A Sticky Messy Experiment

KT and I take a lot of vitamin supplements so we end up with a lot of empty bottles.  The latest supplements we’ve been taking comes in these awesome clear bottles with bright colorful caps.


I think I can reuse these bottles in my craft corner to hold supplies so I sat down one evening to carefully peel off the labels.  Usually I have a lot of luck getting off the label without leaving behind a sticky mess.  Some of them didn’t leave much residue behind.

IMG_3883Some of them did not turn out very well.


In the past, I’ve tried using vinegar to remove goo but it never worked really well.  This time, I decided I’m going to experiment with various products to see what works best.  I found this list of 30 helpful items to remove sticky adhesive goo.  Since I have so many bottles, I figured I can test quite a few items off this list.

According to the comments from that list, peanut butter had the most positive feedback.  Unfortunately, I love to eat peanut butter, so does Monster and Sugar.  So I wasn’t about to waste peanut butter on this experiment… unless all else fails.  I decided to use products that I have sitting around that we don’t or hardly use.


  1. Perfume – I don’t wear perfume but I have a pretty solid stock of it.  I would be thrilled to have a use for them, even if it is to get goo off.  Unfortunately, this did not work at all.
  2. Lotion – Not only do we have a huge stash of lotion from our own purchases, we have a huge stash of lotion we received as gifts.  I think we have enough supply to last us for five years.  Seriously.  I would be happy to rid us of some unpleasant smelling lotion but alas, this didn’t work.
  3. Hair gel – KT has an old bottle of hair gel he used in college that he doesn’t use anymore.  The bottle is almost full.  He wanted to toss it out but hey, since I’m doing this test, I might as well give it a try.  I read that some people use it as a degreaser.  It was a lost cause here.
  4. Regular nail polish remover & non-acetone nail polish remover – neither works.  I can’t imagine why non-acetone nail polish remover would work if the regular polish remover doesn’t work but in my defense, I tried the non-acetone remover first.
  5. Petroleum jelly – the goo started coming off after sitting in this for two hours.  It didn’t completely come off though.  It left a greasiness behind even after washing the bottle with dish soap.
  6. Rubbing alcohol – no go.
  7. Baking Soda & water paste – failed.
  8. Cooking spray – KT bought a (four?) pack of PAM when he first started cooking in the kitchen.  It turned out he didn’t like cooking with PAM so they’ve been sitting in our cupboard for a loooong time.  This works.  I sprayed a bottle and let it sit for fifteen minutes.  Then I washed it with dish soap and it was slick as a whistle.  I tried the cooking spray with a few other bottles just to make sure I get consistent results and so far so good.

For a few of the items listed above, I didn’t let it sit in the product because the product would evaporate (i.e. rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover).  Instead, I took a cotton ball and rub the goo with the products.  I figured if that didn’t work, then it wasn’t worth making any other effort with it.  When it comes to looking for alternative home remedies, my hard fast rule is if it is significantly harder to use than commercially brought products, then it is not worth the trouble.

I’ll have a few more empty bottles to experiment with soon so I’ll post an update when I get around to it.

One comment

Leave a Reply