How to Get Plastic Off Copper Wire

Removing plastic sheath on copper wireHow to get plastic off copper wire? Copper wire is a very versatile item that can be used in a variety of different applications such as in jewelry making and in a variety of other manufactured goods.

Copper wire can be found nearly everywhere and it is one of the most sought after metals by scrap collectors. This is because copper is more valuable than regular steel.

The main issue that typically every scrapper faces is the need to learn how to get plastic off copper wire. In the information that follows, I want to share some of the common ways to do this and I have also found a couple videos that will show you how to make your own copper wire stripper.



Stripping the plastic off of the copper wire can be done in a variety of different ways(some easier than others), with the easiest way being to use a copper wire stripper, which is basically like a pair of pliers that easily grip the wire so you can pull it off the copper with ease.

Another means of how to get plastic off copper wire is to use controlled heat to melt the plastic off the wire.

If you decide to use heat to strip the copper wire, do not use fire. Burning the wire often damages it and reduces the quality of the copper. I use a big soup pot filled with water.

Boil the water and put the copper wire that you want to strip into it. Allow the wire to sit in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove the copper wire from the water while wearing gloves.

Hold the wire with one hand, tightly and use your free hand to grip the plastic on the wire, and then start pulling. The plastic will slide right off the wire but you have to move fast so that the plastic does not get to cool.

If you want to use a more physical approach to get the plastic off your copper wire, then try using a really sharp knife. Always use care when using a knife. This method takes a little more time but if you only have a small amount of copper wire, this way works well enough.

Take a look at these two videos on how to get plastic off copper wire. These gentlemen are both scrappers and both have genius ways that they have developed to strip copper wire. I know the 2nd video has bad music but his idea is great regardless.



Now that you know how to strip your copper wire, once you have done so, bundle all of the wire together. Some scrappers use a piece of copper pipe and simply spool all of the wire onto it.



Other methods like boxing or barreling up the wire are fine but I do not use these methods because I do not like to add any non-copper weight to my load.

Call or visit the scrap yard’s website before you head to the yard to check their current buying price. If you do not already know, you will find out as you continue scrapping that not all scrap yards pay the same price when they buy scrap.

This is why I always recommend that you have more than one outlet. Grocery stores compete for your attention by offering lower prices. Scrap metal yards compete by offering higher prices.

If you are just getting started in the scrap business, speak with other scrappers as well as the scrap yards to see if there are any particular metals that, the city or state requires you to have a license in order to scrap.

A license may be required for example; if you set up an agreement with a copper machine shop that enables you to recycle 3000 pounds of scrap copper a day.