It’s not always necessary to buy plastic storage containers from the store when some of the food you eat comes in one that you were planning on throwing away or recycling anyway. Unlike my grandmother, however, I don’t like the idea of reusing containers that still have their labels on because not only do they look tacky, but it makes it difficult to know what’s actually inside them.
Recently, I came across this blog entry which explains a quick and easy way to remove labels from yogurt and sour cream containers using acetone. The only change I made was that I used a paper towel, set it on the top of the container, and poured the acetone on top, letting it soak for maybe 30 seconds. Then I was able to wipe the label off with barely any effort at all. I repeated the procedure on the sides, and as the pictures show below, it worked like a charm!
I made sure to do this in a sink while wearing rubber gloves and I kept the lid on the container so that no acetone got inside. I washed the outside of the container with dish soap (Dawn) thoroughly and then washed the inside. Now that I have a plain container I could decorate it, write on it in magic marker, or make a label of my own to stick on it.
For this particular container I am not doing any of those things because I’ll be using it to store my hamster’s yogurt treats on the shelf beneath his cage so I already know what’s in there. I’ve already re-purposed an empty Nutella container to keep a few weeks’ supply of his block food so I don’t have to constantly go in and out of the resealable bag every evening when I feed him.
These containers are great for storing leftovers, but I would not recommend heating those leftovers in the microwave since the plastic is likely not BPA-free and could leech into your food.
One last tip – I noticed that certain brands’ labels are easier to remove than others. I have a lot of luck with the brand in the photo as well as Market Pantry (Target’s brand).
If you have any tips on how to re-purpose other containers, please share them in the comments!