Ink Removal From Soda Cans

About: Hello - I am the scientist formerly known as Naegeli and of course I was inspired by the artist formerly known as Prince. But in contrast to his royal badness I do not want be become the king of pop but the ...

Soda cans are involved in all kinds of "reuse" projects. If you have no idea just use the search bar on the instructable homepage desktop and type in "soda cans" and you received various results with projects where soda cans are reused.

However, if you need the can for some more decorative purpose the inprints on the outside wall of the can makes it useless. Therefore, this instructable demonstrates an easy method for ink removal on soda cans. As a result, you will end up with a can having a nice shiny outer surface as given on the picture. In this instructable a vase for flowers was built (see last step).

Step 1: Materials

Only few materials are needed for this project:

  1. Soda cans
  2. Nail polish remover
  3. Cotton pads
  4. Pressure cooker
  5. Hot plate

Please use various types of soda cans for your first project. Even so the procedure worked for almost all cans some did resist to the procedure.

Step 2: Method

Surfing through the internet you will find some procedure using sandpaper to remove the ink. However, with this procedure you will never end up with the polished shiny outer surface that you want for your decorative reuse project.

During the first attempts, various solvents were used e.g. nail polish remover or pure acetone directly. But as you can see in the attached video none of them did work.

Here is the trick: Put the cans in a pressure cooker for around 20 minutes.

Attention: ONLY ADD EMPTY CANS IN THE PRESSURE COOKER

Use the procedure that comes with your pressure cooker for sterilizing liquids. In my case I have to add a little bit of water to cover the bottom of the sterilizer. Then place all soda cans inside and close the lid. On the hot plate, I use maximum power to start (level 6 of 6). As soon as the pressure indicator reaches the second mark (2 of 2) power of the hot plate is reduced immediately to level 2 (level 2 of 6). Sterilize it for around 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes take away the pressure cooker from the hot plate and wait until the pressure is released. Then open the cooker carefully (hot vapor) and take out the cans.

Add some drops of nails polish remover to the cotton pad and start removing the ink.

Step 3: Make Your Reuse Project

As shown in the video the bottom part of the soda can was removed and the lid was opened using a tin-opener. A 300ml PET flask was found that fitted directly into the polished soda can. The PET flask was shortened to the correct length and then fixed into the soda can with hot glue.

I hope you like this creative reuse of a soda can which turned into a vase for flowers.

Glue Challenge 2016

Participated in the
Glue Challenge 2016

3 People Made This Project!

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136 Discussions

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JohnJ428

23 days ago on Step 3

Cheaper to buy lacquer thinner than nail polish remover. Same product without the perfume.

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Grammajuju

Question 5 weeks ago on Introduction

Hello, this tip will come in very handy for my garden art business. I’m wondering however if I can do this in an electric pressure cooker, and if so what would the settings be? Also, is it safe to just wash the pressure cooker insert afterward and still use it for food?

1 answer

Actually I don't know what you mean by electric pressure cooker. In case it is just a closed pan generating saturated steam inside with a high pressure then it should work.
Is it safe? I don't know! I do not have any safety data. But for myself (and my family), I use the same pressure cooker for food and for removing the ink since 3 year known. I always clean the pressure cooker after I have used it with soda cans. Consider that after the soda can is taken out of the pressure cooker no debris or residues on the inside can be found. So I really think it is just the vapor (saturated steam) going inside the lacquer and making the surface susceptible for the solvent. Hope this helps.

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JonQ11

Question 2 months ago on Step 3

Can you use a normal pan with a lid or does it have to be a pressure cooker?

1 answer
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ardu11

Question 3 months ago

How did you convince your wife before using HER loved pressure cooker? Mine did not allow me?

1 answer

... sometimes you just have to start an experiment ... and you don't ask for permission. I guess if you are married for a long time you can anticipate the answer in advance and then act accordingly (smile)..... but you know my wife has a hard time with me anyway. I just recently had to buy my own fridge because she did not want to have the worms I need for fishing in the same fridge anymore ..... so compare this to the pressure cooker problem.....wish you happy family life - I am now married for 22 years!

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Miniature_Music

1 year ago

I have done this except I didn't use a pressure cooker but lightly torched it with some flaming methylated spirits then use nail polish remover and it came out shiny as silver

2 replies

... hey cool - after some many views to this instructable you are the first one presenting a constructive new way - I will definitely test it for shure .. thanks for your feedback

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JerryL1206

1 year ago

However, if I remove all the ink, I can't get my deposit back!

9 replies
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AnthonypiquellJerryL1206

Reply 8 months ago

Actually I think you can get more back for them if you strip all the paint, you just have to go to the recycling center to turn them in tho

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nancyjaneyoungJerryL1206

Reply 1 year ago

And, at 5 cents a tin, that really is a major consideration :) Your post gave me a good laugh. I was thinking of the price of purchasing the pressure cooker!!

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RonGarzanancyjaneyoung

Reply 1 year ago

It's not tin (a cookie), Nancy (Mother), it's aluminum (a Fig Newton).

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nancyjaneyoungRonGarza

Reply 1 year ago

Ron, I am a Canadian! I was trying to be funny as well... My thought process was the same as yours, but different!! In Canada the difference between commercials and advertisements is that commercials are watched while advertisements are read. Mostly I call them TIN CANS even though I know that they are made from aluminum . My cheeky reference to Nancy Mother was to point out that, in our convents [I am a Catholic} the leader is called Mother. So I commented the words should be inverted :) And finally, Fig Newtons are sold in Canada; but I do not like them \yuckkkie/ I think that, sometimes, my humour is only funny to me ???? It is better to hear my humour, rather than read it :)

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RonGarzanancyjaneyoung

Reply 1 year ago

Hi, Nancy. I understand, texts don't carry the intent like the spoken language does. Emoticons try to help but fall short. I WAS chaffing you on the use of the word "tin". BTW, we don't use the word chaffing (teasing) nor cheeky (brash) here either. I've traveled the world.

I endured 8 years of parochial school, Mother Superior and her gang of physical child abusers, et.al.

Also BTW, I found the Fig Newton TV commercial on Youtube; it's a hoot!

Laters, (I mean, Cheers!)

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RonGarzaRonGarza

Reply 1 year ago

Nancy, I was trying to be funny. We (Americans) used to get an advert (we call them TV commercials here) where the child would justify to his mother that it was okay because he was not actually eating a cookie (a biscuit, across the pond). We use the word "can" instead of "tin", hence my It's not a cookie, Mother, its a Fig Newton (It's not a tin, Nancy, it's a luminum).

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nancyjaneyoungRonGarza

Reply 1 year ago

Well, am sitting in front of this computer, but I stand corrected....I do not like Fig Newton biscuits, so I would not even try to respond :). By the way, the Mother is written before Nancy in most cloistered convents!! like this: The Reverend Mother Nancy but just call me when the stew is ready to eat....

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JerryL1206nancyjaneyoung

Reply 1 year ago

I'm glad I could put a smile on your face. Mission accomplished. ;-)

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KISELINJerryL1206

Reply 1 year ago

Buahahhaa.... You gave me a good laugh :)) But couldn't You "reprint" the "bar-code" oooh..my bad.. e.g. my printer want print on round surface neither will it stick on aluminium :)) joke, joke, but true