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.
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.
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!