Using eucalyptus oil to remove stickers and labels...

I have a lovely little side table that was made by my Father-in-law a few years ago that sits beside the couch. It’s great for snuggling up with a book on a rainy day (plenty of them at the moment) and being able to reach the cup of tea no matter which end of the couch you want to settle in on.

The students also find it great to balance their laptops (or are they i-somethings these days?) while they share their Australian adventures with their friends and families back home. Basically its a great little table. It turns out that its was also the perfect size, two Christmas’s ago, to land a remote controlled helicopter on. So good, in fact, that it got a brown box tape “H” stuck to it. After Christmas was gone and the helicopter has fallen from favor, I bought my wee table back to the couch and took the “H” off, denoting its use as a coffee table instead of a helipad for the time being and lived with the “H” in sticky stuff for the next 18 months.

Surprisingly, I didn’t think the “H” went with my decor (despite that being domestic chaos in brown and green currently!) and so I decided that the time was right to remove the “H” for once and for all.

Here’s what I did…

I got the Eucalyptus oil out and an old cloth and simply rubbed it off!

Eucalyptus oil is harder to spell than to use! I just used an old face washer and some elbow grease and rubbed the oil into the left over sticky tape mark.
Where it is stickier than the rest I put on a bit extra and then let it soak in for a while
And Voila! No sign of the helipad!

Eucalyptus Oil is amazing stuff. It gets the “sticky” of most things. I have used it to get the price tags off many things, including books. But be careful about the amount you use. It is an oil and will stain things like cardboard just like olive oil or butter would under the same circumstances. Test it on an inconspicuous part of plastic toys first as well – I have found it “melts” some plastics too!!!!

I soak jars that I am using for bottling or jamming in the sink in water and detergent and then scrape the labels off with a stiff brush. What simply wont come off with water, detergent and a decent scrub usually comes off with eucalyptus oil though.

I also believe its not the best thing for the non-koala population to ingest so if you are using it around eating utensils, plates or your sink, make sure you give it a good wash with some detergent to break down the oil and wash it away. I do this with my jars before I sterilise them.  It wouldn’t taste so good either, I’d imagine!

What have you used Eucalyptus oil for?

Score card: 
Green-ness: 5/5 for using a natural product to reuse or maintain an item
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for finding another use for an already very useful product.
Time cost: No more than 1 minute for this task.
Skill level: Basic mother cleaning skills!
Fun-ness: Great fun to restore a bit of dignity to this useful piece of furniture!

The Practical Frog Blog, Australia

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Kara is a practical, crafty, frugal greenie who likes to garden, cook, preserve, ferment and bake bread. She lives with a bunch of chooks, a flock of quails, sixteen native bee hives, a cat, a dog and a husband. she shares her homesteading adventures in her blog.


Main Research Source
What have we learnt?
  • A natural alternative to try
  • Like Kara says ‘another use for an already very useful product’
  • I’m interested to read how it “melts” some plastics – it could lead to other things