Sunday, January 3, 2010

Removing Labels From Pill Vials

Whether for the sake of information security, or to have the use of an empty vial sans label, there's an easy way to get the labels off.

Get an empty metal coffee can with a snug-fitting, plastic lid. Wet the label completely with WD-40 and stand the vial in the bottom of the can. Close the lid and leave it overnight. The next day, the label will peel away nicely. The muck it leaves behind cleans away with methyl hydrate and a paper towel. Neither the WD-40 nor the methyl hydrate has any ill effect on the plastic vial.



I tried the same thing with Varsol instead of WD-40, and that worked just as well and with less residue left behind to clean away. One of the vials I did was a perfectly clear one, and the Varsol fogged the bottom of that vial after its overnight treatment. That vial may have been made of polystyrene. The vials that come clean so well without harm from the solvent have all been the amber/orange coloured ones made of polypropylene, recycling number '5' (PP).

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