Perfectly Imperfect

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Remove Sticky Label Effortlessly with Melamine Foam aka Magic Eraser

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This is a quick tip to remove sticky label effortlessly with Melamine foam, aka magic eraser. I am still looking for pretty jar for homemade reed diffuser. Just when I thought I am out of luck with that, my eye infection turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

The 100ml Optrex eye wash that the husband bought for my nasty eye infection, turns out to be the perfect size for reed diffuser! The jar base measures 5.5cm in diameter, and about 9cm tall including the narrow mouth (without the cap). The mouth opening measures about 2cm in diameter, which is great because with wider opening, I can insert more reed sticks in order for the homemade diffuser oil to diffuser more effectively.

Now, there is just one problem – the sticky label. In the past, I wasted masking tapes to tape off the stick residue; I used eraser to rub off, but it’s quite laborious; there are other ways such as using some chemicals or to soak the bottle for a day etc.

I discovered an easier, if not easiest, and quicker way to do it – Melamine foam, commonly known as magic eraser or magic sponge.

Melamine foam

In the early 21st century it was discovered that melamine foam was an effective abrasive cleaner.[2] The open cell foam is microporous and its polymeric substance is very hard, so that when used for cleaning it works like extremely fine sandpaper, getting into tiny grooves and pits in the object being cleaned. On a larger scale the material feels soft. Because the bubbles interconnect, its structure is more like a maze of fiberglass strands, when compared to the array of separate bubbles in a material such as expanded polystyrene foam (for example, Styrofoam).

Rubbing with a slightly moistened foam may remove otherwise “uncleanable” external markings from surfaces. For example, it can remove crayon, magic marker, and grease from painted walls, wood finishings, plastic-adhering paints from treated wooden tables, adhesive residue, and grime from hub caps.[3] If the surface being cleaned is not sufficiently hard, it may be finely scratched by the melamine material. The foam wears away, rather like a pencil eraser, leaving behind a slight residue which can be rinsed off.

It’s effortless, clean, hassle-free, and really quick!

Using Melamine Foam

If you are lucky, you may be able to peel off the sticky label. Mine was very sticky so I use a metal ruler to scrap the label off leaving a large patch of adhesive residue.

Wet the melamine foam, squeeze excess (don’t crunch the sponge, just press flat) water as it is more effective with moistened sponge, than wet sponge.

Start rubbing on the residue. It is normal to have small parts of the foam coming off, it works like an eraser. When satisfied that all the adhesive residues are removed, rinse the bottle.

Wash and Dry

Now that the sticky label is removed completely, you want to wash and dry the bottle before recycling it as reed diffuser jar. I simply add warm water, toss some raw rice into the bottle, add a little gentle hand wash, cap the bottle and shake it. The raw rice helps to ‘scrub’ the corners. Since eye wash has practically no scent, there is no reason to leave the mixture in the bottle to soak overnight. Just rinse it thoroughly, and let it air dry. (I stuffed the disposable kitchen towel, used a skinny chopstick to ‘stir’ the towel to absorb most of the water inside, then used a tweezer  to carefully pull out the damp towel, and finally let it to dry)

Decorate

The naked jar can be boring. Exercise your creativity to decorate it! Just bouncing off some ideas:

1. Paint with acrylic paint and then seal with acrylic varnish; I would like clear paint though, since I still want to be able to see through the jar (easier to gauge if it is due for refill)

2. Crochet or knit a nice little cozy (I might actually come up with a free crochet pattern for this! I just need more time!)

3. Use MT tape and decorate

4. Tie a ribbon around the neck

5. Use baker’s twine to coil around the ‘screw’ part of the mouth (I would not glue this to the jar, since it is highly likely that this part will get stained when you turn the reed stick around regularly)

6. Or the simpler way – get cute ready stickers and stick around, after all, you can always use the magic sponge to remove any sticky label!

Have you say!

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