Removing sticky and scratchy labels

annoyinglabelsIn this day and age, one would assume we have the technology to produce a sticky substance that doesn’t make the customer want to tear their hair out, but way too often the price sticker just won’t come off. That’s only the beginning of the label nightmare though. As much as I understand that they are important, I usually find them very annoying and get rid of most of them right away. I’ve put together some tips on removing them.

Tips for removing price stickers:

  • nail polish remover – it may be aggressive on some surfaces, but is safe for glass.
  • soapy water works for jars mostly, not all of them though – soaking is the way to go
  • vegetable oil
  • vinegar
  • hairdryer – heat is also used by advertising agencies to remove labels and ads

Tips for scratchy labels inside clothing

Click the pictures to zoom in.

Laundry labels are important and manufacturers need to use them to make sure proper fabric care is used. Often they’re 100% polyester, satin like and relatively soft to touch. Sometimes they are woven differently to be more durable, but are not as soft. The worst labels are more synthetic and have a stiff, papery feel.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when labels stick out of my clothes or scratch my skin. You put effort into being presentable, only to find out that a label from your underwear, or a pile of them (like in the first pic), has found its way out. No, thanks.

Judging by the Google results I am not the only one who hates the style some manufacturers attach the labels inside their clothing. Synthetic piles of labels are the worst, especially if they cannot be removed easily. Then you have a bulk of information in many different languages, even though understanding the pictures is quite sufficient.

Some can at least be easily cut off or taken out with a seam ripper because they are sewn on with a separate seam. Some manufacturers, on the other hand, put them into the main seam and even if you cut them, you might still be left with scratchy remnants inside your clothing.

Some manufacturers actually print the label. Majority of clothes, however, have various labels attached one way or the other. The ribbon-like labels are quite soft and might not bother you so much, but if they do, here’s how you can remove them when they’re inside the main seam.

Cut the label off first and then pull at the threads. Sometimes that’s all it takes to unravel it. If you cannot get it completely out of the seam, try using tweezers for pulling the threads. You don’t have to remove it completely, quite often you pull out enough threads that the remaining label in longer irritating. If you’re patient, you can remove it completely by alternating pulling horizontal threads and vertical threads. Some of these labels are very tightly woven though, so it might take a while.

If nothing works and the label is really scratchy, you can rip the seam and resew the seam which is a lot of work to do when you just want to get rid of a tag. I’ve done it but it takes time.

Some basic things to remember when you remove those tags:
– cotton clothes can normally be washed on 40°C
– cotton with elastane can require 30°C
– viscose, modal, rayon, lyocell – wash on 30°C and lower spin cycle to be safe
– synthetic materials can be more sensitive, so stick to 30°C
– woolen clothes shrink if its pure wool, so use 30°C and less
– silk is temperature-sensitive too

Unless you have many different and expensive materials, this will do. You can keep labels on special care items, or remove and keep them for reference with a note.

I would also encourage contacting your favourite brands about the amount or type of labels they use. Feedback is important and companies often make changes when more people voice their complaints.