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Recycling Tips: How to cleanly remove labels from plastic and glass bottles



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Tyler Lizenby / CNET

In the quest to become more environmentally conscious, many people have begun to keep plastic and glass bottles for use as planters, decorative items, or if you are like me, containers for home-made sauces and pickled vegetables. But one of the most frustrating parts of reusing bottles is dealing with that sticky residue after you remove the label.

Of course you can rinse them in hot water, use a butter knife to scrape the goo and throw them in the dishwasher. Even after they have taken bottles through the dishwasher, they are usually not completely label-free.

So here's how to clean them well ̵

1; with stuff you already have at home.

Glass bottles

1. Boil water (preferably in a kettle).

2. As the water warms up, fill the hot water bottle from the tap. This makes the glass warmer than above room temperature, making it unlikely that it will crack when you perform the next step.

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<p><strong>  3. </strong> Empty the bottle in the sink. Then, with oven gloves, carefully pour the hot water into the glass bottle. If you do not have a kettle, use a funnel or a measuring cup with a syringe. </p>
<p>  <strong> 4. </strong> The heat of the water should release the adhesive from the label so that you can remove the label and be careful not to tear it. If you start tearing it, you just start peeling at a different angle. </p>
<p>  <strong> 5. </strong> Pour out the hot water. </p>
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Tyler Lizenby / CNET

6. Find cooking oil, baking powder, a shallow bowl, and paper towels (or cotton balls).

7. Mix two parts oil and one part baking powder in the bowl.

8. Apply the mixture with a finger to the sticky residue that remains on the bottle on the label.

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Tyler Lizenby / CNET

9. Leave the mix for five minutes. If the label is particularly stubborn, you can leave it for longer.

10. Use a paper towel to scrub the bottle clean (the residue should dissolve easily).

11. After all sticky pieces have been removed, rinse the bottle with water and washing-up liquid to remove excess oil.

12. Find a new home for your spotless container.

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Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Plastic bottles

Not all plastic bottles can handle boiling water and scrubbing the glue is usually a little easier. So if you want to remove that sticky stuff from a plastic bottle, just start removing the label and proceed to step 4.

Do you have other methods that you use? Share them in the comments.

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