Glass jars can be reused in a wide variety of ways from storage to crafts, but first you will want to remove the label. This is a guide about removing labels from glass jars.
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Do you like to save glass jars to reuse as storage, but sometimes have problems removing the labels? Using a razor blade or what I use is a razor box cutter, slice large sections of the label. Soak in hot soapy water until label is saturated. Scrape off sections of the label with a scraper or an old plastic supermarket members card. If you slice the sections on the label too small, it will be harder to scrape off.
Some labels have a plastic coating on them and are hard to remove. By cutting sections of the label with a razor blade, breaks the plastic seal and allows the water to penetrate the paper under the plastic. This makes it easier to remove.
By mkymlp from NE PA
Slightly sand surface of label with sandpaper. Spray with WD-40. Label will come off easily. If not, put napkin on label and saturate with the WD-40. Let sit for as long as necessary.
By Lonnie from Chatsworth, CA
I paint glass jars and find at times the labels are nearly impossible to remove without using chemicals. I found a much easier way and it's far less frustrating. Peel as much of the paper label off as possible, then fill the jar with water and place in the microwave until the water boils. Between the steam released from the water inside microwave and the heated water against the glass the label adhesive then scrapes right off. However, be very careful of the hot liquid inside!
By Tracey V. from Santa Rosa Beach, FL
In my quest to reclaim a Mason jar (specifically Classico pasta sauce jars) I needed to soak off the labels. I submerged the jars in hot water and let them sit until the paper was easy to pull off. The best part with the Classico jars is that the glue they use is also water soluble! So I was able to remove the glue with hot soapy water. With other jar, I removed the glue with Goo Gone and a paper towel. I was amazed at how well this worked!
By Laurel from Port Orchard, WA
Just soak the jar in hot water, remove what you can, and use steel wool on the rest. It doesn't scratch the glass and you don't have to use chemicals. It's a win, win.
I do not remember where I learned this, but I am so glad I did. This tip has always worked for me. The easiest way to remove labels and sticker residue from glass jars is as follows:
Not only did you avoid spending money on some sort of cleaner, you also got to play with your food!
By Anip from Social Circle, GA
I made an alarming discovery today quite by accident. I am an compulsive recycler so I save all my spaghetti sauce jars. I use the same brand all the time so they match. Yes I use them for drinking for hubby and me. I have decent glasses but these jars are sturdy.
A few weeks ago one of our sons went grocery shopping with DH, and was helping him put things away. He didn't know where the jars of sauce went so he stuck them on the door of the fridge.
Since I am also frugal with time and effort I left them there. I got one out today to use and found that the label was loose. It only took seconds to remove. Yea! I had been placing them in the sink with a wet cloth around them till it soaked loose. Sometimes it would take hours. I'll be keeping them in the fridge from now on. An overnight stay in the fridge might work for any jar labels you have.
Source: My son Steve who didn't want to "lose" Mom's spaghetti sauce.
By MartyD from Houston, TX
It's easy to remove labels from glass jars by taking a bit of cooking oil and slathering it on the jar's label. Let it sit undisturbed overnight and it should slide right off.
The best way I have found to get rid of sticker/label residue is a few drops of olbas oil. It slips off with a gentle scrape of the dull side of a knife.
After removing the label, left over glue on jars can be removed using charcoal lighter fluid. It works better than anything I have found.
You can make a Goo Gone alternative that works very well (and doesn't smell as gross) by mixing two parts vegetable oil with one part baking soda. The oil loosens the glue, and the baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive to wipe it away. Rinse with hot water and that's it!
Recently I did a project and needed to remove the sticky glue from plastic bottles. I tried soaking them in alcohol, but that didn't work. I tried lotion (this works with spray adhesive when it is on your hands). I finally tried some plain dish soap and Oxiclean. None of these helped at all.
I did not want to mar the surface so I took some WD40 and a soft cloth. I put the WD40 on the cloth, and gently rubbed until all the sticky glue was gone. I then washed my bottles and dried them to use for my craft.
By GEM from VA
Soak glass jars in hottest water that your faucet will allow. Make sure labels are completely submerged. If there is more than one label that can't be submerged rotate the jar until labels are peeling off on their own. Once this is done, wash the jar inside and out and let it dry completely. Use acetone (found in or as nail polish remover) with an old rag or cotton and wipe away adhesive. Just dab acetone on the rag or cotton. It doesn't take much. Wash the jar again to make sure all adhesive and streaks are gone. Don't forget to wash your hands.
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Here are questions related to Removing Labels from Glass Jars.
How do I remove label glue from bottles?
By BLC from Elkhart, IN
You can try scraping off what you can with your fingernail, then using fingernail polish remover. Or, another trick I have learned is to use lighter fluid. Again, scrape off what you can, then rub the area with a cotton ball soaked in lighter fluid. Comes right off!
I usually use WD-40; spray it on, let it sit, peel the label off, wipe any residue with a paper towel, then wash them all in soapy water. Looks like more steps than it is. I have even used it to successfully remove sticker residue inside pricey leather shoes with no ill aftereffects. Good luck!
How do I remove beer bottle labels?
A.E. from UK
I don't know why they would be any different from any other bottle label. I fill bottles and jars with water. lay them on their sides with the label down in a sink full of water, and soak for as long as needed. Sometimes the glue is stubborn so I use a bit of Goo Gone on the last of it.
I have a Yankee Candle jar that held a large candle. I got the label peeled off, but I'm still trying to remove the glue. Any ideas? I've tried soaking and scrubbing, but some of it's still there.
Have you tried the acetone in nail polish remover or WD 40?
I have a container that once had a candle in it. The candle is gone and I peeled off the label. But how do I get the remaining glue off?
By Flyingbug from Los Angeles, CA
I have good luck using a hair dryer to take the labels from glass jars.
I have some cute little mustard jars that I would like to use but first I need to remove the information that is painted directly on the glass. Does anyone know how to remove it?
By grammy (Guest Post)10/09/2006
Pure acetone. Put some on a rag or paper towel, and wipe it off. That simple