A Driving Instructor's Blog

Drizzling OilRegular readers will know I do a bit of cooking when the fancy takes me. The kind of stuff I cook involves any, some, or all of Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Peanut Oil, Sesame Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Sunflower Oil, light Soy Sauce, dark Soy Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, and several others.

Recently, and to simplify my use of my ingredients, I bought a pack of those long-necked ‘oil’ dispensers with silicone ‘corks’. They fit in any bottle as long as it isn’t too wide at the neck, and they work like a charm. But with the lockdown and everything, my usual source of cooking ingredients has moved online, and that means usually getting smaller bottles than I’d buy at the cash & carry or the Asian supermarkets. Typically, I buy 1L bottles of Soy, for example, but online the brand I use is only half that.

You can buy oil dispenser bottles, of course, but these too are often very small, and they’re not made of strong glass in many cases. Others are opaque and made out of porcelain, so you can’t see how much is in there, and come is silly shapes for some reason. They also cost a small fortune – more than a pack of ten dispenser nozzles if you want a decent one.

Anyway, my dad finished off a bottle of his rum and I decided to use the bottle for one of my oils. I needed to get the labels off, so I soaked it in hot water for a couple of hours, then scraped off most of the paper. Then I soaked it for a few hours more and got the rest of the paper off. And I was left with every bit of glue that was originally on there stuck firmly on the bottle (along with the RFID chip). Nothing would get it off – even that Glue Gone stuff that is supposed to shift label glue. Even scraping it with a penknife just moved it around (though that’s how I got rid of the RFID, albeit in tiny pieces).

Then I had an idea. Sodium Bicarbonate is supposed to be a miracle cleaner, so I made a 50:50 paste of Sodium Bicarbonate (aka Baking Soda) and regular cooking oil, painted it all over the glue, and left it to stand for about an hour. The oil kept it in place. Then, using the scouring side of one of those foam kitchen sponges and a little bit of Fairy Liquid and warm tap water, it just scoured straight off!

So there you go. To get rid of stubborn label glue, you need to make a paste of equal parts of Sodium Bicarbonate and oil, paint or dab it over the glue, and let it stand for a while. With a little elbow grease after that, it should come right off.

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