Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Why, Ikea, Why?

I bought a couple of Ikea Bygel containers to hang from my cutting table to hold cutters etc. The internet is full of pictures of handy things people have used these containers for. But there's a slight problem. Each container has a label which covers nearly the entire surface:
The label is in Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Chinese, Thai and Taiwanese. Interestingly, there is different information included in each section. For example, the Japanese includes "100ÂșC", but none of the other languages do - I wonder what it means? Can it withstand boiling water? Or is it a warning not to put it in boiling water? The Chinese, Indonesian and Korean include the measurements of the object, but that is probably rather superfluous information if you are holding it in your hand to read the label. I presume each of these sections have information that is legally required in that country. The English just says "Made in China"! I presume that this label gets stuck on everything for the Asia-Pacific region. I don't have a problem with that, but what does bug me

is that the label is very difficult to remove! Why couldn't it be an easy peel-off label? And why does the glue have to be so irritating to the skin? After 15 minutes, I have very red and sore fingers, and still this much label on the first container:
I won't be tackling the second one for a while.


I sent this message to Ikea customer relations on 29/3:

"How can I get the label off the Bygel container?  I have tried hot water, picking at it (bad as I have an allergy to the glue you have used), and eucalyptus oil, but the glue is very stubborn and I now have very sore skin where-ever it touched me. Has taken me over two hours to get one looking OK, but I feel like just throwing the second one out as it is more trouble than it is worth."

Reply from Ikea 31/3:
"Thank you for contacting IKEA. In regards to your email, we are sorry to hear of the issue you are having with removing the stickers from the SOCKER Tin's. I have found the easiest way to remove these stickers is by peeling off the top layer and removing the adhesive residue with eucalyptus oil or alcoholic wipes. If you cannot remove the stickers, and wish to return your products you have 365 days from date of purchase with the receipt."

 Given that they mention a different product, I guess this is a copy and paste answer, where the sender forgot to edit the actual product. It suggests that I'm not the only person facing this difficulty. Maybe instead of causing this aggravation to people, they could just use removable stickers?


  1. Good luck!!! I am not sure what your container is made of but here are a few ideas for removing sticky labels. Be careful because some of these will mark some surfaces. Orange oil works on most hard surfaces and it is sold in big supermarkets in the furniture cleaning section. Eucalyptus oil is effective but you need to be careful; it usually works for me. The last one I use is WD40. It is the easiest to use; I have not found that it marks surfaces (yet); it needs to be removed afterwards with some soapy stuff; it smells like a garage.
    The label on the container certainly looks a bit oversized. You have done extremely well to get so much off with your hands already.

  2. Try baby oil or nail polish remover (just make sure you test the underneath in case the paint comes off. Emma bought at the chemist, adhesive remover cloth for sticky bandaging, 70 cents a sachet.

  3. After much searching of the internet the best and most successful hint I found was to use a hairdryer. Not to scratch with! But the heat melts the glue. I sourced some very cheap but just the right size lidded plastic boxed and tried all of the methods already suggested to get rid of stubborn labels. None worked. But the heat trick did. Start at one end heat and when ready start lifting. Watch your fingers though.

  4. Gosh, Jeanette, I am really surprised that the hair dryer worked so well. It has been my experience that when things get hot in the car the labels are really difficult to remove. The movement of air with the hairdryer must make difference. I must try it.

  5. I have to report that the hairdryer did soften the glue, but it made it very sticky. So then the glue just smeared, and got all over the implement I was using to scrape it, as well as smearing over the surface I was trying to remove it from. So I'm giving up on this, and will be returning it to Ikea on my next visit there.