AdvertisingLabels removal (Best practice)

Hey Guys

Wanting some ideas regards the removal of the different forms of printed advertising on containers, maybe this could be the spot people could post good ideas.

The peeled off sticker type is easy. I normally soak & peel them off, with any remaining glue residue I use some eucalyptus oil for removal, then another wash is due.

However the 2 attached photos are typical of a painted/printed image that are on a lot of are PP #5 plastic products, that can not be peeled off & I’m looking for some ideas/suggestions.

(Example)If you notice the maroon container I have hand sanded a small area, where you will notice a white primer colour followed by the maroon colour (yes they printed a maroon container maroon) WT hehehe, then on top of all that is the images. I would really like to be able to put these type of containers to good use, but as you can see they are covered with painted/print images which I’m assuming would need to be totally removed before re-use.

All suggestions welcome 🙂


Hi Hansie,

I have not encountered this issue yet. I will be doing milk bottles to start with and they have the plastic stickers.

In saying that, I did create a bottle cutter for upcycling glass bottles and I encountered this issue with wine bottles. For the Wine bottles I had to soak them in hot water and then scrape as much of the glue/sticker off as I could with a knife (a butter knife was the most efficient). I then used Eucalyptus Oil to clean them up.

I did have to get the bottles perfectly clean so it was a tedious job. You could possibly get away with some glue residue left over with the plastic?

If all that fails to accomplish what you are trying to do. Maybe look at a chain rock crusher, With a fine screen. Should turn them into powder. No more words and easily extruded plastic.

Maybe soak in rubbing alcohol or 100 proof acetone.
It works with getting permanent marker off plastic 🙂

Melting plastic that has advertising printed directly into the plastic is not a problem, the problem comes when the information on the containers is glued with those type of labels that are almost impossible to remove due to the adhesive used.

Here are a few cool ideas I found on youtube:


Hot water and baby oil to remove Coke bottle stickers:

White Vinegar, Liquid soap and baking soda:

I have melted HDPE grocery bags that have printing on them, and the ink just dyed the plastic. Depending on how much you mix it, as to if the printing is still legible, swirled through the base color, or blended with the base color to make a new color. I have done a little with printed LDPE bags, with similar results, but I have not tried any other types of plastic yet.

if the paint is based on the same plastics as the container itself, (it happens, just no idea how much), you could just throw it in the mix right?

Thanks for the reply @simonm, sounds like we are on the same page regards stickers 🙂

However this other type of container where its painted on, no paper or glue involved is a real bugger, I think I’ll try a big wire wheel a see how I go sanding it of, the other thing I’ll try is just leave it on & see how it affects the end products. A little bit of experimenting is needed I think 🙂