How To Get Glue Off Plastic Containers

If you are anything like me, then you are probably on a constant lookout for containers that can serve multiple purposes around the house.  Anytime I can save money by not having to buy something new, it’s fantastic! I really like using clear containers to store various little things: needles and thread, buttons, and of course, the ever elusive Lego collection.  I recently found these awesome animal crackers at Costco. The best part? The container they come in is clear! Now, here comes the tricky part: removing the label.


So, how the heck do you get glue off a plastic container?

The answer is a lot more simple than you might expect. Vegetable Shortening. Yup! That’s all it takes. A little Crisco will clean even the stickiest glue residue from plastic. 

label off

Just make sure to clean the “paper layer” off the label first (for example, like the image to the left). This can usually be done by running a little warm water over it and peeling back the paper. WARNING: Rubbing shortening over a label before removing the first layer will just make a big mess. After the first layer is off, just rub a little vegetable shortening over the glue residue. It should come off fairly easy from there.

Once you are done, it may be a little greasy. Simply wash the container with a little dish soap and warm water and then dry it off. VoilĂ ! A perfectly clean container, ready to re-purpose around the house. The best part about using this method, compared to others (such as Goo Gone or WD-40), is the plastic remains crystal clear! I’ve used Goo Gone in the past, only for the plastic to become foggy. I like keeping things in clear containers so that I can easily see what is inside, so a foggy container can be very disappointing.

This method is also great because you don’t need to use any harsh chemicals. Saving money by re-purposing an old container and doing it in an environmentally safe way… What’s not to love about that?