Removing “tagless” tags from clothing

Before writing this blog, I searched the Internet looking for ways to remove the latex and polyurethane based printed tags that so many children and adults are allergic to. I didn’t find any sensible suggestion at all. So I collected all my “tagless” clothing together and started experimenting with different methods of removal.

Heat: I noticed when I get an iron near the tagless tag it sometimes get stuck to the iron, so I thought I could use an iron to remove the tag. The tag would stick to the iron and even smear a bit, but the latex based ink was still there. I tried different types of pressing cloths (synthetic, paper and all cotton) to pull the warm ink off , none worked.

Solvents: I didn’t want to buy the expensive and dangerous dry cleaning spot gun some sites recommend so I started with the strongest thing I had on hand, fingernail polish remover, it didn’t budge the tag. Then I tried Goof Off, it usually removes dried Latex paint why not latex tags. Again it didn’t budge. Then I remembered something I had once splashed on a table top by accident and it removed the finish instantly, Wintergreen Oil. Click here to read how I finally removed the tag.

If you have found another way to remove “tagless” tags, please leave a comment below.

29 Responses

  1. Going to try the Wintergreen Oil, bought my son 3 expensive Hurley tshirts for Christmas, the labels started cracking and disintegrating BEFORE washing! Then of course I washed them to see if that would help. NOT! He is not overly sensitive, but this would be akin to wearing coarse sandpaper on the back of your neck…

  2. I just tried the hydrogen peroxide. It took awhile and a lot of elbow geese but it worked surprisingly well

    • Great to hear that you were able to get the hydrogen peroxide to work for you!

  3. Thank you, I too am allergic to these various labels. Some cause no harm, while others just make me break out in hives. Totally unpredictable.

    • Have you tried the wintergreen oil on the labels. Many have laughed and when they try it they are surprised that it works.

  4. I’m wondering if any oil will work. As I am sensitive to salicylates, I’ll try the peppermint oil first.

    Wish I had read this before I bought these stupid Fruit of the Loom bras and ended up with three little red rashes in the middle of my back.

    • Hi, it’s Wintergreen oil not Peppermint oil. I haven’t tried Peppermint oil. Jewelers use Wintergreen oil as a lubricant and I notice it removes poly urethane paint easily (from personal experience) so it may have a different base.

  5. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about Removing ‘tagless’ tags from clothing on your Allergy Comfort Zone Discussion Forum.

    • I have been blogging since January 2010. I have met a lot of wonderful people through the comments on this blog. I hope I am helping readers with their allergies. I love hearing from you, keep the comments coming.

  6. I actually prefer the “tagless” tags, because I have an allergy to the rayon many “tags” are made from and stiched to the wasitband/neckline. I have never had a reaction to the latex based tagless tags, but you’re blog post was very informative. Thanks for sharing.

    • The regular tags are also very annoying. Sometimes they have fuzed edges that are scratchy or they use very thin clear plastic thread to sew them on.The thread is scratchy like thin fishing line. Not many people are allergic to rayon, that’s a tough one to avoid.

  7. I was itchy from the label in under ware. I used a suede cleaner I purchased at Walmart or Target. I also used a fabric eraser I purchased at a quilting shop. Both products removed the roughest part of the label. It removed it enough that washing will wear the rest away & made it comfortable enough it does not bother me.

    • Linda, Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to try your method. I think I may have some suede cleaner. How did you figure out that would work?


  8. Does the wintergreen oil stain the fabric? I need to use it on a colored top where the tag area will still show.

    • Hi Robin,
      I have only used the wintergreen oil on white fabric because I am allergic to the dyes used on textiles. I rubbed it in let it sit a few minutes then scraped with my fingernail or used a toothbrush to remove the softened tag. I then put it in with my regular wash. I didn’t have any staining. Wintergreen oil in it’s pure form is a clear light yellow color (not green). Good luck, I hope this works for you as well as it does for me.

  9. I found your site yesterday, after I had located the source of my incessant itching. While winter green oil may work, I found a really fast way to remove the tags. Hydrogen peroxide and a tooth brush, or a stiff brush that will not destroy the fabric. It did take three applications and then wash as normal. It destroys the whole marking!

    I have put in complaints with the manufacturer (Fruit of the Loom sport bras) and a consumer group. I think it is terrible that they are letting China put toxic materials onto our clothing!

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I will try the Hydrogen Peroxide right away and add it to my blog. I love it when readers come up with new ideas. I agree, manufacturers do not listen to consumers as much as they should. I read an article in Wall Street Journal, it stated: Now with social media bringing more consumers together with common goals and complaints, company’s are being forced to listen to their customers.

    • Hi, had a little time today to try the Hydrogen Peroxide you suggested to remove the printed tags from clothing. It didn’t work for me. I followed your directions and the label didn’t budge. I then tried Wintergreen Oil and it came right off (It also removed my fingernail polish). I know Wintergreen oil seems like a strange way to remove labels, but it works. I’m sticking with Wintergreen oil. I got mine from the pharmacy.

  10. Your information Helped me Thanks you Much

  11. Thank you, thank you. Wintergreen Oil was hard to find, but wow, I bet it will remove anything.

  12. Fantastic. Thank you very very very much!

  13. Thank you!!! I am severely allergic to the “tags” on Fruit of the Loom and Patagonia underwear (all other brands are fine, what gives?) This will save me from having to throw those clothes away – although, not from boycotting their products in the future. Gonna get to the store first thing tomorrow for some wintergreen oil!

    • I’m glad my wintergreen oil hint will help you. So many people are allergic to these tags, I don’t know why they keep making them. We all need to write letters to the manufacturers.

      • Thank you so much for your “work” and comments. My 4 yr. old has been complaining about her bottom itching ever since we bought her new Fruit of the Loom underwear with tagless tags. All of my children have sensitive skin, and I will pay attention to your blog. Thank you!!

  14. Thank you so much for this article! My son had a horrible case of hives for 3 months last year before I realized it was caused by the tagless tags. Since then, I’ve been either avoiding them or thinking of feasible ways to cover them up. Nothing at the time turned up in my web searches for a solution. I just checked today and found your article. Perfect timing as my son is about to move off of diapers and I have not come across one single brand of children’s underpants that do not use tagless tags. Thank you!!

  15. Oil of Wintergreen is non-toxic, but I would still suggest you run the article of clothing through the wash. I always use dye-free, color-free and perfume-free detergent to wash my clothes, then double rinse using a small amount of vinegar in the rinse to soften the clothes.

    Hope this helps

  16. WOW… great tip and article. I had no idea Wintergreen oil can do that. I will definitely start trying this.

  17. I found lots of valuable information in this forum

    Greetings to all

  18. As soon as I read your blog about removing tagless tags I grabbed one of my husbands t-shirts and an old bottle of peppermint oil I’ve had for ages. I can’t even remember what is was for.

    You are right, the ink softened, then when I scraped it with my fingernail it came off. I didn’t have an old toothbrush so I just used my fingernail and rubbed it together. It all came out. I will throw it in with the rest of the wash and see how it looks after it’s laundered.

    Thank you, our whole family is allergic to these stupid printed tags.

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