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Removing Labels from Glass Jars

Category Glass
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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By 16 found this helpful
October 4, 2011

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!

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By Tracey V. from Santa Rosa Beach, FL

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October 5, 20111 found this helpful
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Use PAM, or cooking spray, spray it on the sticker residue, rub in, then off! Works fast. And I can always find my cooking spray!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
October 5, 20110 found this helpful

Goo Gone does the job faster and fingernail polish also works. Just dab either one on with a cotton ball and in just a minute it will easily rub off. Then wash with soapy warm water ,rinse and dry. GG Vi

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October 5, 20110 found this helpful

Don't try the microwave solution on plastic. You will have a mess. Glass only.

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March 24, 20130 found this helpful

I use no chemicals at all or anything with an odor. Fill glass with hot water (140 degrees) wait fifteen minutes. I do this to Jelly Jars with handles to have drinking glasses. Those glasses fit perfect in the freezer on the shelf lined up in a row. Ice glasses for your favorite ice cold drinks.

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April 13, 2012

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!

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By Laurel from Port Orchard, WA

Comment Was this helpful? 5
April 24, 20132 found this helpful
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I love vinegar and use it for everything, I have a spray bottle full. To remove a label, I simply wet the label good then I spray with vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes. Remove the label, then respray the glue with vinegar and wipe.

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April 21, 20130 found this helpful

I just put mine in the dishwasher and remove the labels right before dry cycle. I air dry to save energy and keep kitchen cool.

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April 21, 20130 found this helpful

Rather than using Goo Gone to remove non-water-based glue (and labels), I use plain paint thinner or mineral spirits. The thinner will soak through labels; cover them with a thinner-soaked pad of paper towel. Cheaper and highly effective, and I keep paint thinner on hand for other purposes anyway. The thinner residue washes off with soapy water.

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April 21, 20130 found this helpful

Steam from a steam clothes iron works fast to remove labels, even from Ziploc baggies. The trick is to get them hot enough to come loose, before the paper gets too weak.

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By 20 found this helpful
April 18, 2012

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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March 26, 20141 found this helpful

Crunchy peanut butter worked for me. Thanks for the tip. Previously I'd tried soaking in hot soapy water, rubbing with vinegar and with nail polish remover, to no avail.

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By 10 found this helpful
April 30, 2013

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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October 14, 20130 found this helpful
Top Comment

This Goo Gone Alternative (GGA) idea works great! I cleaned off a dozen jars of label goo with two tablespoons of vegetable oil & a tablespoon of baking soda. First I soaked the jars for an hour in hot water then removed the labels. I put a spoonful of the GGA mixture on my hand, rubbed it all over the jar, let it sit for a minute and washed it off with soap & water. Thanks for sharing this great idea - it is perfect! I plan to pass it along, too.

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By 7 found this helpful
July 4, 2011

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

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November 11, 2016

I reuse all the glass jars in my house for everything from gifts to storage. I hate labels so I found a nice and easy way to soak them off without having to fill your whole sink. Just fill a larger jar with the smaller one you want cleaned. Put a drop of dish washing liquid in the smaller jar and fill with very hot water. Make sure it covers the top and flows down the sides. This is key.

Leave it to do it's job and the next day, your label will most likely stay in the water as you take out the jar. It's easy, doesn't take up much room and works great.

N-JOY!

Comment Was this helpful? 2
November 15, 20161 found this helpful

You are very welcome. I admit this works better on glass but try it with the honey plastic ones. Overnight you never know how well it might work!!

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September 1, 2009

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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October 1, 2009

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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By 1 found this helpful
June 18, 2015

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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By 1 found this helpful
April 23, 2013

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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By 4 found this helpful
April 19, 2012

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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By 2 found this helpful
April 21, 2013

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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By 3 found this helpful
August 22, 2012

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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By 1 found this helpful
April 24, 2013

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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July 19, 2017

Whenever I find a useful jar, I always decide to keep it. I remove the labels and clean them by soaking in a mixture of 5 mL dish soap and a bowl of water for 30 minutes. After this, pull off the label and it will just be removed flawlessly.

A clean jar with the label removed.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 21, 2016

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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By 0 found this helpful
July 25, 2013

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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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
February 23, 2010

How do I remove label glue from bottles?

By BLC from Elkhart, IN

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 15, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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February 23, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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February 23, 20100 found this helpful

I always use a little cooking oil It works great for gum in the hair too. Just put a dab on the the label and keep rubbing until it is gone.

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February 23, 20100 found this helpful

Put some cooking oil on the label and leave it over night. If any of the label is still attached reapply the oil.

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February 26, 20100 found this helpful

Use lighter fluid or that stuff you put on charcoal to start it.

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February 27, 20100 found this helpful

Mix up some Dawn dish wash liquid and rubbing alcohol in equal parts. Use a small brush or cotton ball to saturate the area of goo and rub well. It should all come off. Good luck

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By 1 found this helpful
March 31, 2013

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

Answer Was this helpful? 1
Anonymous
January 20, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

GOO GONE!!! I had a similar problem and researched various options after trying many things. I tore up a sturdy paper towel into pieces that would cover the sticky residue and saturated them with Goo Gone, and then covered the sticky stuff with that. After only letting it rest for a few minutes, I then used soaked towel to scrape off the rest of the residue and it came right off!!! Hope this helps other who found this forum looking for an easy solution that wouldn't take too much time or drive them crazy scraping for hours!

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March 3, 20150 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 4, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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By 0 found this helpful
June 11, 2008

How do I remove beer bottle labels?

A.E. from UK

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 11, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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By guest (Guest Post)
June 12, 20080 found this helpful

I soak mine, as well. Anything left, I scrub off with an SOS pad. I've taken many, many labels off jars this way and it's never been a problem. I paint on them. So, I clean them with alcohol first.

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June 14, 20080 found this helpful

If you are wanting to collect the labels, you need to get them new from the brewery. There is no way to get them off the bottle in good condition. There are labels up on eBay.

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April 17, 2016

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 4, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you can't peel the sticker off, soak it in hot water and dish soap. If there is still a sticky residue left over, I use lemon essential oil. It removes sticky residue like magic. Just put a little on a cotton ball and rub over the sticky residue and it will come right off.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 19, 2013

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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By 0 found this helpful
November 10, 2015

Can you use baby oil, or only vegetable oil?

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