Since I am turning into one of “those people” who make their own cleaning products (and bath products and beauty products and, well, you get the idea) I am always on the lookout for reusable containers. I really love glass ones since they last forever and don’t leach all kinds of weird stuff into whatever is in the container. But glass or plastic, they all come with labels attached and is it just me or do they sometimes seem attached with super glue?
I always go grab my bottle of Commercial Goo Remover, but the last time I did I realized it smelled like paint remover. The bottle says to avoid contact with skin or eyes. Not getting it your eyes I understand but how do I get the label off if I’m not supposed to touch the stuff? There had to be a better way.
Thankfully the Enchanted Mirror known as the Internet told me there is a better way. But like most talking mirrors it didn’t give me the whole story. I found several recipes but they just used baking soda and oil. The problem is that the baking soda and oil eventually separated and after a couple of weeks the bottom layer of baking soda was a brick. It was almost impossible to stir back together. I knew it needed an emulsifier so the two main ingredients wouldn’t separate. That’s where the soap comes in. I only had to use a little bit and problem solved. One of the ingredients in GooGone is citrus oil and I knew my favorite lemon oil would work wonders. By itself lemon EO is great at removing all kinds of things like stickers, permanent marker, gum out of hair or clothes, grease spots, crayon, tree sap, clothing stains, scuff marks, temporary tattoos, the list goes on and on.
There’s not much work here when it comes to making this stuff yourself, just measuring and mixing and putting it in a container. I used the old farm girl stand-by, a mason jar. The 8 ounce squatty one was just the right size.
Now to test it and see if it works. This jar had stickers on all sides, even the bottom. I pulled off as much of the stickers as I could as you can see from the first picture. Then I slathered it with All-Natural Goo-B-Gone (go ahead, use a lot–it’s super cheap) and let it sit for about 20 minutes. I don’t know if you really have to let it sit that long but I kinda got distracted. My guess is that longer is better so the oil and lemon EO have time to do their work. Go get yourself a treat while you wait. As you can see from the last picture, my version works great. And smelled really nice by the way, if that’s important to you, which it should be.
I did a side by side test with GooGone and my All Natural Goo-B-Gone, which was a little hard because one of them I’m not supposed to touch. For the sake of science I threw caution to the wind and found that the two products worked pretty much the same. Both required a bit of rubbing in and “nail work” before all the sticker residue came off. In both cases, pulling the top layer of the label off before application made the products more effective. I would have to call it a tie. It really comes down to wanting to know exactly what is in your product, wanting it to smell better than paint remover and wanting to be able to actually touch it. Oh yeah, and wanting to save money. If those are the criteria then my All Natural Goo-B-Gone is the hands-down winner! Big smile.
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup oil (olive, canola, vegetable)
1 tsp. dish soap (I used Dawn brand)
20 drops Lemon essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until consistency is smooth. Store in an airtight glass container.
To use—remove as much of the label/sticker from container as possible. Spread All-Natural Goo-B-Gone generously over the sticker, rub it in a bit with your fingers to help it absorb. Leave mixture on container for 10-15 minutes or longer. With your finger rub in circular motions until all adhesive is removed. Wipe off with paper towel and wash with a little soap and water. Repeat if necessary.
Makes about 8 oz.
Note–I call my homemade version Goo-B-Gone because that’s what I’ve (mistakenly) always thought the stuff was called. When I grabbed it out of the cupboard to inspect the label for this post I saw that there is, in fact, no “B”. Who knew. Feel free to name yours whatever you like.