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What is the best way to get the labels off of pails?

My nephew works at a food place and has begun to bring me 5-6 pails a week. I can clean them to get the smell out but I would also like to get the lables off of them.
 

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there is a bottle of remover called GOO GONE sold in most stores, but it would be costly to do a lot of pails.
To get the labels off beer bottles so I could reuse them for home brew, I let them soak a couple days in a strong bleach solution, had to wear rubber gloves so my hands didn't get burnt.
 

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One word of advice-don't use anything toxic-if you store them one inside another the smell/toxic chemical can leach into the inside of the one it is nestled in.
I would just use a hot water soak and then the residue that is left over can be rubbed off with salad oil or even a bit of peanut butter.
I never use toxic stuff that could linger on any of my food buckets. Don't want any nasty surprises down the line.
 

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YourAdministrator, eh?
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Could always just toss them into the bathtub with some dish-soap and very hot water - use a green-scrubbie to remove the paper / glue residue, dry well, rinse with vinegar, air-dry and then use.
 

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Good ole country folk
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We use a standard hair dryer turned on the hot setting. After warming it up for a few minutes, attempt to peel a corner. If the adhesive stays on the bucket, heat it a little bit more until the adhesive comes off with the label.
 

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Do you have a dollar store near you? I have found a GREAT cleaner there that works wonders on bucket labels. It's called 'Awsome' ... and it is :D . This is what I do:

  1. Lay your bucket on it's side in the sink
  2. Spray the label with the cleaner
  3. Put a small cloth over the label, so that the spray doesn't all drip off the label.
  4. Let sit for a few min.
  5. Spray and repeat
  6. Let sit for a few min, again.
  7. Using a scraper (knife, plastic pot scraper, etc) scrape the label and glue goo from the bucket.
  8. You may need to spray some residual glue, let stand and then scrape again.
  9. Wash the outside of your bucket.
 

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One word of advice-don't use anything toxic-if you store them one inside another the smell/toxic chemical can leach into the inside of the one it is nestled in.
I would just use a hot water soak and then the residue that is left over can be rubbed off with salad oil or even a bit of peanut butter.
I never use toxic stuff that could linger on any of my food buckets. Don't want any nasty surprises down the line.
Would like to amplify this.

The buckets are great but they are still very slightly porous. They do not seal nearly as well as mylar bags. Animals, such as mice, can smell the contents. A friend actually had mice chew through the bucket to get to the food!
:)
 

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Why bother? Use a good marker, label it inside and out.
Exactly! too much effort... better off paying more attention to the inside and how you are going to store your stuff.

When you get to be "hard core" like some of us, you graduate to 55 gal steel open top drums sealed with locking rings anyway. Just put all kinds of stuff into mylar bags and lock them away inside from air, moisture and rodents...

I you have a flood (or tsunami), the stuff inside will still be safe.

- Basey
 
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