"Give with a free hand, but give only your own."
 -- J.R.R. Tolkien The Children of Hurin

"Thou Shall Not Steal." These four little words are the foundation of all laws of man.

The easiest way I have found to remove paper labels from bottles, such as pill bottles, is to use Crisco.  Butter or vegetable oils might work too.  Smear a thin layer of Crisco over the label, and let it sit a few days.  It might speed things up to set the bottle in a warm place, such as in the sun or in front of a heater.  Don't let the bottle get too warm, especially if it is plastic.  You just want the Crisco to flow a little.

After a few days, the Crisco will have soaked through the paper and degraded the adhesive.  The label should peal right off.  If the label is glossy, the Crisco might not soak through.  In this case, I have been able to score the label with a knife.  This is OK with a glass bottle, but on plastic, you might scratch it.

I like this method because if I am going to re-use the bottle to store food, spices, or medicine, it removes the label with little effort and without noxious chemicals (assuming Crisco is relatively safe!).


You shall not take that which belongs to another.

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Updated November 7, 2009
Created November 7, 2009