Tutorial + How-to remove labels from glass jars (3 of 3)

Published on June 19th, 2012 | by Julie Finn


How-to: Another Way to Remove Labels from Glass Jars

glass jugs with sticky labels removed

You want to just peel that old spaghetti sauce label off of the glass jar that it’s stuck to, but you know that you can’t. Paper pieces will stay stuck, and whatever you do manage to peel off will just leave sticky glue underneath.

You think you don’t have time to do a good job to get all the paper and all the glue completely off of your glass jars, but you really do. My method for removing the sticky labels from glass jars takes about twenty minutes, but you can do it with as many glass jars as you have, all at the same time. Gather up a big collection of jars that need to have their labels removed, and you can do the job in far less time than it would take to clean up each jar individually.

soaking the glass jars in soapy water

Becky’s method for removing the labels from glass jars uses oil; my method uses vinegar. To do this, you’ll want a sink or tub large enough that all of your glass jars will fit in it with their labels submerged, close to a hot water tap. If you do use your sink, know that you’ll have to wipe out all the little paper label bits when you’re finished.

scrub the labels and glue off of the glass jars

Fill each glass jar with hot water, then set it in the tub–this will keep the jar from floating to the top when you add the rest of the water. Begin to fill the tub with hot water, and while it’s filling, add in a good squirt of dish washing soap and a few cups of vinegar. Vinegar is mildly acidic, and so will dissolve the glue behind the paper labels. To get the water extra hot, which will help the paper labels soak off, I add a tea kettle of boiling water to the tub as it’s filling, as well.

Let the glass jars soak, labels completely submerged, in the hot water for several minutes. Then scrub each jar, one at a time, with a soft-bristled brush. The paper labels and the sticky glue will easily scrub away. If any pieces seem resistant, let them soak while you work on other jars, and in a few minutes they’ll scrub easily away, too.

Now that your reclaimed glass jars are nice and clean, check out some projects to do with upcycled glass jars!

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

4 Responses to How-to: Another Way to Remove Labels from Glass Jars

  1. Pingback: Crafting a Green World | How-to: Make a Message in a Bottle Party Invitation out of Upcycled Materials | Page: 1 | Crafting a Green World

  2. Tina says:

    This is cool! I’ve been collecting jars so I can do a large batch all at once. Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Fall Crafts from Your Recycle Bin | Care2 Healthy Living

  4. Pingback: Crafting a Green World | The home for green crafts and tutorials!

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