We just did a mid-winter gardening trick that we’ve been using for years, figured we’d clue you all in. Plant labels are re-usable, pretty much indefinitely!
We typically use 6 inch plant labels, but to make them go much further, we snap them in half for 3 inch labels. After a season or two of collecting them, we’ll soak them for about 24 hours in bleach to get all the old “permanent” marker writing off of them. It helps to stir them a bit once or twice, just to make sure everything gets cleaned.
Once they’re clean, we give them a thorough rinse. This will make them pretty much “good as new” and can go back into rotation for the following season.
Alternatively, you can also use isopropyl alcohol (or if you’re less budget conscious, vodka?), but bleach is quite a bit cheaper in the quantity we need. As long as you give them a thorough rinse, there’s little concern over the caustic nature of bleach vs. alcohol.
We’ve been using a 1,000 pack of plant labels for longer than we can possibly remember using this trick. So, if you’re looking for ways to save money, keep this one in your back pocket!