Removing Labels from Glass Jars

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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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:

  1. Peel the label. (Soaking in hot water helps.)
  2. Rub any sticky areas with peanut butter.
  3. Rinse and enjoy, knowing that no chemicals were needed!

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

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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

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Classico spaghette sauce jar.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! Classico spaghette sauce jar. Removing label from jar soaking in large pot. Jar after label removed.

By Laurel from Port Orchard, WA

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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!

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    How do I remove label glue from bottles?

    By BLC from Elkhart, IN

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    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!

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    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!

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    So how does everyone remove the digital writing, sell-by dates, etc. from the tops of jars? It's fairly easy to get if off the glass with a dry brush scrub. What I'm talking about is the caps. I have tried lots of things. Alcohol did not work.

    By Vee333

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    I have used hairspray (also removes ink from clothes). Then there is Goof Off... a good little can product to keep around as it can do many "remove" jobs. Good luck!

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    Can you use baby oil, or only vegetable oil?

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      Peanut butter is all you need. It's a sure thing in many homes. PBP

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      How do I get labels off jars? I have tried soaking in hot soapy water with dish washing power in it. I have even put them in the dishwasher. The label still won't come off and I am running out of ideals. Please help me out. I would like to use the jars to make something pretty out of them.

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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.

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        I made an alarming discovery today quite by accident. I am a compulsive recycler so I save all my spaghetti sauce jars. I use the same brand all the time so they match.

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        How do I remove beer bottle labels?

        A.E. from UK

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        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.

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        Candle jar.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.

        By Katheryne

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        Have you tried the acetone in nail polish remover or WD 40?

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        Candle jar.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

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        I have used peanut butter, just spread a thin layer on the sticky residue, and then use hot water to rinse it off after about 5 minutes, you may have to use soap and water to get the oil off from the peanut butter.

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        Try this to get labels off of glass jars. Fill a pot or bucket with very hot water, a few squeezes of Dawn dish soap, and a scoop or two of an "OxiClean-like" powder. LA's Totally Awesome Oxygen Base Cleaner is what I use. Then submerge the glass jar in the mixture and let soak for a considerable amount of time.

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        I realized that if I just spray a coat of furniture polish on the jar and let it sit, the label and all the sticky glue comes right off with the wipe of a towel.

        Furniture polish and glass jars.

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        After removing the label, left over glue on jars can be removed using charcoal lighter fluid. It works better than anything I have found.

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        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.

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        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.

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        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 Dianajoyce

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        Contact the company who is on the label first to find out who made the jars that way. I would start there to try to find out what type of paint was used and if it was baked into the glass. You might not be able to remove it, but it is fun to learn how things are made, so I would start there.

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        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.

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        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.

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        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.

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        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.

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        Home and Garden Cleaning GlassApril 17, 2012
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