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Re using plastic seed labels

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Re using plastic seed labels

Post  plantoid on 1/23/2016, 5:53 pm

Eureeka !

After collecting nearly 1,000 used plastic seed labels over the last six or seven years I've finally found a way to get them clean . It makes no difference if it is chinagraph , super ink , sharpies , hard or soft leaded pencils .


I found it out by accident ..I spilt a little drop of coffee on some old plastic seed labels  ,  didn't have a cloth to wipe them clean so grabbed a bit of fairly hard closed celled rubber that used to be a kneeling mat and rubbed the small spots .
I was hoping that the foam rubber would absorb the coffee . It didn't remove it but it did take the soft lead off the label.

  That got me thinking  so I grabbed a handful of the used labels and took them into the kitchen , gave them a spray with a trigger pack of hard surface kitchen cleaner and tried the rubber thing again .  It got rid of a lot of the ink or pencil marks marks but occasionally  didn't . I opened the cupboard door thinking I'd give it a drop of neat dish drops  liquid .. tried again and it just slid over the surface.

On putting the dish drops back in the cupboard I spied a tube of stainless steel liquid cleaner that has a slight ammonia whiff to it.   .Hmmmm I Thought , it's a super fine grinding paste /liquid abrasive I wonder.

So I put a drop on the sink drainer ,dabbed the foam in it , gave it a quick rub across the marks & there it was .... " GONE ".  I then  went back through the labels and gave every one with the slightest of marks the same quick treatment.. they all came up clean .

Next test was to get some another 50  used labels , lay them on the drainer with the writing facing up , give them a quick spray of the hard surface cleaner to loosen any normal garden muck up and then put a small dollop of the sink cleaner on the drainer , dipped the rubber in it and with two to five  three rubbing/ wiping strokes  was able to clean the label of any writing.or existing marks .

Once treated & cleaned I dumped all the labels in some clean warm water , added a squirt of dish drops and rinsed them thorough , then gave a warm water rinse to the lot . Rolled them in an old towel to get them nearly dry then went out to man cupboard  number two  to play at sowing seeds.

 This time round I have decided to use some soft  B5  leaded pencils for all my  label writing  as that was the marker that not only stayed on all last year,  it was also the easiest to clean off today  by the above method .

 Now some of you may think it is petty to  reuse the labels and even worse to clean them  @ 6 seconds per label the money saved soon adds up .
My labels  have been costing me £ 2.00 for 100  ( $ 3 USD ) .  So 1,000 would have set me back £ 20  ( around  $ 30 USD ) .

 I cleaned the last 50 labels in just under four minutes so it's not a leg breaker , is it? 


Caution i
If your sink top is a highly polished top you may find it much safer to use a plastic chopping board to do the cleaning on so you don't make marks on the highly polished metal ..

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Re: Re using plastic seed labels

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/23/2016, 6:11 pm

Excellent! I need to save those plastic stick labels....thanks, plantoid

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Re: Re using plastic seed labels

Post  sanderson on 1/23/2016, 6:55 pm

I wash and dry all of my labels and store them in the original seed packets, along with the seeds stored inside 2" x 2" ziplock baggies. If I need to change the label, I use a soft eraser on the #2 pencil writing.

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Re: Re using plastic seed labels

Post  gwennifer on 1/25/2016, 4:33 pm

Thanks Plantoid. I bought some supposedly re-usable plant labels several years ago for my garden and discovered I could not erase/wash off the labels completely no matter what I wrote on them with or tried to clean them with. 

I love to plant new and different varieties every season, and I like to write the date they were planted, so to be re-usable I need to be able to wash them off.

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Re: Re using plastic seed labels

Post  sanderson on 1/25/2016, 6:14 pm

happy hi

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Re: Re using plastic seed labels

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/25/2016, 6:17 pm

Hey, gwennifer! Nice to see ya! flower

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Re: Re using plastic seed labels

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/26/2016, 9:02 am

Hi Gwennifer!

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Re: Re using plastic seed labels

Post  plantoid on 1/26/2016, 7:05 pm

@gwennifer wrote:Thanks Plantoid. I bought some supposedly re-usable plant labels several years ago for my garden and discovered I could not erase/wash off the labels completely no matter what I wrote on them with or tried to clean them with. 

I love to plant new and different varieties every season, and I like to write the date they were planted, so to be re-usable I need to be able to wash them off.
 
Sine I last posted about the labels I've tried using a bit of a  micro-fibre duster to rub the metal cleaner on the labels to take the inks /pencil off .
 
However it was not as effective as the closed cell hard rubber stuff & cleaner as it required a heck of a lot more pressure to remove the marks due to the softer cloth absorbing the cleaning abrasive much too easily .

 Dave

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Re: Re using plastic seed labels

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/27/2016, 3:47 pm

My labels & markers from cut up Venetian blind pieces are always so faded by the end of the season that it's easy to permanent Sharpie anew right over the old print.

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