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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Even The Simple Things - Removing Labels, Gunk, And Stuff

Crazy, Huh?
    How often have you purchased something only to notice a bunch of adhesive labels all over it? Usually on the bottom. Ever try to scrape one off with a finger nail and end up with little bits of label and a bunch of excess glue still on your shiny new item? This kind of thing happens to me all the time. Getting the glue off is usually pretty easy. Some kind of citrus based cleaner will do the trick, but what about getting the label off in the first place. Wouldn't it be easier if you had a small tool that would get underneath it and remove it quickly and easily in the first place? What about cooked-on gunk in a Teflon-coated pan? You know, as soon as you get a scratch on one it's useless to cook in. No metal tools, ever! Well, after a long time using my nails, I can honestly say I found a better way to do it that won't scratch the finish on anything (within reason!).

Simple AND Handy!
It's one of those crazy simple ideas that I wish I'd thought of (and marketed!) myself. But I didn't. Ah well, at least I can share the knowledge and save some of you some time and aggravation. A week ago I was in a Bed, Bath and Beyond. No, I'm not a regular there...just visiting! While wandering around I noticed a bunch of little kitchen tools in baskets. One drew my eye. It was/is called a "Thumb Scraper." Just a soft silicone covered handle with a depression for your...well...umm..thumb! And a thin, stiff plastic scraper end. It seemed way too simple (and cheap at 1.99) to work. So I bought a clearance aisle glass with a bunch of labels on the bottom and removed them...quickly! I was sold.

When I got it back home I made myself a, purposefully, cheesy and messy omelette in a regular Teflon pan. Made sure the cheese was nice and stuck to the bottom. Pulled out the scraper and, voila!, all the mess was scraped off with no damage to the pan at all. Double win!

This thing is pretty tough, looks like it could be used to pry apart small electronics as well. Like a cell phone's case. I'll be trying it on a few more things. Who knows how many uses I'll be able to come up with.  Drop me a line... let me know if you come up with any nifty uses! Hey, how about decal removal...or maybe just the small leftover pieces?

I love inexpensive items that solve multiple problems and take up very little storage space. Seems like they are tailor made for our RVs. If it speeds cleanup...double win!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com

11 comments:

  1. Maybe you need to visit the kitchen aisle more often? I've had plastic scrapers like this on my sink for decades to deal with the burnt-into-ceramics aftermath of my long-bake casseroles and roasts. I don't generally need to use them on my non-stick pans, so maybe your omelettes are a new WMD?

    As for a spudger (that's the name of the tool for electronics), you generally need something sharper/harder that the kitchen scraper. But, if you don't chew it up at the sink, maybe it can double-duty -- until you put too much cheese-crud into your cellphone. :-)

    Oh, wait, you clean it between? Didn't try that...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wolfe,
      Spudger! For the life of me, I couldn't remember what that thing was called!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
    2. In my typical senility, I only remember "Spudger" because of it's onomatopoeia... When I'm swearing and prying some highly explosive electronic device apart, the sound is definitely what I'd imagine a North American spudge to sound like... I imagine some sort of very irate tunnel-dwelling animal with a bad temper and a lot of grunting... Sorta an over-caffeinated badger with a penchant for electrical engineering... :-)

      Delete
    3. Wolfe,
      OK...you actually made me "snort-laugh" with that one!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. I've often thought about how I should tell the check out clerk that this purchase depends on THEM removing the labels on the items. Problem is, I forget this when I'm buying stuff and don't remember it until I'm home "swearing" at the almost irremovable labels. Grrrr.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MrTommy,
      Hmmm.. I'm not sure that would go over very well in my area. The clerks don't really care if you buy something or not.

      Kind of sad really.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
    2. I had the exact same thought, WM... but we share the same overtaxed "whadayawant" state. The millenial clerk is more likely to thank you for getting out of her line than help with labels.

      As far removing sticky labels, it may sound overkill, but I only use the citrus GG on more delicate things, which I seldom buy. On glassware and ceramics, I use a papertowl dipped in gasoline/kerosene/lighter fluid. Cuts the glue MUCH better than orangey stuff. Just wash it before you make your coffee if the label was on the inside.

      Delete
  3. I use WD a lot to take off glue from labels

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have found this scraper from Amazon to be very useful for scraping old caulking and decals, has replaceable blades and additional blades are available from Amazon as well https://www.amazon.com/Ehdis-Visibility-Plastic-Scraping-Windshields/dp/B01HLWB0BM/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1526825112&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=Ehdis+1.5%E2%80%9D++Plastic+scraper&psc=1

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another way to remove labels is the gentle application of heat. This softens the glue and allows you to gently peel off the label. My tool for this is a cheap heat gun from Harbor Freight - about $10-$12. It is possible that putting the item in an oven would work, but I never tried it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      That sounds a bit scary!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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