunt-end nail punch to assist in getting the label started. You need to pull the label while it is still warm. If you forget or get called away, simply heat the label up again and remove.

    Anyway, my thanks to "Kathys Smokin" for mentioning the heat gun. I've been search for a solution to this problem for over a year - and this is the best solution by far - at least for the Rx bottles I have to deal with. As always, YMMV

    RxLabel-01.jpgRxLabel-02.jpgRxLabel-03.jpgRxLabel-04.jpg
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    dbillings

    14 days ago

    Thank you all for your feedback. I had no trouble removing labeled when I first published this instructs let. That changed, over time. There is one type of bottle that I still have no problem removing labels. The adhesive on the others has changed. A friend gave me some adhesive cleaner (120 AdhesiveCleaner from a specialty company) that works great but not easily found & can be dangerous to use. I apologize to those who have had so much trouble removing labels.
    I feel this instructable is no longer helpful enough to keep so will be removing it in a few days. Thank you all again for your feedback.

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    ramack

    1 year ago

    I partially fill the bottle with water and heat it in the microwave. Both paper and plastic labels peel right off. The residue remains, but I don't care since I only want the label off before I toss the bottles in the recycling.

    1 reply
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    DianeD91ramack

    Reply 15 days ago

    Ramak. I tried your method on one of my paper labeled prescription bbottles. At first it seemed fine however I was scraping and scraping. Also the cap had expanded and the water was leaking out. Do you have to redo the process for the same bottle. This is a lot of work for a disabled senior citizen. Thank you anyway for your tip.

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    Ggungaby

    2 years ago

    Huh. I may have to try this. I'm collecting prescription bottles and trying to figure out what to do with them.

    4 replies
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    JoyceS96Ggungaby

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    My pharmacy pokes a hole in the cap and inserts a light from a string of Xmas lights, one bottle for each light. Then they string the lights up on the wall over the pharmacy counter.

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    chasmynGgungaby

    Reply 2 years ago

    The Malawi Project is always looking for prescription bill bottles, as another option.

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    MarianneY2chasmyn

    Reply 2 years ago

    From the Malawi Project website:UPDATE – DECEMBER 20, 2015 – AFTER REACHING MORE THAN 1 MILLION PILL CONTAINERS THIS PARTICULAR PROGRAM HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED. The Malawi Project Board of Directors has turned its attention to (1) famine relief, (2) getting medical supplies, including 30 kidney dialysis machines, to Malawi as well as another shipment of over 500 wheelchairs and, (3) gaining the funds from contributors to build a new birthing center south of the capital city of Lilongwe. Thank you for your support of the pill container program and please continue with us on future projects.

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    chasmynGgungaby

    Reply 2 years ago

    The Malawi Project is always looking for prescription bill bottles, as another option.

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    GeorgeW104

    2 years ago

    Go ahead, try it, it won't help! Yes label comes off but the sticky adhesive it was held on with will stay on the bottle. I have not been able to find a solvent that will remove the adhesive. Anyone know how to do this?

    2 replies
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    JoyceS96GeorgeW104

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Goo Gone. Menards has it (I'm sure others do too, but Menards is where I got mine).

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    lisasalvata1960GeorgeW104

    Reply 10 months ago

    Absolutely! Rubbing alcohol/...use enough so the area is good and covered then scrape with either your nails or a plastic scraper or razor blade...

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    kubulai

    8 months ago

    Painless and effective. I used water from my tea kettle hot enough to make tea.

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    tcwilless

    2 years ago

    Put WD 40 on the label. Let it soak for a minute or two then peel. Label and adhesive come off and leave a clean bottle.

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    BobS150

    2 years ago

    Slightly warm the bottle with a hair dryer. Label peels right of.

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    ken2164

    2 years ago

    simple enough....I have always tried to scrape the label off from the outside with a knife, etc. Sounds like this will be much easier...Thanx.

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    Fantastic! I like to reuse nicer condiment jars for canning but some of the labels are really stubborn -- even after 2 or 3 days of soaking the paper falls apart but that glue strip still won't budge. I'm going to try either hot water or a heat gun. A microwave was used to get a label off in another instructable ("Teach an old flashlight a new trick") but I can't try that, we got rid of ours.

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    dbillings

    4 years ago

    For jelly jars, I usually soak in warm water, dry and use peanut butter to remove remaining adhesive if any. Have you tried the heat gun method ? It may work on jars as well

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    dbillings

    4 years ago

    I will have to try the heat gun. Sounds like a great idea as well.

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    dbillings

    4 years ago

    It probably does depend on the type of adhesive. This method has worked very well for me. If adhesive remains on the bottle, try peanut butter. Start with a small amount and rub it over the bottle. Add more as needed then wipe off with a paper towel. You may need to wash with warm water. & soap to remove greasy film.