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I want to recycle and use an old 2L soft-drink bottle as a flexible transparent surface in a craft project, but when you remove the label there is always a bit of adhesive/label that stays stuck.

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Is there an easy way to get rid of that leftover adhesive?

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  • Is it sticky to the touch? I have one idea if it is, another if it's not.
    – Chris H
    Sep 20, 2023 at 18:44
  • Related, and you might find an answer there: How do I remove labels from glass jars/bottles?
    – Joachim
    Sep 20, 2023 at 21:28
  • The issue you may run into with the acetone and other related solvents is that they will also attack the plastic of the bottle giving it a matte/frosted finish.
    – rebusB
    Oct 2, 2023 at 16:44
  • @rebusB, acetone doesn't attack PETE (the plastic in soda bottles), or affect the surface appearance. It's also safe on polyethylene and polypropylene bottles.
    – Dolly
    Oct 3, 2023 at 7:06

2 Answers 2

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I do a lot of projects with recycled soda bottles. The best solution I've found is acetone (do this with plenty of ventilation and away from sources of ignition). Wet a cotton swap with acetone and rub it on the residue. Let it sit for a minute and repeat. It takes a few passes, but it does a good job of cleaning off the adhesive.

Goo Gone (and probably other similar adhesive removers), also works, but not as fast. The acetone seems to soak through the residual label, softening everything faster. The Goo Gone seems to need to wick in through exposed edges. Like acetone, it takes a number of applications to get everything off. The adhesive removers also tend to be more expensive than acetone, and some leave an oily residue that takes an extra cleaning step.

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I found a product that's literally called Stick Stuff Remover in one of those homeware catalogues. You're local hardware or hobby shop may have an equivalent.

It's sold under multiple different names in different countries. De,solve.it, De-solv-it, Xmykal sticky stuff remover. It's the same stuff though.

You can also use solvents like AF Labelclene.

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  • Have you successfully used this to remove soda bottle adhesive, or just saw a product you suspect would work? Can you add a link to the product, as I couldn't find anything listed under that exact name? Thanks.
    – Dolly
    Sep 30, 2023 at 18:26
  • @Dolly, Not specifically soda bottles, but the same type of label from Jam Jars and plastic dessert cup pots. It's sold under multiple different names in different countries. De,solve.it, De-solv-it, Xmykal sticky stuff remover, and so on. Try also AF Labelclene, different formula, same effect Sep 30, 2023 at 20:09

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