How to Remove the Lettering From a PVC Pipe

Generally included in the manufacturing of all PVC pipes, the lettering along the pipe can include the grade and specifications of the material as well as the name of the manufacturer. Code regulations for most installations require the pipe to be installed so that the print is horizontal and readable. However, the tell-tale signs of industrial lettering can often become a hassle for anyone using PVC for a casual or recreational purpose. The quickest and most efficient method for removing the lettering of a PVC pipe involves the application of PVC pipe cleaner.

Step 1

Clear the area around the PVC pipe and prepare the cleaner, rag and other cleaning materials nearby. 

Step 2

Run the rag across the PVC pipe to remove any excess dirt, dust or other debris.  Open the PVC pipe cleaner container (available at most hardware stores) and allow the fumes from the cleaner liquid to breathe.

While wearing gloves, carefully apply the PVC pipe cleaner to the portion of the pipe with lettering and rub the area in small circles using the rag. 

Step 3

Hold an additional rag to collect the ink that may be bleed from the lettering.  Rub until the lettering has fully dissolved.

Step 4

Lay the PVC pipe out to dry in a place unreachable by children or pets.  Clean the rag in hot soapy water.

Once the PVC pipe is dry, run the rag across the surface to ensure a smooth finish.  Wash the rag before reusing.

Things You Will Need

  • PVC pipe cleaner
  • Gloves
  • Two rags
  • Liquid soap suds or other industrial-grade soap
  • Hot water


  • A potentially cheaper and less-chemical option involves the use of a sanding belt or hand sander to carefully sand down the area with the lettering. Acetone, or nail polish varnish, has also been used to remove lettering, although it may cause discoloration.


  • Never touch the eyes or anywhere on the face while working with chemicals such as the PVC pipe cleaner. Spillage or excess amounts of cleaner can also ruin clothing and other fragile items.


About the Author

Based in the Appalachian Mountains, Brian Connolly is a certified nutritionist and has been writing professionally since 2000. He is a licensed yoga and martial arts instructor whose work regularly appears in “Metabolism,” “Verve” and publications throughout the East Coast. Connolly holds advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and the University of Virginia.

Photo Credits

  • Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images